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RG Autism


Head of the Research Group

Dr. Tanja Schad-Hansjosten

Phone: +49 621 1703-4808


Main Medical Building, 1st Floor, Room 134

Co-manager of working group

Dr. sc. hum. Sarah Baumeister



Autism is a developmental disorder defined behaviorally by a triad of abnormalities involving language, social interaction, and a marked lack of flexibility that may include repetitive or ritualistic behaviors. Autistic traits are continuously distributed within the population.  Research activities of our WG focus on biological, cognitive and behavioral correlates of social deficits in both ASD and healthy populations. We investigated brain connectivity in children with ASD, in order to learn more about brain growth trajectories and neural organization in ASD, and how these characteristics are related to autistic symptoms. We also investigated the influence of genetic polymorphisms, personality and reward learning on autism-related traits in in a large multicenter study (IMAGEN) on healthy adolescents, as we aimed to understand how individual differences in autistic traits manifest in a non-clinical population(Millenet et al., in preparation). Another research interest is the investigation of cognitive characteristics and development in ASD and the clinical application of this work via diagnostic, epidemiological and intervention studies. The WG has developed and validated a new ecologically valid measure for the simultaneous assessment of empathy components in children and adolescents (Multifacted Empathy Test, MET-J, Poustka et al., 2010) and is part of a multicenter study on the effectiveness of a social skills group based training program for children and adolescents with ASD (SOSTA-net), and a genetic study on glutamergic receptors in ASD and first-degree-relatives (NEUROCURE), both funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Also the WG takes part in a work package within the European AIMS-Multicenter Study. LP is Member of the German Guidlines Group for autism spectrum disorders and the ESSEA (Enhancing the scientific study of early autism) COST Action of the European Science Foundation. The WG is responsible for the German validation of the revised, second edition of the ADOS (ADOS 2, Autism Observation Schedule) including the newly generated Toddler Module for early detection of  children aged 12 months. The WG has established cooperations with the FU Berlin, the Universities of Marburg, Dresden and Frankfurt, as well as with the University of Amsterdam (Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences) and Stockholm (Karolinska Institutet, centre of neurodevelopmental disorders).

Abklärung Autismus Kinder/Jugendliche (ZI Kinder-und Jugendpsychiatrische Ambulanz)

Abklärung Autismus Erwachsene (ZI Ambulanz für hochfunktionalen Autismus im Erwachsenenalter)

siehe Flyer Studie: Effekt von Oxytocin auf den Therapieerfolg eines sozialen Kompetenztrainings bei Kindern und Jugendlichen mit einer Autismus-Spektrum-Störung

auch unter Probandenaufrufe (mit Datum vom 06.04.2017) erreichbar

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) - https://www.zi-mannheim.de