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Current Studies

Below you will find a list of current studies being in our lab and in our collaborators' sites. If you would like to participate in any of the studies, please visit the Experiment Sign-Up page.

ADDL Studies

(Online Study) Social Competence and Autism Spectrum Disorder:

Principal Investigator: Dr. Grace Iarocci

What do we want to know? Our objective is to explore what people think about social competence and one’s experience with individuals diagnosed with ASD. 

Who are we looking for? 

About the study:  This online study consists of completing several questions about yourself, including demographic information and short judgements of young adults observed through brief video clips. The study will take approximately 60 to 90 minutes to complete. You will be entered into a draw for a $100 pre-paid Visa gift card. Please use the links above beside the category that best describes you (i.e., Parent/Caregiver, Self-Identified Autistic Adult, or Working Professional). If you have any questions about the study, please contact

Relationship between Speech and Social Development:

Principal Investigator: Dr. Nichole Scheerer

What do we want to know? Our goal is to learn more about the relationship between speech and social development.

Who are we looking for? Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder over the age of 16.

About the study: Participants will be asked to complete puzzles, describe words, and produce sounds into a microphone, as well as fill out questionnaires about social behaviours. This study will take approximately 2 hours and will take place at the Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby campus. Our flexible availability will allow us to accommodate your schedule, so please let us know a time that works best for you! As a thank you for your time and effort, you will receive $20 ($10 per hour of commitment).

(Online Study) Partnership for Autism Spectrum Disorder and Addiction (PAAD)


Dr. Grace Iarocci, Simon Fraser University (SFU)
Dr. Marie-Hélène Poulin, University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT)

What do we want to know? The purpose of the project is to describe the lifestyle and using habits of substances, internet and gambling of young people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Who are we looking for? Individuals ages 16 to 30 with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

About the Study: Teenagers and young adults (ages 16 to 30) with ASD are invited to complete an online questionnaire (about 60 minutes in length). The teens and young adults who complete the online survey have a chance to win a $20 gift card among all respondents. Five gift cards will be randomly drawn.

To access the population survey, click on the following link:

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Kelly Tremblay, research project coordinator by email (


Sound Sensitivity Study

Principal Investigator: Dr. Elina Birmingham
What do we want to know? Sound sensitivity is very common in ASD, and can interfere with family life and participation in daily activities.  We are interested in learning more about how children and adults on the autism spectrum cope with sound sensitivity, and how sensitivity has impacted their lives. Sound sensitivity includes being over-reactive to sounds in general, or certain types of sounds.
Who are we looking for? We are currently recruiting individuals with ASD aged 13-18 years and their parents
About the study: The study will involve answering some interview questions about experiences with sound sensitivity, as well as filling out some paper-and-pen scales about sound sensitivity and social skills. We will also be conducting 3 separate testing sessions where we play (at a low volume) some sounds while monitoring participants’ reactions to these sounds.
Research will take place at SFU and will take approximately 7 hours over 4 sessions (for persons with ASD) and 3 hours over 1 session (for parents). As a thank-you for your time we are offering $20/hour or portion thereof (for persons with ASD) and $10/hour or portion thereof (for parents).  If you are interested in participating, please contact Kari Gustafson,, and please provide your phone number so that we can contact you to provide further information.


Collaborators' Studies

Face Diet - Tracking Real Life Exposure to Faces via Head-Mounted Camera

Principal Investigator: Dr. Ipek Oruc, UBC Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

What do we want to know? An observer's "face diet", i.e., statistics of their real life exposure to faces, fundamentally shape the neural mechanisms of face recognition. The size of an observed face has not been considered to play a role in the development of these mechanisms, yet our recent findings have repeatedly shown evidence that larger faces i.e., those viewed within social interaction distances, are processed more efficiently by the human brain. We proposed that this may stem from the fact that our face diet consists predominantly of large faces viewed in social contexts. In this experiment, subjects will wear head-mounted cameras to capture daily interactions in first-person view.

Who are we looking for? Invdividuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder over the ages of 18 years old

About the study:  You will be asked to wear a head-mounted camera over the course of a typical day (8-10 hours) while you go about your daily activities. The camera will be automatically set to capture 2 photos per minute at regular intervals over this timespan. The data from the recordings will be obtained by the investigators and compiled in a password secured database for analysis. For participation you will be compensated $20. You may withdraw at any time. 

Contact for information about the study: If you have any questions or desire further information with respect to this study, you may contact