Faculty and student looking at computer analyzing research results

Integrative Brain Function and Neurodevelopment Lab (INLab)

The INLab examines speech and langauge development in typical children and those with neurodevelopmental disorders, as part of the Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine’s Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences. Our research involves the use of eye-tracking technology to help explain underlying brain function in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the study of neural circuits impacted in ASD which affect arousal, neurodevelopment, and social behavior. This work extends to the clinical practice of differential diagnosis and developing interventions targeting socialization and language including augmentative, alternative communication (AAC) and the use of visual teaching methods across the lifespan.

Examining the Visual Pathway in Relation to Development

Effective communication encompasses listening, speaking, and non-verbal aspects mediated through vision, all of which interact with primary neural processes subserving cognition, language, and learning. We use non-invasive tools to measure physiologic responses relating brain function to behavior. These measures help us better understand the clinical phenotype of ASD and comorbid disorders, and to develop interventions capitalizing on the interactions between the visual and auditory systems. Methods include eye-tracking, pupillometry, and assessment of peripheral and central auditory functions in relation to performance on behavioral assessments.