Dr. Sarah Paterson
Sarah Paterson is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and a Research Collaborator at the Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology in 2000, under the supervision of Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith at the institute of Child Health, University College London, where she studied language and number understanding in infants and adults with Williams syndrome and with Down syndrome. Her dissertation work was published in Science, and won the Butterworth Dissertation Award from the International Society on Infant Studies.
Her research interests are in developmental cognitive neuroscience and in particular in the developmental trajectories of cognition, language, and the brain in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Autism. In postdoctoral work at Yale and Rutgers, she developed methods for MRI scanning naturally sleeping typically infants and those at risk for Autism. Most recently, as research faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, she was a principal investigator of an NIH Autism Centers of Excellence Grant, the Infant Brain Imaging Study. This is a multisite study of brain and cognitive development of brain and cognitive development in infants at high risk for Autism. She is currently investigating early language and temperament in these infants, and how it relates to brain development, and is the co-principal investigator on a study examining the role of theatre skills in the development of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.