Stanford Brain Development Project


The Stanford Brain Development Project seeks to understand how changes in the brain are related to changing cognitive abilities in children as they develop. Our projects have two primary objectives:

  1. To understand how math skills develop and are represented in the brain, in order to indentify how children with math learning disabilities can be helped.
  2. To understand how cognitive, language, math, and social abilities are represented in the brain in children with autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.

We invite your participation in our ongoing research projects and thank you for your interest. Your participation helps us to discover the brain basis of abilities and disabilities, and is important for conducting the basic research that will eventually contribute to the development of more effective treatments and therapies for young children with developmental disorders. If you'd like to learn more about our lab, you can check out our main site here.

Actively Recruiting Studies

Speech in Autism

Seeking children ages 7-12 with High Functioning Autism

The goal of the project is to gain knowledge about the neural basis of speech perception impairments in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Participants receive:

  1. Up to $200 for completing the study
  2. Pictures of their brain

This study consists of 5 appointments for children with ASD, and 3 appointments for typically-developing children:

  1. Appointment 1: Neuropsychological assessment
    This assessment includes an IQ, reading, and math skills test. While the child is completing these tasks, the parent will be asked to fill out a few questionnaires. After the assessment, we familiarize the participant with fMRI procedures. This session lasts about 2 hours.
  2. Appointment 2: Speech and Language assessment
    The second session is a speech and language assessment that requires the presence of both the child and his mother. The child will play a number of listening games, and will do a series of standardized test measures of speech and language function. While the child is completing these tasks, the mother will be asked to fill out a few questionnaires, and her voice will be recorded for our in-scanner task stimuli. This session lasts about 2.5 hours.
  3. Appointment 3 (for children with ASD only): Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
    The third session (for children with ASD only) is an Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). This is a ‘play’ based assessment in which the researcher observes the child without the parent in the room. This session lasts about 1 hour.
  4. Appointment 4 (for children with ASD only): Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI)
    The fourth session (for children with ASD only) is an Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI). This is an interview between the researcher and the parents and the child is not involved in this measure. This session lasts about 3 hours. (If the family lives outside of the Bay Area, this interview can be conducted over the phone.)
  5. Appointment 5: fMRI scan appointment
    The fifth session is the child's fMRI scan appointment. During the scan, participants will play a listening game while pictures of their brain are taken. An MRI scan is a safe, non-invasive procedure that does not use x-rays or radiation. To read more about MRI please click here. This session lasts 2.5 hours.

Participants will receive $150 - $200 compensation upon completion of the study.

All sessions will take place on Stanford’s campus near the Stanford Hospital.

Questions? See our FAQs or get in touch.