Connecting the dots between motor, social and communication ...
NEWS | February 20, 2014

Connecting the dots between motor, social and communication skills in autism


Stewart H. Mostofsky, director of the Laboratory for Neurocognitive and Imaging Research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University, will discuss “Motor and Social Skill Function: Connecting Learning and Brain Function in Autism” during the March UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation.

UC Davis MIND Institute UC Davis MIND Institute

The lecture will be held on Wednesday, March 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the MIND Institute auditorium, 2825 50th St. in Sacramento. The event is free and open to the public and no reservations are required.

Motofsky’s presentation will focus on  the anomalous patterns of motor learning exhibited by children with autism, and the correlation of these patterns with measures of their social and communication delays. These findings suggest that motor and social and communicative functioning may be related and contribute to the overall impaired development in these children. He will present findings on this paradigm, including convergent data from neuroimaging studies of children with autism that reveal abnormalities in connectivity between brain regions involved in visual and motor functioning.

Motofsky also is medical director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. His research integrates neurological and behavioral assessments of motor and cognitive functioning, anatomical and functional neuroimaging, and electrophysiologic/brain stimulation approaches. His efforts are focused on identifying patterns of dysfunctional sensorimotor processing in autism and ADHD, and on the subsequent use of these findings to both understand the brain basis of these disorders and identify novel approaches to therapy.

The UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, Calif., was founded in 1998 as a unique interdisciplinary research center where families, community leaders, researchers, clinicians and volunteers work together toward a common goal: researching causes, treatments and eventual preventions and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders. The institute has major research efforts in autism, fragile X syndrome, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Down syndrome. More information about the institute and its Distinguished Lecturer Series, including previous presentations in this series, is available on the Web at