Work in Dr. Grace Iarocci’s lab focuses mainly on two streams of basic research: 1) understanding the development of selective attention (i.e. search, orienting, filtering, priming) in humans and how it is implicated in object and social perception, and 2) understanding atypical development (e.g. autism spectrum disorder-ASD) where there are documented attentional/perceptual processing atypicalities that interfere with certain social aspects of perception (e.g. face recognition) yet facilitate other visual-spatial aspects. She is also interested in social competence and the link to mental health and family well-being.
Iarocci’s team recently developed a research and clinical measurement tool of social competence, the Multidimensional Social Competence Scale (MSCS). The MSCS is capable of capturing heterogeneity in social competence within the autism spectrum and facilitating the identification of distinct profiles of social competence in sub-typing analyses. Such profiles of social competence may prove useful in behavioural genetics research, in which a well-specified behavioural phenotype or endophenotype is a more useful way of grouping participants than a clinical diagnosis.
Rombough, A., & Iarocci, G. (2012). The Relation between Orienting to Gaze and the Social Use of Gaze in Children with Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Birmingham, E., Meixner, T., Iarocci, G., Kanan, C., Smilek, D., & Tanaka, J. (2012). The Moving Window Technique: A Window Into Developmental Changes in Attention During Facial Emotion Recognition, Child Development
Iarocci, G., Enns, J. T., Randollph, B., & Burack, J. A. (2009). The modulation of visual orienting reflexes across the lifespan. Developmental Science, 12, 715-724
What gene-environment interactions can tell us about social competence in typical and atypical populations. Brain and Cognition 65:112-127.
Iarocci, G., Burack, J. A. , Shore, D. I., Mottron, L., & Enns, J. T. (2006). Global-local visual processing in high functioning children with autism: structural versus implicit task biases. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 117-129