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Supporting Research for Unyte-iLs Programs

Download an overview of all research & supporting data here. 

Research studies on the
Focus System

Research studies on the
Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

Research studies on the Focus System

A Pilot Study of Integrated Listening Systems for Children with Sensory Processing Problems

Sarah A. Schoen, PhD, OTR, Lucy J. Miller, PhD, OTR, and Jillian Sullivan, PhD
Journal of Occupational Therapy: Schools and Early Intervention, 8: 1-21 2015
Summary: This study explores the effects of iLs on individualized parent goals for children with sensory processing impairments.  The 40-session iLs program was implemented at home and in clinic over a 3-month period. Important and clinically meaningful gains were achieved by all participants in both home and educationally-related goals.  Individualized goal achievement was supported by gains in standardized measures of behavior and adaptive functioning. Changes in physiological arousal (measured by EDA – electrodermal activity) suggest the iLs program is impacting underlying regulation mechanisms that may be contributing to the observed behavioral changes.  Behavioral changes included increased relaxation, fewer meltdowns and a generally calmer disposition for participants whose arousal decreased.

K-2 Literacy Study

J. Anne Calhoon, Ph. D. Educational Psychology, University of New Mexico
Summary: A controlled study involving 64 K-2 at-risk students was conducted by U of New Mexico researcher Anne Calhoon, Ph.D. Students participated in the Alpha Program,* a program combining iLs with art therapy. The average improvement in reading over the 3-month intervention was 2 years.  “Taken as a whole, this analysis indicates that the students in the experimental group have improved in all categories associated with reading. This improved achievement is significantly greater (more meaningful) than the improvements of the control group peers. Overall the picture presented of the students in ALPHA is one that shows immense growth in cognitive, academic, and psychological areas.”

An Investigation to Evaluate the Benefits of the Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) in Primary/Early Elementary Classrooms (K-3): The Case of Valley View Academy in Northern California

Jeannie Dubitsky, Ed. D., University of California, Davis, 2014
Summary: Ten students were measured over an academic year of using iLs while at school. Students showed improvement in all areas evaluated – physical, academic, social and emotional development – after experiencing the iLs program.

Auditory Processing Disorder data from Therapeeds Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Julia Harper, PhD, OTR/L and Aimee Levine Weiner, Aud; published in Advance OT Magazine
Summary: Therapeeds, a private clinic in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, gathered data on 29 children diagnosed with APD (auditory processing disorder) who completed the Therapeeds’ H.O.P.E. sensory motor program combined with iLs. Among the pre- and post-program results are the following:

  • Vestibular function: Pre-testing indicated 0 of the 29 children had intact vestibular processing skills measured by the PrN and functional skills. Post-testing showed all 29 in normal range.
  • Auditory Processing Skills: Post-intervention, 22 of the 29 children had auditory processing skills that were completely within normal limits in every area.
  • Medications: Seven of 29 children began this therapy on medication for attention-related concerns. By the end of the program, the medications for all 7 had all been discontinued.
  • ABR Binaural Summation: Pre-intervention ABR tests showed all 29 children had little difference between listening with one ear and listening with both ears (binaural summation). Post-intervention, all 29 tested in the normal range.

School Pilot Study

Denver Area Schools
Summary: A variety of normed, standardized tests were used to assess 20 children with learning difficulties before and after iLs programs. The report includes each child’s pre- and post-program test scores as well as teacher and parent comments. Teachers involved in the program reported “significant improvement” in 19 of the 20 children. The criteria for “significant improvement” include at least one of the following: being transitioned from special education to regular education, having an IEP removed or overcoming a substantial behavioral challenge.
Description: Data on the efficacy of iLs in school programs.

iLs Home Program Autism Study

Theresa May Benson, PhD, OTR/L
Summary: This study on the effect of the iLs home program on 18 children diagnosed with autism was conducted by Dr. Teresa May Benson of The Spiral Foundation, a non-profit research organization. The purpose of the multi‐site intervention study was to examine the effectiveness of the iLs Focus home program with 18 children, ages 4 to 8, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Results found significant gains across multiple subjective and objective outcome measures in the following areas: social skills, emotional regulation, number and severity of autistic behaviors, and overall functional adaptive behavior skills.

Survey of iLs Professionals

Spiral Foundation, Boston, MA
Summary: Survey reviewing therapists’ experience using iLs with over 1300 children on the autism spectrum. The survey asked the question: In what areas is iLs effective? Results are in 24 outcome categories.

Cochlear Implant Study

Ann Brownstone, MS, OTR/L, SWC, Jennifer Aguilar, MS, CCC-SLP, Lisa Marcacci, MS, Aud.
Summary: This study was conducted at the Jean Weingarten Peninsula Oral School for the Deaf, Redwood City, CA by Ann Brownstone, MS, OTR/L, SWC, Jennifer Aguilar, MS, CCC-SLP, and Lisa Marcacci, MS, Aud.  It examines the application of iLs with children wearing cochlear implants and also provides a general reference guide for using iLs in conjunction with cochlear implants and other hearing devices.

Research studies on the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia And Auditory Processing In Autism: Modifiable Deficits Of An Integrated Social Engagement System?

Stephen W. Porges, Matthew Macallaio, Shannon D. Stanfill, Kimberly McCue, Gregory F. Lewis, Emily R. Harden, Mika Handelman, John Denver, Olga V. Bazhenova, and Keri J. Heilman 
International Journal of Psychophysiology, 2013 Jun; 88(3): 261-270
In this peer-reviewed study, higher functioning individuals with ASD were tested using an early version of the SSP.  The study showed that auditory processing and state regulation improved following the intervention.

Reducing Hypersensitivities In Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Preliminary Findings Evaluating The Listening Project Protocol (A Precursor To The Safe And Sound Protocol)

Stephen W. Porges, Olga V. Bazhenova, Elgiz Bal, Nancy Carlson, Yevgeniya Sorokin, Keri J. Heilman, Edwin H. Cook, and Gregory F. Lewis
Frontiers in Pediatrics, 2014; 2:80
In a second peer-reviewed study, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who used an early version of the SSP experienced significant improvements in emotional organization, listening, spontaneous speech and hearing sensitivities.

The Listening Project: Tuning Into Change

Stephen W. Porges, PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Summary: A research project funded by the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF) will be conducted in Australian facilities of the ACF to evaluate the effectiveness of the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) in children with a trauma history. The SSP is designed as a “neural exercise” to reduce auditory hypersensitivities, to improve auditory processing of speech, and to improve behavioral state regulation. The SSP uses acoustic stimulation to exercise the neural regulation of the middle ear structures to rehabilitate and to normalize the acoustic transfer function of the middle ear structures. The current study is being conducted to evaluate efficacy and feasibility of the SSP and will use objective measures to evaluate changes in acoustic transfer function of the middle ears structures, auditory processing skills, physiological state regulation, and sensory symptoms.

The Listening Project at the ADD Centre and Biofeedback Institute of Toronto

Stephen W. Porges, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Summary: A research project will be conducted at the ADD (“Attention Deficit Disorder”) Centre and Biofeedback Institute of Toronto to evaluate the feasibility of the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) intervention in individuals with difficulties with autonomic and/or behavioral regulation. The SSP is designed as a “neural exercise” to reduce auditory hypersensitivities, to improve auditory processing of speech, and to improve behavioral state regulation. These improvements should translate into increase feelings of safety and calmness, thereby promoting improvement in social behavior.

Home-based SSP on Individuals With PWS

Stephen W. Porges, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Summary: To assess the effects of the SSP on improvement of social and regulation behaviors in individuals with Prader Willi Syndrome. In addition, a new methodology for collecting and evaluating vocal samples for analyses of prosody will be assessed.

Optimizing the Social Engagement System in Prader-Willi Syndrome: Insights From the Polyvagal Theory

Stephen W. Porges, Indiana University and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Summary: To demonstrate that children with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) have atypical regulation of the Social Engagement System (SES). We hypothesize these effects will be manifested by dampened vagal regulation of the heart (low parasympathetic tone); poor middle ear muscle regulation resulting in auditory hypersensitivities and poor auditory processing; lack of voice intonation (prosody), and difficulties in accurately detecting the emotions of others.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) in decreasing the atypical features of the SES in adolescents with PWS. We hypothesize that individuals who complete the SSP will have improved vagal regulation of the heart, improved middle ear muscle regulation, increased voice intonation and improved ability to accurately detect the emotions of others.

Examining the Effects of Processed Music on Chronic Pain

Stephen W. Porges, Indiana University and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Summary: To examine whether the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP), a non-invasive audio intervention, can be effective for reducing chronic pain in a sample of older adults and whether increased regulation via the autonomic nervous system accounts for the decrease in pain if the intervention is successful.

The Effect of the SSP on the Regulation of Hypersensitivity in ASD

Sonja Heinrich (autismus-dialog), Michel Ackermann (Berliner Institut für Familientherapie), Prof.Hristo Kyuchukov (Univ.of Silesia Katowice), Prof.William New (Beloit College)

Summary: This is the first study to assess the effects of the SSP on visual, tactile, digestive, and selective eating domains as well as the first ASD-specific study of the SSP in Germany.

Research studies on the Dreampad

columbiaComparative Effectiveness of Three Occupational Therapy Sleep Interventions: A Randomized Controlled Study

Sharon A. Gutman, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, Associate Professor, Columbia University Medical Center

Summary: Conducted by Dr. Sharon Gutman at Columbia University Medical Center, this randomized, controlled study of 29 adults with light sleep difficulties compared three non-pharmacological sleep interventions: the Dreampad™ pillow with Intrasound Technology, an audio breathing program called iRest™, and sleep hygiene (sleep improvement behavior such as reducing food, alcohol and screen time before bed). The most statistically significant results of the study were the reduction in night time awakenings experienced by Dreampad users. Waking during the night is the number one symptom reported by those with stress related sleep problems as well as the number one problem reported by the study participants.

A Sleep Intervention for Children with Autism

Sarah Schoen, PhD, OTR, Assistant Research Director, SPD Foundation
Summary: The aim of this study was to examine the immediate, short-term effects of the Dreampad on the sleep behaviors of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In addition, this study examined the effects of changes in sleep patterns on parent and family measures of stress and quality of life.
“Improvements were noted in sleep initiation, duration of sleep, reduction in night waking and improved daytime behavior. All 15 children showed a decrease in sleep problems as noted in response to the sleep diary or the CSHQ. Similarly all 15 families had improved scores on the Pediatric Quality of Life Questionnaire, some of which persisted beyond the time they were actively using the Dreampad. Changes were most notable in emotional, social and school functioning. All of the parents reported a positive reaction to using the Dreampad and were interested in continuing its use. Many said their children were going to bed/sleep more quickly, sleeping more soundly, waking up more easily and generally seemed more relaxed.”

Preliminary Study: The Effect of the Dreampad on Children with ADHD and Sleep- Related Difficulties

The Hallowell Center, New York, NY
Summary: Therapists at the Hallowell Center in New York City conducted a pilot study on the effect of the Dreampad on 8 children diagnosed with ADHD. Measures included The Child’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) and a sleep diary. The most notable changes were in sleep behavior: waking during the night and morning wake-up. All but one child no longer showed any problems waking during the night. All but two children showed improvement in sleep behavior and morning wake-up.

Dreampad Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Study

Kelly L. Olson, Ph.D., Director, Clinical Research and Development, SleepImage
Summary: This study measures the effect of the Dreampad on relaxation using heart rate variability (HRV); HRV is widely considered the most authoritative reference for the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which governs our relaxation response.

Measuring the Effect of the iLs Dreampad with Ten Veterans Diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Jan C. Nelson, OTR, MA
“This pilot project was designed as a first step in determining the efficacy of the Integrated Listening Systems’ (iLs) Dreampad™ in influencing pain reduction and sleep behavior in military veterans diagnosed with PTSD.  Subjects did not see outcomes in the area of pain reduction; however, significant results were seen with falling asleep, staying asleep and reducing nightmares and symptoms associated with PTSD.”

Case Studies
Blogs & Articles
  • All
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Auditory Processing
  • Autism
  • Brain Injury
  • Cognitive Decline
  • Depression
  • Developmental Delays
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Focus System
  • Insomnia
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Memory
  • Motor Skills
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Polyvagal Theory
  • PTSD
  • Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)
  • Sensory Processing
  • Speech
  • Stress
  • Stroke
  • Trauma

Newly updated Foundational SSP Training and Certification is coming — what to expect

We’re excited to announce the upcoming launch of our newly updated Foundational Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) Training course! All providers, whether experienced in SSP delivery or just starting their […]

5-minute meditation to embrace stillness and mindfulness

Meditation doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Take a pause and practice this quick, five-minute meditation to help you embrace stillness and find a few moments of mindfulness in your busy […]

The Informed Simplicity Project: Polyvagal Theory and the Pyramid of Learning

Access this free, on-demand podcast offered by Dr. Jordan Harris, LMFT-s, LPC-s, and Dr. Julia Conroy, LPC, from the Informed Simplicity Project. This conversation features Unyte’s Kelly Beins, OTR/L, and […]

3 reasons you need to attend the premier Polyvagal event of the year, hosted by Dr. Stephen Porges

Unyte is teaming up with the Polyvagal Institute to present a historic, side-by-side event that brings together the world’s most innovative thinkers and leaders in Polyvagal Theory. Here are the top 3 reasons to attend the premier Polyvagal event of the year!

3 self-care tips to implement into your busy workday — and how to stick to them

In an article published in the International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, mental health professionals were encouraged to take care of themselves, as “stress, burnout, and professional impairment are […]

3 ways to stimulate your vagus nerve

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) influences many important functions in our body, such as the heart, respiration rate and digestion, and constantly sends signals to our body so we’re ready […]

6 reminders for parents of kids who are struggling

“As parents become more aware and emotionally healthy, their children reap the rewards and move towards health as well. That means that integrating and cultivating your own brain is one […]

Introducing the new Unyte Insight

We’ve updated our newsletter with a fresh, new look! Redesigned to enhance your reading experience, Unyte Insight is now mobile-friendly and will feature more original content, plus content created in […]

Looking at chronic pain through the lens of Polyvagal Theory

Studies show that chronic pain may not always stem from structural or tissue damage, but instead may persist because the nervous system is stuck in physio-psychological states of survival. But […]

How the provider community is supporting refugees in Ukraine humanitarian crisis

War is a collective traumatic experience. Based on the latest reports from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 4 million people have fled their homes in […]

5 tips to stay calm under pressure

During stressful situations, it can be common for us to lash out only to regret what we said or did after time has passed. It might feel like how you […]

What Polyvagal Theory might tell us about COVID-19

Emerging evidence suggests that COVID-19 is a complex and systemic disease that affects our immune and inflammatory functions, although we still have much to learn about its long-term effects. Dr. […]

Considering the Impact of Medication on SSP Delivery to Pediatric Clients: An OT’s Experience

This article is not intended to be medical advice or to replace the advice of a trained and licensed medical provider.  As a pediatric occupational therapist, I work with children […]

8 ways providers can practice self-care this holiday season

Find time for yourself and follow these simple tips and Polyvagal Theory-based exercises to stay regulated. The busy holiday season can often unpack an added layer of challenges for your […]

The Impact Of Authenticity On Your Mental, Emotional and Physical Health

Do you ever feel like you’re doing all the “right” things in life and on paper your life is pretty good, but inside you feel this nagging feeling of void […]

Transitions for School

By: Cindy Dawkins, OTR/L Anticipatory anxiety: Learn about the teacher and try to meet her before school starts. Write a letter to the teacher about yourself.   Shop for school supplies […]

An Afternoon with Dr. Stephen Porges – Q&A Part 1

Read the Q&A from our event An Afternoon with Dr. Stephen Porges, held in May 2021.  As a pharmacist, I am particularly curious about any interactions – or synergies – […]

How mindfulness can help alleviate stress and improve mental health

The American Psychological Association states that a greater number of Americans are reporting extreme levels of stress. As researchers continue to understand the ability for stress to precipitate mental and […]

Why the Focus System is Ideal for Educational Settings

Neuroplasticity, brain development and tools that support academic success. By Tim Bush, Unyte-iLs Programs Consultant, COTA/L For many teachers, counselors, and educators, supporting children in the school system isn’t just […]

All About the Brain: 10 Facts You Might Not Know

The brain is a fascinating organ. Just think about it, every minute of everyday your brain is working for you, connecting with every part of your body through a system of synapses and messengers to make sure you breathe, walk, talk, eat, sleep and do all the things you tend to do in a day.

Get to Know the Unyte-iLs Team: Meet Home Coach Cindy Dawkins

Having Home Coach Cindy Dawkins as part of the Unyte-iLs team is nothing short of a gift. Not only does Cindy have a wealth of experience having worked in both […]

Get to Know the Unyte-iLs Team: Meet Home Coach Kelly Beins

Home Coach Kelly Beins has a long history with Unyte-iLs as an avid user and champion of our home programs. A healthcare professional with 26 years of experience, Kelly first […]

Get to Know the Unyte-iLs Team: Meet Home Coach Sharon Cacciato

Meet Unyte-iLs Home Coach Sharon Cacciato.

Get to Know the Unyte-iLs Team: Meet Tim Bush

Our team of Program Consultants (PCs) collectively shares a genuine drive to help others. One person who truly exemplifies this is PC Tim Bush. A Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant (COTA), […]

Get to Know the Unyte-iLs Team: Meet Lucas Morissette

For Lucas Morissette, supporting the Unyte-iLs client base comes easily due to his calm, thoughtful demeanor and excellent communication skills.

Get to Know the Unyte-iLs Team: Meet Leah Dawang

Get to know Unyte-iLs Program Consultant Leah Dawang!

Hidden stressors over the holidays

3 hidden stressors that cause explosions over the holidays Although the idea of the holidays and “vacation time” can feel so exciting and relaxing, it often becomes the opposite experience, […]

Delivering True Happiness – From the Inside

By Jason Tafler, Founder & CEO of Unyte In case you haven’t seen this, I wanted to share this tragic story from Forbes about Tony Hsieh’s mental health struggles and recent passing. […]

Positive thinking starts with the body

By Afshan Tafler Have you ever been told to “look on the bright side” or to “just think positive and things will be ok”? Or perhaps you have tried positive […]

Generosity, Gratitude, and Immunity

How should we like it were stars to burnWith a passion for us we could not return?If equal affection cannot be,Let the more loving one be me. – W. H. […]

The biggest influence on child development

By Afshan Tafler As I sat on the couch with my son, trying to get him to do his homework, with him resisting it as usual, I felt a wave […]

How Meditation Helps You Access The Realm Of Infinite Possibilities

What do you feel when you read the words “Infinite Possibilities”? I don’t know about you, but my whole body starts to tingle with energy buzzing through me. It feels like I’ve […]

Why A Child’s Behavior Is Not What You Think It Is

We’ve all seen it or experienced it:  a child having a meltdown at a store, yelling, kicking, crying and screaming at his mother.  As parents, we cringe, worrying what other […]

The COVID Pandemic Is Solvable Now, Says Physician Workgroup Headed by David Hanscom, M.D.

Seeking to bring greater attention to a paper published in a special COVID edition of SciMedicine Journal, the workgroup wishes to facilitate a nationwide systematic approach to eliminating the cytokine […]

YOU are the expert! Making plans for back-to-school

Written by Sue Simmons, Founder, Equinox Family Consulting Ltd. Who could have predicted that the count-down to September would feel the way it does for parents right now? Wherever you […]

Meet Our Coaches: Sharon Cacciato, MA

Sharon is an Educational Therapist and Counselor who has been working with Unyte-iLs for 9 years – 2.5 as a Program Consultant/Clinical Supervisor in the Denver home office and using […]

Meet our Coaches: Cindy Dawkins

Professional Title/Acronym:  Occupational Therapist, OTR/L How many years working with Unyte-iLs? 12 years How many years working within your field? 43 years (yikes) In the midst of discovering new therapeutic […]

The COVID-19 Pandemic is a Paradoxical Challenge to Our Nervous System: A Polyvagal Perspective

The spread of the SARSCov2 virus presents an unprecedented event that rapidly introduced widespread life threat, economic de-stabilization, and social isolation. The human nervous system is tuned to detect safety […]

If There Was Ever a Time to Activate Your Vagus Nerve, It Is Now

Four simple steps to return to a ‘rest and digest’ state If you experience a racing heartbeat or tightness in your chest when you read a news story about the […]

Volunteer to help people support each during the COVID-19 crisis

With the pandemic, people have to avoid unnecessary contact. Social distancing dramatically affects people’s ability to find comfort in connection. We cannot directly give emotional support to all who need […]

The Biology Of Bedside Manner: Why Warmth Is Incompatible With Stress

In times of sickness and suffering, people look to their doctors and nurses for comfort. Yet, under the extreme stresses of the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare workers may be unable to […]

6 psychologist-approved hacks for calming your nervous system, and mind

If you’re suffering from corona-anxiety, you’re not alone.  These six practical and expert tricks will help you combat your panic.  If you’re feeling more anxious than usual these days due to COVID-19, you are […]

COVID-19 Anxiety, Cultivating Safeness, and Polyvagal Theory with Dr. Stephen Porges

Stress and anxiety levels are high right now due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Dr. Stephen Porges talks to Psychologists Off the Clock and offers a model of […]

Dr. Stephen Porges: Why Active Listening can help people support each other

Social distancing dramatically affects people’s ability to find comfort in connection. Active Listening is a simple tool people can use to support each other. From the Relational Implicit Podcast. Watch […]

Dr. Stephen Porges: Why (and how to) connect with people to overcome social distancing

During these difficult times, you can help other people, and help yourself, by reaching out. Make the connection richer if you share with your friends the practice of Active Listening. Dr. […]

From Devastation to Hope (Why I do what I do now)

By Sue SimmonsFounder, Equinox Family Consulting Ltd. My name is Sue Simmons. Some who know me call me Sue-Nami, which is relevant to the subject of this article; the stress […]

My First Hug From Dad

In the midst of COVID-19, Teresa Hommel joined thousands of people online at the 31st Annual International Trauma Conference. Four years of attending the conferences in person had brought meaningful […]

Befriending your nervous system during the pandemic

We are so pleased to be able to share a recorded version of a conversation Deb Dana had recently with Liam O Mahony, Accredited Psychotherapist and Addiction Counsellor and Co-Founder […]

3 shifts that make parenting your strong-willed child easier

“NO!” is the word you often hear from your strong-willed child. Often accompanied by tantrums, meltdowns and even physical aggression, these children just won’t let go until they get what they […]

7 Ways To Feel Safe In Times Of Intense Fear

Written by Afshan Tafler “I wonder when this is going to end?” is the question I find myself asking everyday. I immediately go online to search the latest data on […]

Learning the Segan Model at the Mosaic of Healing Workshop

Written by Emily Beaudoin & Marcelo Sena On January 21st 2020, we attended Ana do Valle’s Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, titled The Mosaic of Healing: a Portal Into Transformation.  The […]

Stephen Porges on the Link Between Feeling Safe and Making Change

Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory has done more to improve our ability to heal and grow and thrive as a civilization than any other scientific breakthrough of the past 50 years. Its advances […]

A Polyvagal Library

Whether you’re using the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) in your practice or not, an understanding of Dr. Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory (PVT) offers a new lens to understand your [...]

STAR Institute Opportunities in May 2019

View these opportunities for training and mentorship in small group settings with the STAR Institute faculty. Some opportunities include in-depth training with Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, Dr. Sarah Schoen, and […]

Stroke and Head Injury Resources

Stroke Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness — […]

Brain MythBusting: Concussion Recovery

After a concussion, is rest the best? Cocoon therapy has been a widespread recommendation for concussion recovery by clinicians hoping to help patients avoid the risk of a second mild […]

Through My Eyes – A Profile of Joanne Holmes, OTR, MS (Psych), BCN, PhD Candidate

I’ve known Joanne Holmes for many years now. An iLs user, she eventually became a trainer, traveling the country, sharing her knowledge with people new to our family of tools. […]

Neurobites: Your master biological clock

Some of us are early birds and some are night owls. Which we are seems to be genetically driven. Whether you’re prone to wake up early or stay up late, […]

Aging with Autism

What is being  done to provide adults on the spectrum with effective, efficient and respectful solutions to participate meaningfully in society?   Here we highlight some of the excellent programs […]

Balance and Aging

by Ron B. Minson, MD Let’s take a new perspective on having ‘balance’ in our lives. Yes, it is important to have balance in our lives. On an individual level, it […]

Welcome to the new year and a fresh start

Welcome to the new year and a fresh start. Following are steps to take to transform your practice and improve client results with iLs this year. "The beginning is the [...]

2018 Year-end Read/Watch/Listen List

Each summer and winter, we curate a semi-annual Read/Watch/Listen List. It contains books, articles, videos, podcasts, and other good things you may want to check out over the holidays.  We […]

Through My Eyes – Ron B. Minson, MD, Unyte-iLs Clinical Director

Written By Dr. Ron B. Minson “In the time I have been an eye-witness to Dr. Minson’s trajectory in the field of psychoacoustics, the branch of psychology concerned with sound […]

A 5-Minute History of Music Therapy

Music. It’s one of the oldest tools known to medicine. It profoundly affects our cognitive, physical, emotional, and social experiences. That’s probably why there’s such a rich history of using [...]

iLs Research Update

Our goal at iLs is to help people reach their full potential by providing tools to improve brain and nervous system function. To meet this goal, we are always engaged [...]

Tips for Sleeping Well Despite the Time Change This Weekend

We all need different amounts of sleep, but generally speaking the ranges below are what we, and our children, should try to achieve on a regular basis: Toddlers ( 1-3 […]

What’s the best way to guarantee therapeutic success?

Repetition is important for therapeutic success! Lasting change in the brain and nervous system results from consistent and persistent practice over time. It’s the basis for neuroplasticity. What is Neuroplasticity? […]

Friends of iLs

We’d like to introduce you to three therapists whose work we admire and who teach what they’ve learned around the world. A common thread weaves among the three of them: […]

Neurobites: How to answer “How are you?”

Most of our feelings – both physical and emotional – have their origin in the body. That is, the state of our body and its functions drive the state of […]

Back to School: Do This! Avoid That!

Despite research describing new and effective study techniques, students are either unaware of them, or prefer to stick to their tried-and-true homework habits. Many of these classic techniques can be […]

Through My Eyes: Ana do Valle, OTR, SEP

An introduction to Ana do Valle I was fortunate enough to meet Ana shortly after she discovered iLs. Over the years, and more so recently, my colleague, Karen Onderko, and […]

What is Trauma?

The longer we live, the more inevitable it is that we will experience trauma. Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability [...]


Periodically, we share what we’re reading, watching and listening to.  This is our Summer 2018 list: 1. Australian Childhood Foundation Conference talk (50 minutes): The Neurobiology of Safety – New […]

Neurobites: The Vestibular Sense

The following statements describe one of our senses. It involves two primary receptor organs and relies on information from other senses. Because this sense operates automatically and unconsciously, we’re relatively […]

Brain MythBusting: Polygraph Tests Detect Lies

Lying is far more common than we’d like to believe and it’s very difficult to know when someone is telling a lie. So it would be useful if a polygraph […]

Smile: It’s healthy!

We shall never know all the good a simple smile can do. - Mother Teresa Four fun facts that will make you smile: There are genuine smiles and fake smiles. [...]

The Joy of Movement

Our Clinical Director, Dr. Ron Minson, has decades of experience working with adults and children with processing delays, attention and learning differences, as well as brain dysfunction … and more […]

Brain MythBusting: Memory is like a tape recorder

We all presume our own memory is infallible and that we’ve “recorded” an event accurately. But is the idea of memory as a reliable record of an event real or [...]

How much difference can a year make?

Hundreds of therapists have subscribed and thousands of end users have experienced the five-day SSP listening intervention. From books to clients and therapist stories to SSP updates, thank you for […]

How are you keeping your brain healthy?

For older adults, cognitive decline may seem inevitable. How can adults keep their minds sharp as they age? Exercise There are many studies that suggest that physical exercise plays an important […]

Sowing the seeds of growth

An iLs Summer Program takes advantage of the extra time available to students over the summer break when there are fewer obligations and distractions.  Whether a refresher program for someone […]

Myth: Specific brain areas are responsible for particular brain functions

BUSTED! You should be suspicious of claims that a certain brain area is the epicenter of any given brain function. And you should try to avoid making these claims as […]

Neurobites: Detection of Threat and Safety

What is the process through which the nervous system evaluates risk outside of your conscious awareness? a. Interoception b. Neuroception c. Sympathetic nervous system d. Parasympathetic nervous system If you […]

The Dr. is In: Concussion

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and it’s a good time to understand more about the most common brain injury: concussion.  Also known as a mild traumatic brain injury, a […]

iLs Around the World

iLs has trained more than 9,000 Associates across the globe, many of whom have been up to some interesting things! Here’s a quick look at some of what’s been happening. [...]

In the Zone: You and the Inverted U

The Yerkes-Dodson Law and the resulting Inverted U Curve of Arousal vs. Performance was created by psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson more than one hundred years ago (1908). But […]

Three Talks to Make You Appreciate You’re a Therapist

Here are three recent talks/podcasts we think underscore the importance – and benefits – of working with people in a therapeutic practice. We hope you enjoy them. This first talk […]

2017 Holiday Read/Watch/Listen List

Each year, we share some of the books, articles, websites, videos and podcasts we at iLs have found compelling. We hope they will supplement your understanding of the principles of […]

How Learning to Read Changes the Brain

We know from watching children that learning to read is difficult work requiring diligence and persistence. It is consistent and repeated effort like this that causes changes in the brain […]

Neurobites: The 8th Sense

What is the sense that provides information about internal sensations? a) The Vestibular Sense b) Sense of Proprioception c) Interoception! d) Neuroception Interoception is the sensory system that helps us […]

Wrong Thinking about being Right-Brained

Are you right-brained or left-brained? Actually we are all “whole brained”, yet we draw on unique attributes within each hemisphere depending on our personality and proclivities. In fact, there are […]

Dreampad appearance on Shark Tank

How do you get Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec and guest-Shark, Bethenny Frankel in bed? For starters, you need an interesting product…and a bed. Dreampad CEO, Randall […]

Speaking about Fear

Survival now is less dependent on outrunning a tiger and more on how we fit in with our co-workers and our broader community. So it makes sense that the exposure […]

iLs Holiday Plan for Parents

Now is the time! Take advantage of the holiday schedule and complete an iLs program. We have spoken with iLs trainers and therapists, Dillen Hartley, OT, owner of Advanced Therapy [...]

Integrating iLs into holiday festivities

The holidays can increase stress and put everyone in the family on edge. Get ahead of holiday stress with a schedule and plan to make iLs a priority in the time off [...]

The Doctor is In: ADD

iLs Clinical Director Ron Minson, MD, has been working with people with ADD for over 30 years. In this conversation, he discusses the brain differences associated with ADD and how […]

Halloween tips for kids with ASD

Many kids love Halloween and look forward to it every year. However, some traditions, such as wearing costumes and creepy sounds and lights can be too much for children with sensory […]

Neurobites: Breakthroughs in Autism Research

Neurobites Quiz Q: Recent developments in autism research indicate which of the following is linked to autism?  A breakdown in the signaling pathway used by the neurotransmitter GABA  Mutations in […]

Better access to executive and cognitive functions with the SSP

Emotional and physiological state are critical to how we approach the task at hand. So when a client has better state control, not only can they be more socially engaged, [...]

In the Zone: Conditions for Flow

The study of flow states began 150 years ago with research from William James on altered consciousness. In the 1960’s and 70’s, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi researched flow states in one of [...]

Eye movements: a “window” into the cerebellum

In a study published last week, researchers looked at the visual tracking of people with and without ASD as they followed a target on a computer screen.  Key differences were […]

Summer Break 2017 Read / Watch / Listen List

Summer break doesn’t mean you can’t continue to learn! We hope you’ll find some time to relax with family and friends and check out some of the books, podcasts, films, […]

The Dr. is In: The Importance of the Cerebellum

This month, we sat down with Dr. Ron to learn more about the importance of this often overlooked structure to understand the role it plays in how and why iLs […]

Listening begins in the womb

At what gestational age is a baby able to hear the voice of their mother in the womb? 9 weeks 18-20 weeks 24-26 weeks 40 weeks Answer: B. 18-20 weeks […]

Summertime and the learning is easy…

While Ella Fitzgerald sang that “the livin’ is easy” during summertime, holding on to knowledge from the school year apparently is not. On average, children lose up to 2 months […]

The Importance of Movement

Movement is an essential part of most iLs programs.  We integrated movement into our therapies long ago based on some well-researched factors: Neurological and behavioral effects Anthropological and evolutionary reasons […]

The Dr is In: Hope for People with Autism

What is ASD and what are the symptoms? Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurological disorder that affects development of coordination, communication and cognition.  Signs and symptoms of autism […]

Your funny bone’s connected to….your brain!

At its core, a joke or a prank is funny because it defies expectations.  That is, you predict a certain outcome and another happens instead requiring resolution by associating the […]

Neurobites: A Smile

What: Has a positive effect on happiness and physical health? Releases dopamine and serotonin and reduces cortisol? Is a nonverbal form of expression?   A Smile. “A smile costs nothing […]

Spring Break: What Happens In Vagus Doesn’t Stay in Vagus

What Happens in Vagus The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve and it carries the most bi-directional information between the brain and the body of any other nerve. It […]

The Doctor Is In: Handling Reorganization

What is reorganization? And why and when does it occur? Reorganization is a normal, temporary, phase of development where a child has come upon a challenge that, for the moment, […]

Forming Habits (don’t give up on those New Year’s resolutions yet!)

Neurobites Quiz: What part of the brain is responsible for the formation of habits? a. the hippocampus b. the basal ganglia c. the amygdala d. all of the above Answer: […]

Thanksgiving: Effects of Gratitude on Your Brain

Gratitude certainly plays an evolutionary role in strengthening connections with your community that may support or even save you in times of need. Neurologically speaking, it also boosts overall happiness […]

The Doctor Is In: Reducing the Pain of Dyslexia

iLs Clinical Director, Dr. Ron Minson discusses strategies for helping children with dyslexia. In September, we asked Dr. Minson for his perspective on Separation Anxiety and the response was so […]

Halloween: Your Amygdala and Fear

Happy Halloween! We know that your amygdala is involved in detecting and responding to risk. As is often the case in neuroscience, researchers have learned a lot about the function […]

Neurobites: Sleep and Memory

Neurobites Quiz: What aspect of sleep helps to consolidate memories and cement your learning? a. The quality and quantity of the sleep the night before the learning b. The deepest […]

Michael Breus, PhD and The Power of When

We speak with Michael Breus, PhD about sleep and his new book The Power of When. Dr. Breus discusses how to determine your own specific chronotype and specific tweaks to […]

Addressing Separation Anxiety

Unyte-iLs Clinical Director, Ron Minson, MD discusses strategies from his experience working with children dealing with Separation Anxiety Disorder. Unyte-iLs:  What is Separation Anxiety Disorder and can you give an […]

iLs Programs at Home to Address Symptoms of Mental Disorders

Multi-sensory programs to address symptoms of Autism and Learning Difficulties Parents are of course looking to help their children on the autism spectrum or who have learning difficulties. iLs is […]

General Anxiety Disorder in Children and Teens

It is universally accepted that growing up is an awkward and stressful time. Our bodies are changing, more pressure is put upon us academically, we’re fighting independence with the need […]

Sensory Motor Programs for Kids with Autism

Autism is one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the U.S. Children who are diagnosed with autism typically deal with symptoms and aspects of other conditions such as learning […]

Summer Programs for Kids with Learning Difficulties

Integrated Listening Summer Programs Teens with learning difficulties who are about to go through a transition from middle school to high school, or high school to college, can benefit greatly […]

Multi-Sensory Programs for Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have a wide range of symptoms that can affect your health and general well being. iLs has proven successful at helping victims of TBI address […]

NEUROBITES: What Actually Happens While We Sleep?

A third of our lives are spent sleeping. What actually happens while we sleep? a. Activity in the brain comes to a near halt, allowing for necessary rest and recovery […]

Sleep Therapy for Children with Difficulty Sleeping

We’ve all heard people claim to have “slept like a baby,” or something similar. Some of you may have experienced this purest form of sleep, but if you’re reading this […]

Addressing Symptoms of Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries come with a list of symptoms that can affect your health, along with your overall well-being. Thus, our multi-sensory program and specialized headphones were created to address symptoms […]

Experts Reveal New Sleep Recommendations

There can be many reasons why your child has trouble sleeping. Sleep problems can be the symptom or the cause of emotional, mental, or psychological problems, or it can simply […]

iLs Clinical Director, Ron Minson, MD

Do more than just prevent or reverse “summer slide”: elevate your potential. Clinical Director, Dr. Ron Minson discusses the many merits of a Summer Program and shares stories of students […]

Using iLs Therapy at Home for ASD Cases

A tool to help those on the autism spectrum become better at processing sensory information      While there are different therapy approaches available for ASD, including ABA, Floortime, and DRI, iLs […]

Face-to-Face Interactions and the Social Engagement System

Our friend, Dr. Stephen Porges, expressed concern about the impersonal approach to communication technology presents in our recent podcast.  He said, “With virtual [correspondence], meaning texting, it’s asynchronous. It’s not even […]

How to Incorporate iLs in Your Practice

Incorporate iLs to complement and maximize results with your clients and students! Integrated Listening Systems, or iLs, is an effective method that combines auditory stimulation with balance, movement, and visual motor […]

Addressing ADHD Symptoms from a Physiological Approach

iLs: a complementary therapy to help control and address ADHD symptoms Whether you have a kid diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or you are an adult living with it, […]

What Is iLs Therapy And How Can It Benefit My Child?

Multi-sensory program for improving brain function, interconnectivity and strength Integrated Listening Systems –or iLs– was born in 2007, after Dr. Ron Minson, Kate O’Brien Minson and Randall Redfield, realized that […]

Starting Spirals of Success

Just as beliefs affect behavior, your behavior likewise influences your feelings and thinking.  When you take action consistent with your goals, confidence and fulfillment will follow.  Take kindness: a simple […]

User Study: Dreampad Reduces Time to Fall Asleep

Parent Blogger Dreampad User Study Overview & Aggregate Results Dreampads were trialed by ten children who had sleep difficulties, and sometimes their family members. Each family has a blog; they […]

ADHD Rise Correlated to Increasing Academic Demands

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in the United States. Why is that? A study from the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine suggests […]

Neurobites: Primary Auditory Pathway for Spoken Language

NeuroBites Quiz is a series of bite-sized brain lessons for educators, therapists and parents working to improve brain function. Question What part of the brain is used to understand spoken […]

Autistic Traits and Men in STEM

Some stereotypes about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may be based in fact. A study from Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre finds that men in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers […]

Standing for One-Quarter of the Day is Linked to Reduced Obesity Risk

If it is bad to sit all day, is it good to stand instead? Recent studies have shown that sedentary behavior, like sitting at work or while commuting, is linked […]

Children with ASD Two Times More Likely To Be Overweight

A number of researchers have begun to investigate the connection between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and obesity. Last year, researcher Sarabeth Broder-Fingert and colleagues conducted the first large study to […]

Family Therapy Reduces Anxiety in Children of Parents with Anxiety

Anxiety disorder runs in families. Parents with anxiety are more likely to have children with anxiety. Researchers at University of Connecticut Health (UConn) investigated whether they could use this information […]

Researchers confirm that singing to babies has a real benefit

Singing lullabies and nursery rhymes to children is something parents have done for generations. Now, researchers confirm that singing to babies has a real benefit. A study from the University […]

Morning Aerobics Reduce ADHD Symptoms

If you want children to be calm for class, encourage them to participate in physical activities before school. Research from Michigan State University (MSU) and the University of Vermont (UT) […]

Prolonged Exposure Treatment for PTSD Proves Effective for Veterans

  In 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs adopted a policy of using evidence-based therapy to treat PTSD. One such therapy they sponsored was prolonged exposure, although at the time, […]

For the Elderly, Memory Improved by Computerized Brain-Fitness Program

There is good news for older adults looking to improve their memory and language skills. A research team out of UCLA found that older adults who regularly engaged with a […]

Music Therapy Emerges as a Treatment for All Ages

Readers of this blog likely already use music for therapeutic purposes, but it has recently reached a certain critical mass as a fully mainstream trend. Today’s news highlights several examples […]

ADHD Prevalence May Be Related To Increasing Academic Demands

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in the United States. Why is that? A study from the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine suggests […]

Women with Autism Often Receive Partial Diagnoses

Women tend to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) less often than men. Is this because less women have ASD or because the signs of ASD are not as […]

Babies Judge Adults’ Temperaments

Babies are savvier at detecting adults’ emotions than previously thought. New research from the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Science (I-LABS) finds that 15-month-old infants can make […]

People with Autism Have Shortened Life Expectancy

A new study from the Karolinksa Institute in Sweden reports some troubling news for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The researchers discovered that people with ASD are more likely […]

In-Home Interventions Close Development Gap

Children from low-income households tend to struggle the most in school. Research has shown that children with limited access to resources do not develop as quickly as their peers and […]

Age at Which Students Begin Kindergarten Affects ADHD Risk

When children start school, there is often a gap in maturity between the oldest students and the youngest in the same grade. This age difference—ranging from 1 to 11 months—may […]

Neurobites: Heart Rate Variability

Heart Rate Variability Heart rate variability (HRV) is a broad measure of overall health and fitness and a biomarker for homeostatic capacity (see below) as well as the potential for […]

Motor and Language Development Linked in Autism

What motivates a child to learn how to communicate? Some research indicates that toddlers who learn to walk earlier also learn how to communicate sooner than their peers. This connection […]

Cell Phones Linked to Anxiety for Some

Are cell phones making us depressed? Although some complain about the negative side effects of modern technology, it turns out that, for most people, using cell phones and the Internet […]

Untangling Sleep and Behavior; and a Promising Solution

University of Missouri and the Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders Study The connection between sleep difficulties at night and daytime behavior problems has been studied extensively. What’s new […]

Action Video Games May Aid Brain Injury Recovery

People who experience traumatic brain injury (TBI) have a long recovery process. They often struggle to regain abilities in carrying out everyday tasks or to return to work. These issues […]

ADHD and Vision Problems Often Co-Occur

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common disorders in the United States. Researchers are working to understand what factors make ADHD so prevalent. In a new study from […]

Sensory Loss a Problem for Older Adults

Researchers know that sensory problems come with old age. A new study from the University of Chicago finds that age-related sensory damage is more widespread than was previously realized. The […]

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Can Treat Depression

How much can a nerve running from the brain to the stomach affect how you feel? Researchers are discovering that this nerve, known as the vagus nerve, has a significant […]

What Is the Best Way for People with ADHD to Learn?

How do people learn? Lots of research specialists in laboratory environments have looked into what makes people retain information, but how this research can be applied in education, software development, […]

Auditory Processing Slow to Develop in Autism

Difficulties with language processing are common among people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While researchers are not certain what causes language delays, the problem may lie in the way autistic […]

Taking Turns in Conversation

Conversations – even seemingly simple exchanges – carry a heavy cognitive load. You have to pay attention to what the other person is saying, plan out what you will say […]

Critical Parents May Affect Kids’ ADHD Symptoms

A question about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been on the minds of researchers: why do some children lose their ADHD symptoms as they age, but not others? Researchers at Florida […]

Children with Autism Prone to Wandering

Does your child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) like to wander? Research from the Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York (CCMC) finds that wandering is common among children with […]

Important new research on Sensory Processing Disorder

In the largest imaging study thus far of children with SPD, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found the wiring of sensory processing areas in the brains of […]

Brain Connectivity a Marker of Sensory Processing Disorder

What makes some people so sensitive to the world around them? The answer may lie in the brain’s white matter— a material that acts as the brain’s wiring. Researchers from […]

Exercise Slows Decline in People with Dementia

One of the challenges for individuals with dementia is a loss of independence that leaves them increasingly reliant on care. A new study from Umeå University in Sweden finds that […]

Immersive Video Games May Improve Memory

Playing video games can be fun, but did you know they can also benefit your brain? A study from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) finds that playing games with […]

Brain Networks Linked to Inattention In ADHD

Paying attention seems like a simple concept, but the ability to focus on something actually requires a complex system of brain networks. A new study from Stanford University School of […]

Emotions Easier to Understand with Non-verbal Vocalizations

How can you tell if someone is happy? A happy person might laugh or say that they feel happy, but the brain is more quickly able to interpret one of […]

PTSD Symptoms May Be Rooted In Brain Connectivity

Understanding how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) impacts the brain is an important step to developing effective treatments for the many armed forces veterans who return from deployment with PTSD. A […]

Childhood Trauma Affects Adulthood Impulsiveness

Being able to control impulses—knowing when to act and when to hold back—is a key skill for adults. A new study from the University of Michigan (U-M) Medical School finds […]

Could attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) be a spectrum disorder?

Could attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) be a spectrum disorder? It might be, according to research from Cardiff University School of Medicine and the University of Bristol. The researchers analyzed […]

Emotions Easier to Understand without Words

How can you tell if someone is happy? A happy person might laugh or say that they feel happy, but the brain is more quickly able to interpret one of […]

Memory Abilities Predict Whether Kids Finish School

A strong working memory has many benefits. According to new research, among other benefits, working memory is linked with doing better in school. The study, from Université Sainte-Anne and Université […]

Social Ties Keep Us Healthy

Health is usually considered an individual pursuit: you eat healthy and you exercise. According to a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, being healthy is […]

Autistic Girls’ Friendships Differ from Autistic Boys’

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is more frequently diagnosed in boys than in girls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 42 boys have ASD, but only […]

Video Games Rewire the Brain

When you learn something new, your brain changes to accommodate what you learned. What happens when you learn to play video games? According to a study from the University of […]

Boys with internet video game disorder have enhanced brain connectivity

When you learn something new, your brain changes to accommodate what you learned. What happens when you learn to play video games? According to a study from the University of […]

In ADHD, Brain Networks Linked to Inattention

Paying attention seems like a simple concept, but the ability to focus on something actually requires a complex system of brain networks. A new study from Stanford University School of […]

Premature Birth Associated with Autism

A new study from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital finds that environmental factors have a significant impact on the risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The researchers evaluated […]

Unlocking the Secrets of Auditory Processing

What does your brain do when you hear a sound? The answer depends on your experiences. Research from Northwestern University’s Auditory Neuroscience Lab, led by Nina Kraus, suggests that many […]

Teens’ Grades Benefit from More Sleep

Most teenagers are not getting enough sleep. Insufficient sleep has been linked with physical and mental health issues. A study from the Lifespan Learning and Sleep Laboratory at University College […]

Reduced Connectivity in Theory of Mind Network in Children with ASD

A study from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) provides new evidence about the relationship between brain connectivity and social functions in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study concerns Theory of Mind […]

Helping Kids with ADHD Avoid Bicycle Accidents

For children in the United States, bicycle accidents are one of the most common causes of serious injuries—especially for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children with ADHD are more likely […]

Teens Most Active at School, but Largely Inactive

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that teenagers get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, but it estimates that only 10 percent of adolescents […]

ADHD Symptoms and Social Problems a Viscous Cycle

A lesser-known symptom of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is difficulty with social functions. According to a new study, social problems and ADHD symptoms may impact each other. The study, from researchers […]

Focusing Hard on What You See Could Leave You “Deaf”

Imagine you are reading an exciting book when someone taps you on the shoulder and says, “I’ve called your name five times and you didn’t answer!” but you did not […]

Autism and OCD May Have a Common Source

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is known to co-occur with several other disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In the largest study of its kind, researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark have […]

ADHD Prevalence On the Rise

More children in the United States were diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in 2011 than in 2003. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published the […]

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Aids Stroke Recovery

Nearly 800,000 people in the United States have strokes each year. Moreover, according to the American Stroke Association, around 80 percent of people who have a stroke are affected by […]

Dogs Reduce Risk of Anxiety in Childhood

Next time your child asks for a puppy, you might want to say yes. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that children with dogs in […]

How Do Autistic Brains Process Facial Expressions?

We know that people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) do not process facial expressions and emotions the same way that people without ASD do. However, there is little agreement about […]

TV and Exercise Linked to Cognitive Skills

The secret to keeping your brain sharp may be staying active. A longitudinal study from the University of California, San Francisco finds that watching television and being inactive are linked […]

Aerobic Exercise Aids Young Adults’ Memory

Many recent studies have investigated the relationship between exercise and cognition, generally reporting that fitness is linked to improved cognition, especially in older adults. A new study from Boston University […]

Autistic Brains Slower in Implicit Learning

People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to struggle with social situations and be overwhelmed by a lot of stimuli. This may be caused by differences in brain function. A […]

PTSD Severity Due to Brain Imbalance

Around 10 percent of people who have experienced traumatic events suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD, which is characterized by hyper-vigilance, intrusive thoughts, and insomnia, has been demonstrated to […]

Eating Breakfast Linked to Educational Outcomes

Breakfast: is it really the most important meal of the day? For elementary school students, breakfast does play a role in academic success. A new study from Cardiff University’s Centre […]

1 in 45 Children in United States Have Autism

New findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrate that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States has increased. According to the report, […]

It Might Not be the Thanksgiving Turkey Inducing Your Sleep

Ah, Thanksgiving: a time for family, friends, football, food…and sleep. People have long associated tryptophan from turkey with the need for a good nap or early night’s sleep after Thanksgiving […]

Autistic Traits More Prevalent among Men in STEM

Some stereotypes about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may be based in fact. A study from Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre finds that men in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers […]

Standing Linked to Reduced Obesity Risk

If it is bad to sit all day, is it good to stand instead? Recent studies have shown that sedentary behavior, like sitting at work or while commuting, is linked […]

Children with ASD Struggle with Obesity

A number of researchers have begun to investigate the connection between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and obesity. Last year, researcher Sarabeth Broder-Fingert and colleagues conducted the first large study to […]

Family Therapy Reduces Children’s Anxiety

Anxiety disorder runs in families. Parents with anxiety are more likely to have children with anxiety. Researchers at University of Connecticut Health (UConn) investigated whether they could use this information […]

Music Helps Babies Remain Calm

Singing lullabies and nursery rhymes to children is something parents have done for generations. Now, researchers confirm that singing to babies has a real benefit. A study from the University […]

Preschoolers Not Getting Recommended Outdoor Time

Children who spend a full day in childcare may not be getting enough physical activity. A study from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center finds that the majority of childcare […]

Language Skills Affect Social Skills for Toddlers

When young children have poor language skills, their peers tend to exclude them from social play. This finding comes from data gathered in the University of Stavanger’s Stavanger Project – […]

Mental Health Grows Worse After Troops Return Home

When military personnel return home from deployment, they often struggle to adjust to civilian life. Exposure to traumatic incidents, like those troops witness in combat, is known to increase the […]

Right Brain Hemisphere Aids Stroke Recovery

More than 795,000 people in the United States have strokes each year. Strokes have a significant effect on mind and body functions, reducing language abilities, mobility, and other functions. The […]

Adults with AutismLikely to Have Health Problems

It is estimated that 1 in 68 children have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but what happens when those children grow up? Relatively little is known about the health of adults […]

Stressful Jobs Increase Stroke Risk

If you are worried about your stress levels, it might be time to look for a low-stress job. A new study from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China links high-stress […]

Delayed Brain Activation for Language Areas in ASD

Language problems are a common symptom of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Although language issues appear frequently with ASD, their cause is not understood. A new study finds that activation in […]

Fitter Old Men Have Youthful Brain Patterns

Physical fitness is known to ease the process of aging. A new study from Japan’s University of Tsukuba has revealed that there is a direct link between brain activity and […]

Over-Synchronization of Brain Regions in Autism

A common theme in contemporary research about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is connectivity. A number of recent studies have investigated how the connections between brain regions could be an underlying […]

TV Viewing Associated with Poor Health Outcomes

You might guess that spending a lot of time watching television is not good for you, but you might not realize that too much TV is bad for your health. […]

Active People Have Better Mental Health

Everyone knows that regular exercise keeps the body healthy. Research shows that exercise can keep the mind healthy, too. A new study from the Faculty of Sciences for Physical Activity […]

Brain Rhythms Offer Cluesto Auditory Processing

Learning to understand and play music shapes the brain. A new study from New York University (NYU) finds that analyzing how brain rhythms are used in processing music could help […]

Meet the Hippocampus: Memory, Internal GPS and Neurogenesis

Meet The Hippocampus Named for its resemblance to the seahorse (from the Greek “hippos” for horse and “kampos” for sea monster), the hippocampus is a vital component of the limbic […]

ADHD More Prevalent in Foster Youth

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prominent disorders among American youth. ADHD is especially prevalent among certain high-risk groups. Research has demonstrated, for example, that ADHD is […]

People with Autism Process Images Differently

Among the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are impaired social interaction and communication deficits. Research has linked these symptoms to difficulties in processing facial expressions. A new study from […]

Extracurricular Activities Benefit Middle Schoolers

For most students, middle school is a confusing time. Students in middle grades are in a critical period for developing their identities, but it can be difficult for students to […]

Aggressive Music Makes Men Anxious

Music provides entertainment and brings people together, but it may also play a role in emotional regulation. Many people listen to music to help themselves feel more upbeat or to […]

Mindfulness Associated with Lower Rates of Obesity

The simple act of being aware of one’s emotional state may play a role in maintaining a healthy weight. A new study from Brown University finds that people who exhibited […]

People with Autism Process Pain Differently

Many studies have focused on the sensory processing symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but relatively few have investigated how people with ASD experience pain. In one of the first […]

Humor Helps Children Learn

Parents looking to teach their toddlers new skills could benefit from an alternate strategy: humor. A team of researchers in Paris, France investigated the role that humor plays in learning […]

Dyslexia and the Problem of Procedural Learning

The cause of dyslexia may not be what we think they are, finds new research from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). The researchers discovered that adults with dyslexia struggle with procedural […]

Atypical Brain Connectivity in Youth with Autism

A number of studies have demonstrated that brain connectivity plays a significant role in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). New research from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) contributes to the […]

Stress Reduction Program Reduces Frequency of Care

Learning how to relax effectively can save you trips to the doctor, finds a new study from Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) Institute for Technology Assessment and the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) […]

Sleep Quality Affects Memory for Children with ASD

Sleep plays a critical role in memory, but what happens when people are not able to sleep well? A significant percentage of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have sleep […]

Sleep Correlates to Heart Health

Sleep has many effects on mental and physical health, including, according to new research, cardiovascular health. A study from the Center for Cohort Studies at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital and Sungkyunkwan […]

Multiple Symptoms Impact Ability to Read Emotions

For people with neurodevelopmental disorders, recognizing others people’s facial expressions can be tricky. A research team recently investigated which common elements of neurodevelopmental disorders cause trouble for emotion recognition. They […]

Peer Groups Motivate People to Exercise

Many people struggle to find the motivation to exercise. In fact, 43 percent of Americans do not exercise enough. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania studied what can make people […]

Visual Cortex Has the Ability to Make Decisions

The adage “seeing is believing,” is cliché, but there may be more truth to it than people realize. A study from Michigan State University investigated how the brain makes decisions […]

People with ASD Are Hyper-Specific Learners

Imagine you had never seen a dog before. To introduce you to the idea of dogs, your friend shows you pictures of huskies, but no other dogs. If you then […]

Emotion Bridging Reduces Toddlers’ Behavior Issues

How can parents support children who are at-risk for behavioral problems? A new study from Michigan State University (MSU) offers a simple intervention that helps toddlers begin to understand emotions […]

Prosocial Behavior, SympathyConnected in Teens

Prosocial behaviors, like volunteering and helping others, and sympathy are both important parts of well-rounded, emotionally stable people. How do these two traits develop in young people? A study from […]

Theatre Program Works as Autism Intervention

Vanderbilt University’s SENSE Theatre program has been investigating the utility of using theatre as an intervention for young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for several years. Their latest study […]

Reduced Anxiety Related to Brain Region, Optimism

Why are some people more anxious than others? Various studies have linked anxiety to the orbital frontal cortex (OFC), a brain region that integrates intellectual and emotional information, and that […]

Adults with ASD Struggle to Integrate Sensory Data

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) do not integrate sensory information like adults without the disorder do, finds a new study from Curtin University in Perth, Australia. The findings of […]

Lack of Sleep Heightens Emotional Response

Not sleeping enough has a big impact on the body. Insufficient sleep can cause stress and hunger, and can increase the chances of getting sick. A new study from Tel […]

Children Who Understand Others Are Less Gullible

When young children are first learning about the world, they depend on other people to provide them with accurate information. How do children know who they can trust? Studies have […]

‘Exergames’ Improve Motor Skills for Kids with ASD

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often struggle with executive functions and motor skills. A pilot from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston recently tested an intervention […]

Neural Pathways Abnormally Thick in Kids with ASD

What causes the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have identified one possible cause: the density of the brain’s neural pathways. The […]

What You See is What You Hear: the McGurk Effect

Instructions: Watch the video and listen to the sounds iLs co-founder Randall Redfield is making.  Note the sounds. Next, play the video a second time, but close your eyes and […]

Musicians Have Enhanced Audio-Visual Integration

Musicians present an opportunity for researchers to study neuroplasticity and brain networks. In a new study a multinational group of researchers discovered that musicians have enhanced audio-visual processing abilities and […]

ADHD Diagnosed According to AAP Guidelines

Since the 1990s, the rate of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses has been on the rise. Does this indicate that ADHD is over-diagnosed? According to a new report from the Centers […]

Early ADHD Diagnosis Delays Autism Diagnosis

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be diagnosed in children as young as 24 months, although the median diagnosis age is older than four years. According to a new study, children […]

Teens Sleep Less after “Springing Forward”

Most teenagers do not get enough sleep. A new study finds that, among other factors limiting teenagers’ sleep time, daylight saving time negatively affects teenagers’ sleep schedules. When the clocks […]

Spending Time Outside May Prevent Nearsightedness

Myopia, or nearsightedness, has become incredibly prevalent in some regions of Asia where 80 to 90 percent of high school graduates are nearsighted. Why are so many children developing myopia? […]

Autistic and Masculine Traits Appear Together

High levels of testosterone in utero may be at the root of some aspects of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This concept, called Extreme Male Brain (EMB) theory, could explain why […]

Math and Motor Skills Develop Together in Children

Children begin learning basic mathematical principles, like how shapes fit together and sorting objects, as they develop an understanding of the world around them. A new study reveals that children […]

Fitness Linked to Better Executive Function

For older adults, cognitive decline may seem inevitable. However, a study from the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois (UI) finds that higher levels […]

Reduced Emotional Regulation Increases Insomnia Risk

Everyone knows that being tired can make you irritable, but what if your emotions could keep you from sleeping? A new study finds that people whose emotional regulation skills degrade […]

Children with ASD Have Average Visual Processing

Conventional wisdom suggests that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) grants extraordinary gifts in tandem with the impairments it causes. It is typically believed that people with ASD are, for example, excellent […]

Oliver Sacks Tribute

Like the rest of the world, we at iLs are saddened by the death of Oliver Sacks last week. A modern-day Renaissance Man, he contributed much to our understanding of […]

Many Children with ADHD Diagnosed in Preschool

A new government report finds that around one-third of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States were diagnosed before age six. The report, from a researcher at the […]

Girls with Autism Have Less Restricted Behavior

Much of the research about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) focuses on boys. However, a new study from Stanford University investigated the differences in how ASD manifests in boys and girls. […]

Short Walking Breaks Make for Healthier Kids

Children spend around six hours per day sitting, which sitting can negatively impact their health. Some studies demonstrate that sitting is associated with an increased obesity risk, among other issues. […]

Sleeping Less Increases Chances of Getting Sick

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five Americans sleeps less than six hours on an average work night. Insufficient sleep is linked to various health […]

Disclosing ASD Diagnosis in College Has Benefits

For students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), deciding when and how to tell people about their diagnosis is a difficult decision. This is particularly true for new college students, who […]

Daytime Naps Reduce Blood Pressure

In the United States, taking an afternoon nap is typically a habit reserved for children. However, a new study finds that napping in the middle of the day has positive […]

ADHD’s Impact on the Brain Persists into Adulthood

Evidence suggests that many adults who were diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) “grow out” of the diagnosis. The estimates for the number of adults who shed their ADHD with age […]

Nighttime Light Strongly Affects Young Teens

Numerous studies have demonstrated that too much screen time before bed can keep kids up at night. New research from Brown University adds another layer of understanding to the relationship […]

Men with ASD Likely to Be Depressed, Have ADHD

Men with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have other co-occurring disorders like depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), finds a new study from Sweden’s University of Gothenburg. The results come from […]

Older Adults Sleep Better Near Nature

Can’t sleep? Try spending some time or at a park or the beach. A new study from the University of Illinois finds that older adults (age 65 and over) report […]

Working Overtime Increases Stroke Risk

From a business standpoint, working long hours might seem like a good idea, but regularly working long hours is bad for your health. A new study from University College London […]

Traumatic Brain Injury: Risk Factor for Adult ADHD

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not just a childhood disorder. A research team based out of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto recently discovered a unique risk factor for adult ADHD: traumatic […]

Brain Adapts in Unexpected Ways

How well does the brain adapt to unusual situations? According to new research from Johns Hopkins University, the brain has an incredible amount of adaptability. The research team evaluated the […]

Older Adults Report Better Sleep Quality

As people age, sleep habits change. Researchers know that older adults sleep less, but the overall shift in sleep patterns is little understood. A new study from the University of […]

Autistic Traits Linked to Creative Thinking

Are people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) more creative? Although ASD is characterized by adherence to routines and restricted interests, a new study finds that people with high levels of […]

Fall Brings Increased Headaches for School Children

The start of a new school year can be a stressful time for children and teens. Schedules change and students must balance academic, extracurricular, and social responsibilities. For some students, […]

Social Skills Key to Infant Language Acquisition

How babies learn language is still not fully understood, but researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) are working to unravel the mechanisms of […]

Studies Point to Decreased Brain Connectivity in Autism

When it comes to studying autism spectrum disorder (ASD), brain connectivity is a hot topic. Researchers use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine how well brain networks link together to […]

Preschool Boys Less Interested in Language Activities

Why are boys less interested in reading than girls? A new study from Norway’s University of Stavanger evaluated preschool-aged children to determine when and how the linguistic divide between boys […]

Brains of People with Epilepsy Feel the Music

A novel study from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center investigates how music affects the brains of people with epilepsy. The majority of epilepsy cases are temporal lobe epilepsy, in […]

Video Games Could Be Future of Autism Treatment

Imagine a treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that, instead of medication or therapy, was a video game. It might seem far-fetched, but one neuroscientist is […]

Prosocial Behavior Can Predict Later Success

What makes a person successful? A study from Penn State University finds that a child’s prosocial behavior in kindergarten can predict success in adulthood. The results indicate that children who […]

Food Insecurity Linked to Poor Sleep

Sleep plays a fundamental role in health and well-being. A new study from Yale School of Public Health reveals a new factor in getting a good night’s rest: food. The […]

Traumatic Brain Injury Linked to Attention Issues

The effects of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) on children are not fully understood, but a new study is beginning to change that. Researchers at VU University Amsterdam recently found that […]

Children Learn from Pretend Play with Parents

How do children learn how to joke or play pretend? A study from University of Sheffield’s Department of Psychology reveals that children as young as 16 months can learn how […]

Improving Reading Comprehension in Kids with ASD

Some young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have strong skills in reading out loud, but struggle to comprehend what they read. A new study finds it is possible to […]

Social Skills Program Aids Young Adults with ASD

There are many interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but fewer treatments exist for young adults with ASD. A program from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) […]

Dynamic Activities Boost Working Memory

Looking to improve your working memory? Try dynamic exercise. A new study from the University of North Florida (UNF) Department of Psychology finds that people who participate in proprioceptively dynamic […]

Sleep Preserves Memories

The evidence for sleep’s impact on memory formation and retrieval continues to grow. A number of studies have demonstrated that people are better able to remember what they learned after […]

Sound Processing Difficulties Set Autism Apart

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is defined by a triad of symptoms: communication, social, and sensory processing deficits. ASD is not the only disorder with sensory processing issues. Researchers have begun […]

Brain Region Linked to Emotional Regulation

How well you regulate your emotions may be due to biology. A study from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet discovered a brain region associated with emotional regulation. The results reveal that the […]

Habits in Young Adulthood May Prevent Cognitive Decline

Research demonstrates that exercise can limit mental decline as people age. The majority of studies investigating how exercise affects the brain focus on exercise’s benefits for older adults. A new […]

Reclassification May Account for Autism Prevalence

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 68 people in the United States has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but just 10 years ago only 1 in […]

Brain and Body Share Immune System Network

Conventional wisdom suggests that the brain and the body, while part of the same system, are separate entities. In particular, evidence has long suggested that, because of the brain’s significantly […]

Music Training Benefits High School Students

The evidence for the importance of music training for young people continues to grow, thanks to a new study from Northwestern University. The study contributes to a body of evidence […]

Sleep Deprivation Reduces Ability to Recognize Faces

Around two-thirds of people in developed nations do not get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep can lead to a number of issues including, finds a new study from University of California, […]

Walking in Nature Aids Emotional Regulation

Taking a walk is a great way to get some exercise and, according to new research, aids the brain in regulating emotions. Stanford University researchers found that people who walked […]

Exercise Boosts Brainpower for Older Adults

How can adults keep their minds sharp as they age? A study from the University of Kansas (KU) Medical Center reports that exercise plays a key role in maintaining the […]

New Method Identifies Literacy Issues in Preschoolers

When it comes to literacy and language, the earliest interventions are the most effective. One of the barriers to early interventions is identifying the children who need them at a […]

Stress and Insufficient Sleep Together Limit Memory

Sleeping enough is important for memory. During sleep, the brain transfers the day’s new information from short-term memory to long-term memory. Research has demonstrated that sufficient sleep is critical to […]

Early Intervention for Autism Has Long-Term Benefits

How effective are early interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Many treatments demonstrate short-term effectiveness, but a new study finds that improvements from a method called the Early Start Denver […]

Classroom Interventions for ADHD Can Be Effective

What are the best school-based interventions for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? New research led by the University of Exeter Medical School, in collaboration with Kings College London and Hong Kong Institute […]

Sniff Test Could Identify Autism in Young Children

One of the challenges in treating autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is diagnosing people early so that they can receive the most effective interventions. A new study may lead to a […]

Tetris Reduces Intrusive Memories in PTSD

People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) face sleep problems, hyper-vigilance, and intrusive memories. Playing video games may help people with PTSD recover, finds a study from the United Kingdom’s Medical […]

Movement Benefits Brain Injury Patients

Movement and exercise is an important part of rehabilitation from many conditions. A new study out of Cleveland Clinic’s Neurointensive Care Unit finds that the benefits of activity may also […]

Autistic Brains Respond Differently to Touch

A new study offers a preliminary explanation for one of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Many people with ASD are hyper-sensitive to the sensation of touch and fail […]

Classical Music Reduces Stress

Many people listen to music to relax and numerous studies have demonstrated that listening to music has benefits. New research from the Royal College of Music’s Centre for Performance Science […]

Gene Groupings Suggest a Spectrum of ADHD

Could attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) be a spectrum disorder? It might be, according to research from Cardiff University School of Medicine and the University of Bristol. The researchers analyzed […]

Virtual Reality Helps Stroke Patients Recover

After a stroke, many people struggle to regain full use of their paretic—partially paralyzed—limbs. A new study finds that a virtual reality game could give stroke patients the confidence boost […]

People with ASD Struggle to Filter Sensory Input

A new study offers clues about why people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience sensory overload. The study, from the University of Oxford, investigated how children with ASD perceive movement. […]

Correcting Bad Predictions Requires More Brainpower

The brain is constantly making predictions. Predictions are one tool the brain uses to recognize objects and faces. The brain can usually recognize objects, even with minimal information, within milliseconds. […]

Sleep Problems Common for American Adults

Did you sleep well last night? If you are like many Americans, your sleep quality may not be great. A new study finds that sleep disturbances are common in American […]

White Students Overrepresented in Special Education

A study from researchers at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and the University of California, Irvine finds that white children from English-speaking homes are more likely to be recognized as […]

Genetic Mutations at Root of Autism’s Sleep Issues

People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have unusual or disordered sleep habits. Understanding what causes disordered sleep for people with ASD is important because insufficient sleep exacerbates ASD’s symptoms […]

Sedentary Activities Connected to Anxiety

For many people, sitting is a big part of daily life. Numerous studies link sedentary behavior—like working at a computer or watching television—to physical health problems. A new study from […]

How the Brain Handles Conflicting Sensory Input

When the brain receives conflicting sensory information, it figures out what it perceives based on information from other senses and from past experience. The result is that what you see […]

Sleep Disorders Raise Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

Are you sleeping enough? If not, you may be at increased risk for heart attack and stroke. A new study from the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Novosibirsk, Russia […]

A Good Attitude Supports Good Health

Stress can often lead to poor health, but the way you react to stress can change that. A study from Penn State University finds that responding positively to everyday stressors […]

Consistent Sleep Linked to Healthy Lifestyle

Sleep offers more than simply keeping you from feeling tired in the morning. A new study from the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with sleep researchers and epidemiologists in Finland, […]

Health Problems in Autism Require New Approach

The co-occurrence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other medical issues may impact behavior and social skills in children with ASD. Most studies into the intersection of health issues and […]

Fidgeting Improves Attention in ADHD Youth

When a child fidgets in class, the teacher might assume that he or she is not paying attention. However, for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the opposite may be true. […]

In Autism, Some More Sensitive to Stimuli than Others

One of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is hyper-sensitivity to sensory stimuli. A study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) recently investigated the brain responses of […]

Short, Intense Exercise for Teen Health

Although most teenagers feel like they are practically adults, a new study finds one important way in which adolescents resemble children: exercise. The study, from the University of Exeter, finds […]

Neurocognitive Therapy Improves ADHD Symptoms

For children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), school can be a struggle, but a new therapy may change that. The therapy, tested in a recent study, uses a computer game to […]

Sex Differences in ASD Same as in General Population

Numerous studies have noted the differences in how autism spectrum disorder (ASD) manifests in boys and girls. A new study form the University of Miami (UM) finds that the differences […]

Finding an Environment that Helps Motor Development

A new questionnaire, designed by researchers at the University of Texas Arlington (UT Arlington), can help parents, caregivers, and doctors assess an infant’s home environment. The questionnaire, called the Affordances […]

Physical Activity Linked to Sufficient Sleep

Exercises like walking, yoga, and even gardening can help people get enough sleep at night. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania investigated whether physical […]

Atypical Brain Connections in ASD Movement Issues

As many of 80 percent of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have motor problems. Although motor issues are not part of autism’s diagnostic criteria, they do play a role […]

Children Who Stutter Struggle to Perceive Rhythm

As many as 70 million people worldwide struggle with stuttering, but little is known about why people stutter. A new study from Michigan State University may lead to the answer. […]

Early Childhood Education Should Focus on Play

Young children’s brains are wired to learn through play and exploration. Although discovery-based learning—a learning style that works with children’s development—is validated by a number of recent studies, education in […]

Doctors Uncertain about Adults with ASD

Accessing health care can be difficult for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A new study finds that health care practitioners may be a part of the problem. The study, […]

Screens Put Teens at Risk for Less Sleep

Humans, before tablets and mobile phones, tended to fall asleep and wake up with the sun. Now, many people struggle to sleep enough at night—especially teens. A number of studies […]

Autism Prevalence May Not Be Increasing

A number of studies from the United States have found increased rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). With a 10-fold increase in ASD prevalence from the 1970s and the 1990s, […]

Toddlers Know Their Noise Impacts Others

Toddlers understand the relationship between the noise they make and other people’s behavior. A study from Georgia State University and the University of Washington investigated whether toddlers understand that noise […]

Video Game Play Encourages Pro-Social Behavior

Many modern video games involve collaborative play, contrary to some commonly-held beliefs. A series of studies from Texas Tech University finds that collaborative video game play can impact real-world social […]

Bedtime Routines Lead to More Sleep

If your child struggles to fall asleep at night, he or she may need a consistent bedtime routine. A bedtime routine can help children fall asleep faster and sleep longer, […]

Gut Feelings Help to Regulate Fear

“Gut feeling” is more than just a figure of speech. A new study from ETH Zurich investigated how the vagus nerve—a large nerve that extends from the brain to the […]

Sleep and Psychiatric Issues Linked for Children

As many as 40 percent of young children struggle to sleep in some way—a lack of good sleep can cause more than grumpiness. A new study from the Norwegian University […]

New Insights into Why Some Learn Faster Than Others

When learning a new skill, an over-active brain could hold you back. A study from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania and […]

Attention Directly Linked to Academic Achievement

What do children who do well in school have in common? According to a new study from the Universities of Nottingham and Bristol, children with better attention skills score higher […]

Brain Connections Part of Sensory Problems in ASD

As many as 90 percent of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) struggle with overwhelming sensory stimuli. A new study offers insight into the cause of autism’s sensory issues. The […]

Sleep Problems Linked to Low Pain Tolerance

People with sleep problems are more sensitive to pain. A study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health explored the relationship between pain tolerance and sleep problems. The study revealed […]

Girls with ASD Have Different Symptoms, Diagnosed Later

In the United States, 1 in 42 boys are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but only 1 in 168 girls are diagnosed with the same. This disparity may be […]

Dyslexia Affects Listening Skills Too

Dyslexia is well-known as a reading and writing problem, but according to a new study, dyslexia results in more than problems with the written word. A study from the University […]

Yoga Reduces Anxiety in Older Adults

Many adults over age 60 struggle with mental health issues. As many as 40 percent of older adults report having anxiety and up to 20 percent of older adults experience […]

Kids Whose ASD Symptoms Resolve Still Need Support

For some children who receive an early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), autism-related symptoms eventually disappear. Approximately 1 in 14 toddlers diagnosed with ASD do not meet the criteria […]

Children with Theory of Mind Skills More Popular

What makes a child popular? According to a study from the University of Queensland, Australia, children with better theory of mind skills are more popular than their peers. Theory of […]

Teens Can Step Back to Regulate Emotions

One method for regulating emotions that many people learn as they age is stepping back to evaluate stressful or emotional events. Research has shown this to be an effective strategy […]

Parent Training Improves Disruptive ASD Behaviors

Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often struggle to find effective strategies to tame disruptive behaviors. A new multi-site study sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health […]

Sleep Is Critical for Successful Long-Term Learning

A good night’s rest could be the key to learning new information, finds a study from Royal Holloway, University of London. The research team found that people learning new words […]

Kids with ADHD Should Fidget

Most children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) fidget and squirm at school. A number of interventions teach the same children to hold still. New research from the University of Central Florida […]

Early Detection of Language Struggles in ASD

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not quite the same for any two people, which can make it hard to diagnose and treat. A study from the University of California, San […]

Sleep Disruptions Impact Kids’ Memory Formation

Sleep disruptions can impact children’s memory processes, according to a new study. The study, from a team of researchers from the University of Szeged and Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, […]

Peer Networks Help Kids with ASD Learn Social Skills

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can learn to be social by working with peers. A study from the University of Kansas Life Span Institute and the University of Washington […]

Playing in Sync Helps Kids Connect

Imagine an orchestra playing together or a team of rowers propelling their boat forward. For activities like these, synchrony—when people work together in time—is a key component. Studies have shown […]

ADHD Rates Lower at High Altitudes

The likelihood of your child having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) depends, at least in part, on where you live. A new analysis from the University of Utah finds that the rate […]

Sensorimotor Brain Regions Over-Connected in ASD

Abnormal brain connectivity may be a major part of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Researchers from San Diego State University evaluated the brain activity of young people with ASD using brain […]

Hobbies Help Maintain Memory in Old Age

What you do in your spare time can help protect you from the effects of aging. A study from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota finds that people who engage […]

Genetics Could Account for Most of ASD Risk

The causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are complex and varied. The question of nature versus nurture, or genetic versus environmental causes, has loomed large in the study of autism’s […]

CDC Report on ADHD Treatment Rates

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examines the types of treatment used among children aged 4 to 17 during 2009 and 2010. The study’s […]

Hippocampus Important for Memory, Not Spatial Skills

The hippocampus: what is it good for? The hippocampus is most known for its role in memory, but some studies in the past decades have suggested that the hippocampus also […]

Higher Rates of Autism Partially Linked to Parents’ Age

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has risen throughout the last 20 years, but why? Increasing rates of ASD diagnosis have occurred alongside an increase in parental age. Some […]

Social and Emotional Lessons Reduce Bullying

Students with disabilities who learn emotional regulation and communication skills are less likely to bully others, finds a study from the University of Illinois. Researchers conducted a three-year trial of […]

Video Games May Increase Capacity for Visual Learning

Video games may have more to offer than simple entertainment. A study from Brown University finds that people who play video games have better gains on certain visual tasks than […]

Massage Therapy Reduces Autism Severity

Massage could help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) get in touch with their senses. A new study shows that a massage treatment for children with ASD diminished the severity […]

How the Brain Manages Focus and Attention

Focusing too intently on something can blind you to other, potentially better solutions. A recent study investigated how the brain switches focus to incorporate new information from the environment. Researchers […]

Children with ASD Have More GI Distress

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at increased risk gastrointestinal (GI) problems, reports a new study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Many parents have found that […]

Collaborative, Family-Centered Care for ADHD

When supporting children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), involving the whole family may be the best course of action. A new study from Boston University School of Medicine finds that training […]

People with ASD May Be Overwhelmed by Emotions

It is commonly believed that people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) lack empathy. A new study challenges the idea that people with ASD do not feel emotions, instead suggesting that […]

Green Areas in Urban Communities Can Reduce Stress

How can people in cities reduce stress? A new study from the University of Pennsylvania’s (Penn) Perelman School of Medicine finds that people who walk near newly ‘greened’ community areas […]

Eyes Integrate Visual Information Automatically

When you look at an object, your eyes take in multiple details whether or not you intend to notice it all. Researchers from New York University and the University of […]

ASD Genes Linked to Slightly Higher Intelligence

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are linked to complex sets of genes. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with other researchers in the […]

Rural Populations Sleep and Wake with the Sun

What is the best time of morning to get out of bed? Everyone has an opinion, but for people who live in more rural areas, preferences tend to coincide with […]

Intervention Improves Cognition in Aging Adults

How can older adults stay sharp as they age? A study by a collaboration of researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, […]

Girls with ASD Better at Mimicking Others

Four times as many boys are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than girls. This discrepancy is both persistent and puzzling. A new study investigates how factors present before diagnosis […]

Music Enhances Learning and Memory Genes

Everyone can appreciate a good song even, new research finds, your genes. A study from the University of Helsinki reports that music enhanced (up-regulated) or diminished (down-regulated) the effects of […]

‘Social Jetlag’ Improved by Altered Work Schedules

Most people are tired after work, but work is especially exhausting for people whose natural body rhythms do not match their work schedule. Working out of sync with one’s internal […]

Exercise Mitigates Aging’s Effect on the Brain

For older adults, exercise helps maintain body control. A new study finds that continuing physical activity into old age can mitigate the some effects of aging on the brain’s movement […]

Drawing Test Reveals Evidence of Autism

One of the new diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is reciprocity. Reciprocity is the ability to take turns in social situations like conversations and games. Struggling to reciprocate […]

Irregular Sleep Linked to Snacking in Teens

When teenagers have irregular sleep schedules, they are more likely to snack, finds new research from Penn State University. A number of studies have linked reduced sleep to overeating and […]

Facial Recognition Ability Predicts Autism Severity

Difficulty with social situations is a hallmark of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children with ASD, in particular, struggle to recognize faces and interpret emotions. A new study finds that children […]

Infants Link Sounds and Images to Learn Language

Learning a language is a complex process, but researchers from the United Kingdom and Japan have published a study shedding some light on how infants learn new words. In a […]

Children with Autism Less Likely to Use Pronouns

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are known to struggle with using pronouns like ‘me’ and ‘you’ correctly. Researchers have long been puzzled by this phenomenon, attributing it to an […]

“Leaky” Sensory Filter Associated with Creative Achievements

What makes a person creative? Some types of creativity are associated with a “leaky” sensory filter, according to new research from Northwestern University. People with leaky sensory filters may struggle […]

Occupational Therapy Benefits NYC Students

The number of students benefiting from occupational therapy in New York City’s public schools is rising, reports The New York Times. Occupational therapy (OT) is a broad set of therapies […]

Left Brain, Right Side: Planning Body Movements

How does the brain make the body move? Researchers are just beginning to understand how the brain plans and executes the body’s movements. A new study from Howard Hughes Medical […]

Program Teaches Kids with ASD to Read Faces

People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) struggle to interpret emotions conveyed through facial expressions. Past studies have examined the use of computer-based treatments to teach people with ASD to understand […]

Naps Negatively Impact Sleep for Kids 2 and Up

Infants and young children need lots of sleep, but when and how much they sleep shifts with age. By age two, children transition to getting most of their sleep at […]

Tonal Languages a Unique Struggle for People with ASD

People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically struggle with gleaning the emotional content from spoken language, but often excel at music. This led researchers to ask how people with ASD […]

People with Autism Can Learn Body Language

A researcher with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at the University of Aberdeen is incorporating his life experience into studies about the perceptual abilities of people with ASD. People with ASD […]

Mindfulness Meditation Helps Older Adults Sleep

Around half of adults aged 55 and older have some kind of sleep disturbance that affects their daytime functioning and their moods. A new study from the University of Southern […]

Instructional Videos Can Teach Babies to Sign

Can babies learn to communicate from videos? Past research has suggested that video instruction is not effective for infants, but a new study from Emory University finds that educational videos […]

Autism Reading Intervention Uses Child’s Interests

A new study from University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education offers insight into academic interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The researchers designed and tested a method […]

Teens’ Sleep Time Declined in Last 20 Years

Are teens getting enough sleep? A new report from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health finds that fewer teenagers than ever are sleeping enough. Researchers investigated the sleep habits […]

Stuttering Linked to Grey Matter Development

Stuttering is not well understood, but a new study from the University of Alberta’s Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research (ISTAR) is filling in the blanks. The researchers analyzed the […]

More Americans Practicing Yoga

More and more research demonstrates that yoga is not only good exercise, but a way for people to connect their mind and their body. Increasing numbers of American adults and […]

Children with Autism Struggle to Adjust Expectations

It is well known that people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) do not excel in social situations, in part because they do not find social interaction rewarding. A recent study […]

Memory is More Selective Than You Think

Imagine checking the time. A moment later, someone asks you what time it is. Do you remember? Unless you were specifically trying to remember the time, you probably did not. […]

Napping Reduces Stress,Improves Health

Naps can help sleep-deprived individuals manage stress and health. A new study from Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité in Paris, France finds that 30-minute naps can help regulate hormones associated […]

Meditation Associated with Denser Grey Matter

Meditation can be calming and, according to a new study, it can also limit the effects of aging on the brain. A study from the University of California, Los Angeles […]

Infant Eye Movements Possible Indicator of Autism

A focus of research into autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is finding ways to identify children on the spectrum at earlier ages. Early identification can result in early treatments, which are […]

Multisensory Approach for Best Vocabulary Learning

A new study from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences reports that adding movement to language learning can help with vocabulary acquisition. The study builds on […]

Brain Patterns of Autistic Children at Play

Why do children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have trouble playing with others? A study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center recently investigated the psychobiology of play in children with ASD. […]

Music Training Aids Speech Processing in Later Life

The benefits of music training in childhood are long-lasting, according to new research from Canada’s Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences. The study finds that older adults who had […]

People with ASD More Resistant to Sensory Illusions

Illusions that play tricks on the senses may offer insight into the brain function of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Researchers from Monash University and Deakin University in Australia […]

Play Time Supports Development of Spatial Reasoning

A new study finds that children’s toys like blocks are good for more than just entertainment. The study finds that children who play with blocks, puzzles, and board games develop […]

Unravelling the Mysteries of Balance

The body’s method for integrating movement and sensory information has always been something of a mystery. A study from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies is changing that. The new […]

Family Dynamics Influence Children’s Sleep Quantity

Parents agree that sleep is important for their children, but what can parents do to ensure that kids get enough quality hours of sleep? A study from Penn State analyzed […]

Movement-Based Instruction Helps Students Learn Math

Many children learn from kinetic activities, yet many classrooms do not incorporate movement into their instruction. A new study from the University of Vermont tested a method for using movement […]

Siblings with Autism Unlikely to Have Same Genes

Do siblings with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) share the same genes? They do, but not as often as you might expect. A new study conducted by Autism Speaks analyzed fully-sequenced […]

Video Intervention Reduces Autism Symptoms

Most treatments for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) begin, at the earliest, around age three or four. A new study finds that it might be possible to begin therapy for ASD […]

Invest in Good Sleep Habits Before Old Age

Sleeping regularly and sleeping well has lasting impacts on memory and cognitive function. A new study from Baylor University reviewed research on sleep and cognition from the last 50 years. […]

Less-Supervised Children Are More Physically Active

Children should be active for at least 60 minutes each day, yet few children are. A new study from a collaboration between Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, and Dalhousie […]

Forging Empathy through Shared Experiences

What makes people feel empathy for each other? A study from McGill University finds that shared experiences can transform people from un-empathetic strangers to friends. Empathy is hampered by the […]

“Idiosyncratic” Brain Activity in Autism

Research into autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often focuses on brain connectivity. Various studies have offered conflicting results. Is the brain of a person with ASD over-connected or under-connected? A new […]

Sleep Issues Linked to Alcohol Problems in Teens

Many children do not get enough sleep: national polls show that 27 percent of school-aged children and 45 percent of adolescents do not sleep enough. Research has demonstrated a link […]

Defining the Symptoms of Conduct Disorder

What is the difference between normal childhood tantrums and behavior indicative of an ongoing problem in preschool children? A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis […]

Brain Imaging Detects Autism’s Sense of Self

A new study had uncovered a quick method of identifying autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that could lead to a new way of diagnosing the disorder. The study, from Virginia Tech’s […]

Nap Time Helps Infants Learn

Numerous studies have shown that sleep plays a major role in memory, but relatively little is known about the relationship between sleep and learning in early childhood. Researchers from the […]

Program Reduces Students’ Disruptive Behaviors

A new program helps teachers and parents support young children in school by working with their individual personalities. The study, conducted by researchers at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, […]

Clinicians Miss Signs of Autism in Routine Checkups

Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are not diagnosed until they reach school, even though it is possible to diagnose children sooner. One reason for this, according to new […]

Better Sleep Efficiency Linked to Better Grades

Sleep plays a critical role in academic children’s performance. A new study from McGill University and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal finds that getting a good night’s […]

Response to Music Is Universal

Is the way that people respond to music a social response, or is it something shared by all humans? A study from McGill, Technische Universität Berlin, and the University of […]

Making Predictions Difficult for People with Autism

Several theories attempt to explain the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A new study adds experimental evidence to two of these: ‘intense world theory’ and ‘disorder of prediction theory’. […]

Screens in the Bedroom Mean Less Sleep for Kids

Many parents have guessed that their child’s smart phone or tablet could be keeping them up at night. A new study proves them right. Research from the University of California […]

Fitness Linked to Better Memory in Older Adults

Aerobic exercise, which includes activities like walking, dancing, or swimming, plays a big role in being healthy. A new study finds that aerobic exercise can also help your memory. Researchers […]

Pets Improve Social Skills for Autistic Children

Having a pet in the family can benefit children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) finds new research from the University of Missouri (MU). While previous research in pets and ASD […]

Unintentional Movements an Indicator of Autism

When people move, they typically have a certain level of unintentional, imperceptible motion. For most people, these motions largely disappear as they age. A new study from Indiana University and […]

Working More Linked to Sleeping Less

If you are not sleeping enough, the time you spend at work may be to blame. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine analyzed a large set […]

Middle School InterventionImproves Reasoning Skills

Growing up in poverty can negatively affect academic development, limiting language, learning, and attention. Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) investigated whether a cognitive training program […]

Exercise Program Helps People with PTSD

Exercise has many benefits. It not only improves physical health, but benefits mental health too. A new study finds that exercise can reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). […]

Nine out of Ten TeensNot Sleeping Enough

Sleepy teenagers are a familiar sight for most parents, but it turns out that not sleeping enough is a big problem for American high school students. The Centers for Disease […]

Video Games Help Stroke Survivors Recover

Many stroke survivors find it difficult to re-master critical motor skills. New research from Lancaster University in England tested a novel rehabilitation technique to help stroke survivors regain mobility. The […]

Full-Day Preschool Supports Kindergarten Readiness

One of the best ways to prepare young children for academic success is to enroll them in preschool. New research from the University of Minnesota finds that full-day preschool programs […]

Pivotal Response Training Promising for Autism

Learning to respond to social situations is one of the major struggles for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A new study from Yale University suggests that pivotal response training […]

Listen to Classical Music to Relax and to Learn

What do you do to relax? Many people enjoy settling down with some of their favorite tunes. It turns out that some types of music are better than others for […]