Program Research

Photograph of a doctor in a surgical mask looking at brain imaging scans

The Developmental Disabilities Program brings together research expertise from across The University of Western Ontario, creating a large and comprehensive research community.  Together, we are leading research innovation to improve the health of people with Intellectual Disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder across the lifespan.

 The Chair of the Developmental Disabilities Program, Dr. Rob Nicolson, was recently featured on the Department of Psychiatry's "Highlighting Research" series.

To view his video, visit their website: Highlighting Research

Recent Publications by Members of the Developmental Disabilities Program

  1. Ayoub, L. J., Zhu, J., Lee, S. J., Mugisha, N., Patel, K., Duerden, E. G., Stinson, J., Verriotis, M., Noel, M., Kong, D., Moayedi, M., & McAndrews, M. P. (2022). Age-related effects on the anterior and posterior hippocampal volumes in 6-21 year olds: A model selection approach. Hippocampus, 10.1002/hipo.23487. Advance online publication. 
  2. Bezanson, S., Nichols, E.S., & Duerden, E.G. (2023).  Postnatal maternal distress, infant subcortical brain macrostructure and emotion regulation.  Psychiatry research.  Neuroimaging, 328, 111577. 
  3. Espino, P. H., Burneo, J. G., Moscol, G., Gofton, T., MacDougall, K., & Suller Marti, A. (2022). Long-term outcomes after NORSE: Treatment with vagus nerve stimulation. Epilepsia open, 7(4), 822–828. 
  4. Hannah, K. E., Brown, K. S., Hall-Bruce, M., Stevenson, R. A., & McRae, K. (2022). Knowledge of the temporal structure of events in relation to autistic traits and social ability. Acta psychologica, 231, 103779. 
  5. Hennessy, A., Seguin, D., Correa, S., Wang, J., Martinez-Trujillo, J. C., Nicolson, R., & Duerden, E. G. (2022). Anxiety in children and youth with autism spectrum disorder and the association with amygdala subnuclei structure. Autism : the international journal of research and practice, 13623613221127512. Advance online publication. 
  6. Krakowski, A. D., Cost, K. T., Szatmari, P., Anagnostou, E., Crosbie, J., Schachar, R., Duku, E., Georgiades, S., Ayub, M., Kelley, E., Nicolson, R., Pullenayegum, E., & Barnett-Tapia, C. (2022). Characterizing the ASD-ADHD phenotype: measurement structure and invariance in a clinical sample. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, 63(12), 1534–1543. 
  7. Levy, T., Dupuis, A., Andrade, B. F., Crosbie, J., Kelley, E., Nicolson, R., & Schachar, R. J. (2022). Facial emotion recognition in children and youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and irritability. European child & adolescent psychiatry, 10.1007/s00787-022-02033-3. Advance online publication.
  8. Lauzon, S. A., Abraham, A. E., Curcin, K., Butler, B. E., & Stevenson, R. A. (2022). The relationship between multisensory associative learning and multisensory integration. Neuropsychologia, 174, 108336. 
  9. Martinez-Trujillo J. (2022). Visual Attention in the Prefrontal Cortex. Annual review of vision science, 8, 407–425. 
  10. Nakua, H., Hawco, C., Forde, N. J., Jacobs, G. R., Joseph, M., Voineskos, A. N., Wheeler, A. L., Lai, M. C., Szatmari, P., Kelley, E., Liu, X., Georgiades, S., Nicolson, R., Schachar, R., Crosbie, J., Anagnostou, E., Lerch, J. P., Arnold, P. D., & Ameis, S. H. (2022). Cortico-amygdalar connectivity and externalizing/internalizing behavior in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Brain structure & function, 227(6), 1963–1979. 
  11. O'Flanagan, S., & Nicolson, R.  (2003).  Survey Results on Training in Developmental Disabilities in Canadian Psychiatry Residency Programs.  Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 32(1), 4-9.
  12. Mok, R. S. F., Zhang, W., Sheikh, T. I., Pradeepan, K., Fernandes, I. R., DeJong, L. C., Benigno, G., Hildebrandt, M. R., Mufteev, M., Rodrigues, D. C., Wei, W., Piekna, A., Liu, J., Muotri, A. R., Vincent, J. B., Muller, L., Martinez-Trujillo, J., Salter, M. W., & Ellis, J. (2022). Wide spectrum of neuronal and network phenotypes in human stem cell-derived excitatory neurons with Rett syndrome-associated MECP2 mutations. Translational psychiatry, 12(1), 450.
  13. Papadopoulos, A., Nichols, E. S., Mohsenzadeh, Y., Giroux, I., Mottola, M. F., Van Lieshout, R. J., & Duerden, E. G. (2022). Prenatal and postpartum maternal mental health and neonatal motor outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of affective disorders reports, 10, 100387. 
  14. Penner, M., Dupuis, A., Arnold, P., Ayub, M., Crosbie, J., Georgiades, S., Kelley, E., Nicolson, R., Schachar, R., & Anagnostou, E. (2022). Pubertal stage, sex and behaviour in neurodevelopmental disorders versus typical development: a cross-sectional study. BMJ paediatrics open, 6(1), e001469. 
  15. Roussy, M., Corrigan, B., Luna, R., Gulli, R. A., Sachs, A. J., Palaniyappan, L., & Martinez-Trujillo, J. C. (2022). Stable Working Memory and Perceptual Representations in Macaque Lateral Prefrontal Cortex during Naturalistic Vision. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 42(44), 8328–8342.
  16. Schachar, R. J., Dupuis, A., Arnold, P. D., Anagnostou, E., Kelley, E., Georgiades, S., Nicolson, R., Townes, P., Burton, C. L., & Crosbie, J. (2023). Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Shared or Unique Neurocognitive Profiles?. Research on child and adolescent psychopathology, 51(1), 17–31. 
  17. Scheerer, N. E., Pourtousi, A., Yang, C., Ding, Z., Stojanoski, B., Anagnostou, E., Nicolson, R., Kelley, E., Georgiades, S., Crosbie, J., Schachar, R., Ayub, M., & Stevenson, R. A. (2022). Transdiagnostic Patterns of Sensory Processing in Autism and ADHD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 10.1007/s10803-022-05798-3. Advance online publication. 
  18. Seguin, D., Pac, S., Wang, J., Nicolson, R., Martinez-Trujillo, J., Anagnostou, E., Lerch, J. P., Hammill, C., Schachar, R., Crosbie, J., Kelley, E., Ayub, M., Brian, J., Liu, X., Arnold, P. D., Georgiades, S., & Duerden, E. G. (2022). Amygdala subnuclei volumes and anxiety behaviors in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Human brain mapping, 43(16), 4805–4816. 
  19. Tsujimoto, K. C., Cost, K. T., Laforge-Mackenzie, K., Anagnostou, E., Birken, C. S., Charach, A., Monga, S., Kelley, E., Nicolson, R., Georgiadis, S., Lee, N., Osokin, K., Burton, C., Crosbie, J., & Korczak, D. (2022). Disruption to Education During COVID-19: School Nonacademic Factors Are Associated with Children's Mental Health. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP, 10.1097/DBP.0000000000001157. Advance online publication. 
  20. Tsujimoto, K. C., Cost, K. T., LaForge-MacKenzie, K., Anagnostou, E., Birken, C. S., Charach, A., Monga, S., Kelly, E., Nicolson, R., Georgiadis, S., Lee, N., Osokin, K., Arnold, P., Schachar, R., Burton, C., Crosbie, J., & Korczak, D. J. (2022). School and learning contexts during the COVID-19 pandemic: Implications for child and youth mental health. Current psychology (New Brunswick, N.J.), 1–17. Advance online publication. 
  21. Wang, J., Nichols, E. S., Mueller, M. E., de Vrijer, B., Eagleson, R., McKenzie, C. A., de Ribaupierre, S., & Duerden, E. G. (2022). Semi-automatic segmentation of the fetal brain from magnetic resonance imaging. Frontiers in neuroscience, 16, 1027084. 
  22. Yoo, S. A., Martinez-Trujillo, J. C., Treue, S., Tsotsos, J. K., & Fallah, M. (2022). Attention to visual motion suppresses neuronal and behavioral sensitivity in nearby feature space. BMC biology, 20(1), 220. 
  23. Zhang, Q., Suller-Marti, A., Ding, J. J., Deng, G., He, W., Burneo, J. G., Hammond, R. R., & Ang, L. C. (2022). Epilepsy-associated death in the Southwestern Ontario: A clinicopathological correlation study. Brain pathology (Zurich, Switzerland), e13121. Advance online publication.

Grants Currently Held By Members of the Developmental Disabilities Program

Anagnostou, E., & Lerch, J. (Principal Investigators), Nicolson, R., (Co-Investigator).  Province of Ontairo Neurodevelopmental Disorders Network.  Ontario Brain Institute.  $13,000,000; 2018-2023.

Anagnostou E. (Principal Investigator), Nicolson, R., (Co-Investigator).  Treatment for Anxiety in Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Canadian Institutes of Health Research.  $590,729; 2019-2023.

Bahrick, L. (Principal Investigator), Stevenson, R.A. (Site Principal Investigator).  Multisensory Development: New measures and a collaborative database role.  $2,551,508; 2018-2023.

Stevenson, R.A. (Principal Investigator).  Neurocognitive Development of Sensory Processing in Autism.  Canadian FOundation for Innovation - John R. Evans Leaders Foundation.  $501,933; 2018-2023.  

Stevenson, R.A. (Principal Investigator).  Sensory Disturbances in Autism and Their Cascading Influence on Behaviour and Neural Processing.  Early Researcher Award.  $140,000; 2018-2023.



Grants Recently Held By Members of the Developmental Disabilities Program

Ogilvie, J. (Principal Investigator), Nicolson R. (Co-Investigator).  Family Perspective on Fit Between Education Interventions and Functional Needs for Young Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders.  Children’s Health Research Institute.  $10,000; 2020-2022. 

Korczak, D., & Martinussen, R.L. (Principal Investigators), Nicolson, R. (Co-Investigator).  Population-Based Virtual Mental Health Interventions for Children, Youth and Famillies During COVID-19: If we build it, will they come?  Canadian Institutes for Health Research.  $199,635; 2020-2021. 

Korczak, D. (Principal Investigator), Nicolson R. (Co-Investigator).  Real-Time Monitoring of Disaster-Related Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 on Canadian Children, Youth and Families: A cross collaboration of community and clinical cohorts.  Hospital fo rSick Children COVID-19 Catalyst Research Grant Competition.  $100,000; 2020-2021. 

Williamson, T., Anagnostou, E., & Szatmari, P. (Principal Investigators).  Nicolson, R. (Co-Investigator).  Stepping up to COVID-19: Examining a virtual mental health stepped care approach to addressing needs of at-risk children and families.  $200,000; 2020-2021.