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What is this research study about?

We would like to invite your child to help us learn more about sensory processing – specifically, how sounds are processed in the brain, and how this might be different in autism.

Why should I help?

The findings of this study will be used to improve our understanding of sensory processing differences in autism.

Families will be paid $40 for Part 1 and $20 for Part 2. We can also provide a brief report based on the assessment conducted during the session (please note that this report cannot be used for diagnostic or clinical purposes, but rather provides a snapshot of your child’s strengths and challenges as observed in the context of our session).

Over 150 children have participated in our research so far and the children enjoy the novel experience. All activities are told through the narrative of a ‘space mission’ to keep the session fun and engaging.

Who can take part?

3- to 8-year-old children who have a diagnosis of autism and use speech to communicate.

Who is conducting this study?

The study is being conducted by Macquarie University researchers: Ms Hannah Rapaport, Professor Liz Pellicano, Associate Professor Paul Sowman, Dr Wei He and Dr Robert Seymour.

What will I be asked to do?

This study has two parts:

In Part 1, your child will listen to musical sounds and watch a silent video of their choice for 20 minutes. During this time, they will lie in a child-friendly brain imaging device called magnetoencephalography (MEG; as shown in the picture). Our MEG system was designed specifically for children and is completely safe and silent. To find out more about our child MEG system, visit this website

In Part 2, we will do games and activities with your child to determine where they lie on the autism spectrum, as well as a short cognitive assessment. We will also ask parents to fill out a questionnaire.

When and where?

This study will run throughout 2019 and 2020. Part 1 will be conducted at the KIT-Macquarie Brain Research Laboratory, Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University, Sydney. Part 2 can be conducted at Macquarie University or at your home – whichever you prefer.

To find out more about the study, visit or contact Hannah Rapaport (PhD candidate)

Please feel free to forward this information to others who might also be interested in participating.

Phone us to discuss how we can help you.

Call 1800 277 328

Send us a message and we'll get back to you.

Enquire with Autism Spectrum Australia