The Translational Applied Behavior Analysis Laboratory is dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the behavioral and neuropathological underpinnings of severe problem behaviors, such as aggression, self-injury, and social skills deficits, commonly shown by children and adults diagnosed with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Led by Dr. Scott Hall, PhD, the lab utilizes state-of-the-art neuroimaging and behavioral assessments based on the principles of applied behavior analysis to investigate genetic conditions that cause intellectual impairment and autism-like symptoms, such as fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Cornelia de Lange syndrome, among others, which provide valuable study models.
The primary goals of the lab are to determine how environmental and biological factors affect the development of aberrant behaviors, and to develop targeted clinical interventions. Our research portfolio includes studies in collaboration with Behavior Change Institute employing telemedicine to improve access to and affordability of appropriate care for children and young adults with IDD. Other studies include the integration of social skills training, state-of-the-art eye tracking, and multimodal brain imaging. We are also collaborating with UC Davis on a multi-site effort to develop a mobile app for parents and teachers to accurately measure and track behaviors commonly shown by individuals with IDD. Our lab has received research grant funding from NIMH, NICHD, the National Fragile X Foundation, the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research, the Simons Foundation, the John Merck Fund, Stanford Child Health Research Institute, and the Department of Defense.