Christine Wu Nordahl, Ph.D. - IDDRC Investigator

Christine Wu Nordahl, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UC Davis School of Medicine
UC Davis MIND Institute
2825 50th Street
Sacramento, CA 95817 

Phone: 916-703-0373 / Fax: 916-703-0370

Areas of Interest

Autism, Neuroimaging, Brain Structure, Connectivity, Development


Dr. Nordahl’s research is focused on understanding the neural basis of autism spectrum disorder. She utilizes structural and functional neuroimaging to investigate alterations in brain structure and connectivity in toddlers with autism. Her current research projects are aimed at identifying meaningful subgroups or phenotypes of children with autism spectrum disorder based on behavioral, immunological, and neuroimaging data.  She is also interested in evaluating how factors such as biological sex modulate both typical and atypical brain development during early childhood.

Current IDDRC Projects

  • Analyses of brain structure and connectivity in young children with autism, NIMH, R00 MH085099

Recent Representative Publications

Johnson RT, Yeatman JD, Wandell BA, Amaral DG, Nordahl CW. (2013) Diffusion properties of major white matter tracts in young, typically developing children. Neuroimage, in press

Shen MD, Nordahl CW, Young GS, Wooton-Gorges SL, Lee A, Liston SE, Harrington K, Ozonoff S, Amaral DG. (2013) Early brain enlargement and elevated extra-axial fluid in infants who develop autism spectrum disorder, Brain, 136; 2825-35.

Nordahl CW, Braunschweig D, Iosif A-M, Lee A, Rogers SJ, Ashwood P, Amaral DG, Van de Water, J. (2013) Maternal autoantibodies are associated with abnormal brain enlargement in a subgroup of children with autism spectrum disorder. Brain Behavior and Immunity, 30:61-5.

Nordahl CW, Scholz R, Yang X, Buonocore MH, Simon T, Rogers S, Amaral DG (2012) Increased rate of amygdala growth in children aged 2 to 4 years with autism spectrum disorders: a longitudinal study. Archives of General Psychiatry 69:53-61.

Nordahl CW, Lange N, Li DD, Barnett LA, Lee A, Buonocore MH, Simon TJ, Rogers S, Ozonoff S, Amaral DG (2011) Brain enlargement is associated with regression in preschool-age boys with autism spectrum disorders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108:20195-20200.