In the Spotlight
Dr. Matthew Lerner awarded the 2014 Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Autism Research
Dr. Matthew D. Lerner, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, & Pediatrics in the Department of Psychology, is the recipient of the 2014 Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Autism Research. Up to two Young Investigator Awards are given each year for the best biological and clinical empirical research papers focusing on autism by an investigator who has been awarded their Ph.D. or M.D. in the past seven years.
Dr. Lerner uses methods drawn from human development, developmental psychopathology, social neuroscience, and controlled trials research to explore how basic, often novel processes impact social development. He also designs and implements interventions to learn whether these processes may be causally related to social functioning, with the aim of improving long-term outcomes for populations with social challenges. His work considers how youth see, think about, and act on their physical and social environment. He uses this focus on perception, cognition, and behavior to develop new models of how social functioning occurs and may be impacted through intervention. Dr. Lerner's Social Competence & Treatment Lab (SCTL) capitalizes on research strategies including advanced quantitative methods, electrophysiology and multi-method assessment. These strategies are employed via community-based procedures, clinic-based intervention designs, and lab-based controlled designs to conduct both descriptive and applied research to answer questions about how the capacity to connect to others develops, ways in which this connection may be disrupted, and which approaches are most helpful for those for whom such connections may be more difficult.