Katarzyna Chawarska, PhD

Associate Professor in the Child Study Center and of Pediatrics (General Pediatrics); Director, Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic

Research Interests

Mental Disorders; Human Development

Research Organizations

Child Study Center: NIMH Research Training Program in Childhood-onset Neuropsychiatric Disorders | TIL | YESCog

Program in Neurodevelopment and Regeneration

Research Summary

My research interests focus primarily on two lines of inquiry: research leading to a better understanding of the early phenotypic expression of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and examining mechanisms that underlie gaze and face processing abnormalities observed in infants and toddlers with ASD. My clinical research has been centered on examining the stability of early diagnosis of ASD, variability of the early syndrome expression as related to outcome, as well as determining when and in which areas the developmental trajectories of infants with ASD begin to diverge from those without social disability. Towards this end I have been following prospectively the development of infants who are either at risk for development of ASD or who are showing early signs of the disorder and tracking their development of verbal, nonverbal and social-cognitive skills. Experimental work in my lab is focused on studying visual processing in young children with ASD using eye-tracking technology.

Extensive Research Description

My research interests focus primarily on two lines of inquiry:

  1. research leading to a better understanding of the early phenotypic expression of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and
  2. examining mechanisms that underlie gaze and face processing abnormalities observed in infants and toddlers with ASD.
My clinical research has been centered on examining the stability of early diagnosis of ASD, variability of the early syndrome expression as related to outcome, as well as determining when and in which areas the developmental trajectories of infants with ASD begin to diverge from those without social disability. Towards this end I have been following prospectively the development of infants who are either at risk for development of ASD or who are showing early signs of the disorder and tracking their development of verbal, nonverbal and social-cognitive skills. Experimental work in my lab is focused on studying visual processing in young children with ASD using eye-tracking technology.We are currently conducting studies on face scanning and recognition, attentional aspects of face processing, as well as perception of direct gaze and gaze-related intentional action in the first three year of life. Determining which components of gaze and face processing are impaired and which are preserved in infants and toddlers with ASD will help advance our appreciation of mechanisms underlying social abnormalities in the early stages of the disorder. This evolving understanding of the condition will be consequential for designing early screening and intervention methods.

Selected Publications

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Contact Info

Katarzyna Chawarska, PhD
Patient Care Location
Yale Child Study CenterTemple Medical Center
40 Temple Street, Ste Suite 71

New Haven, CT 06510
Office Location
Child Study CenterTemple Medical Center
40 Temple Street, Ste Suite 7I

New Haven, CT 06510
Mailing Address
Yale Child Study CenterPO Box 207900
230 South Frontage Road

New Haven, CT 06520-7900

Yale Early Social Cognition Lab