children playing with ipad

Laboratory for Innovation in AutismAbout us

Our goal is to characterize the motor disruption in autism spectrum disorder to better understand the role of movement child development and in neurodevelopmental disorder. We do so by combining innovative engineering of new wearable tech with smart games assessments for early, accessible instruments that measure children’s psycho-motor patterns in fun and playful ways. These new tech innovations are a significant and proven step-change for research, and may provide powerful new tools of assessment in the clinic, or the classroom. 

We bring together the disciplines of psychology, education, biomedical engineering, electronic and electrical engineering, and neuropsychiatry to come together for a common purpose. Our research themes include: 

  • Aetiology and ecological assessment of autism & neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Smart tech innovation for a step change in research and clinical practice
  • Movement as an early bio-marker for autism
  • Brainstem basis of motor disruptions in autism

Motor disruption is a fundamental part of autism, yet it has been under-studied and is not recognized in the diagnostic criteria. Yet, it offers a new target for intervention and therapy.

We work with industry partner Harimata, health partners in NHS Scotland and closely with the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, as well as with colleagues at the University of Pisa and at Southern California University. We are currently funded with through an EU H2020 SMEI award to Harimata for a multi-site diagnostic trial, through the EPSRC for wearable tech development, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland for serious game paradigm development, the ESRC for scholarship into movement in autism, and from generous philanthropic support through the Hawthorne Fellowship in Autism Innovation.