John R. Pruett, Jr., MD, PhD

Professor of Psychiatry

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

My lab conducts three highly interrelated lines of research: 1) network-based fcMRI studies in subjects with and without ASD; 2) studies of visual-spatial attention, attention to faces and eyes, and face perception in children and adults with and without ASD; and 3) comparative (cross-species) cognition-inspired studies of social and non-social cognitive abilities in human and non-human animals. Comparative cognition provides an evolutionary cognition-based perspective for our work on “higher”, likely human-unique (e.g., Theory of Mind), and “lower”, evolutionarily conserved (e.g., perception of and attention to eyes – component processes involved in joint attention; and social responsiveness) social abilities that are relevant to ASD. fcMRI then provides an ideal way to conduct studies of large scale brain networks that may be implicated in differences in these and other behaviors in individuals with varying levels of ASD traits.