I direct the Center for Autism Research (CAR) at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), with faculty appointments in Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Univ. of Pennsylvania. CAR works with ~20 other faculty in other departments throughout Penn, with 4 assistant professor of Psychology with primary appointments in Psychiatry working directly at our Center on a range of closely related work. Students often work on research projects in collaboration with me and one or more of these other faculty. In addition, students in Clinical Psychology can receive autism specific training in CAR's research clinic which is staffed by several full time licensed clinic psychologists, as well as interns and clinical postdoctoral fellows.
My research is currently focused in several areas including (1) motivation and learning in autism, using both brain imaging and behavioral approaches. I am particularly interested in social motivation, social attention and social learning. My group is currently studying how computerized gaming interventions (dubbed "edutainment") can be used in combinations with medicinal treatments to potentiate social learning in those with an autism spectrum disorder. (2) I also currently have several projects on the genetics of autism using an individual differences approach to look at how genetic variability might correlate with phenotypic variability. (3) I collaborate with others at CAR on studies of autism comorbidities, including sleep disturbance, anxiety, and ADHD. Nearly all research at CAR includes collection of DNA, and most involves neuroimaging (MRI and EEG), in order to better understanding mechanisms causing autism, but also to delineate biomarkers that can be used to predict disorder onset, course or response to treatment. We are, for example, part of a large NIH infant brain imaging network that studies infants at risk for autism by virtue of having an already diagnosed older sibling.
Dr. Schultz will be accepting new psychology graduate students for admission in fall 2013.
Psychology and Neuroscience graduate groups
Schultz, R.T., Gauthier, I., Klin A., Fulbright, R., Anderson, A., Volkmar, F., Skudlarski, P., Lacadie, C., Cohen, D.J., Gore, J.C. Abnormal ventral temporal cortical activity during face discrimination among individuals with autism and Asperger syndrome. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2000: 57(3), 331-340.
Klin, A, Jones, W., Schultz, R., Volkmar, F., & Cohen, D.J. Visual fixation patterns during viewing of naturalistic social situations as predictors of social competence in individuals with autism. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2002: 59, 809-816.
Grelotti, D, Gauthier, I., & Schultz, R.T. Social Interest and the development of cortical face specialization: What autism teaches us about face processing. Developmental Psychobiology, 2002: 40, 213-225.
Pasley, B.N., Mayes, L.C. & Schultz, R.T. Subcortical discrimination of unperceived objects during binocular rivalry. Neuron, 2004: 42, 163-172.
Schultz, R.T. Developmental deficits in social perception in autism: The role of the amygdala and fusiform face area. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 2005: 23, 125-141.
Thioux, M., Stark, D.E., Klaiman, C. & Schultz, R.T. The day of the week when you were born in 700 ms: Calendar computation in an autistic savant. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 2006: 32 (5), 1155-1168
Vanderwal, T., Hunyadi, E., Grupe, D.W., Connors, C.M., Schultz, R.T. Self, Mother and Abstract Other: an fMRI study of reflective social processing. NeuroImage. 2008:41 (4), 1437-1446.
Wolf, J.M., Tanaka, J.W., Klaiman, C., Cockburn, J., Herlihy, L., Brown, C, South, M., McPartland, J., Kaiser, M.D., Phillips, R., & Schultz, R.T. Specific impairment of face processing abilities in children with autism spectrum disorder using the Let’s Face It! Skills Battery. Autism Research, 2008: 1 (6), 329-340.
Levy, S.E., Mandell, D.S, & Schultz, R.T. Autism. Lancet. 2009: 374 (9701):1627-38
Tanaka,, JW, Wolf, JM, Klaiman, C, Koenig, K, Cockburn, J, Herlihy, L, Brown, C, Stahl, S, Kaiser, MD, & Schultz, R.T.. Using computerized games to teach face recognition skills to children with autism spectrum disorder: The Let's Face It! program. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2010: 51(8), 944-952.
Coutanche, MN, Thompson-Schill, SL and Schultz, R.T. Multi-voxel pattern analysis of fMRI data predicts clinical symptom severity. NeuroImage,2011: 57(1), 113-123.
Cheon, KA, Kim, YS, Oh, SH, Park, SY; Yoon, HW, Herrington, J, Nair, A; Koh, YJ, Jang, DP, Kim, YB, Leventhal, BL, Cho, ZH, Castellanos, FX, Schultz, R.T.. Involvement of the Anterior Thalamic Radiation in Boys with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: a Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study. Brain Research, 2011: 1417, 77-86.
Bloy, L., Ingalhalikar, M., Eavani, H., Schultz, R.T., Roberts, T.P.L., Verma, R., White Matter Atlas Generation using HARDI based Automated Parcellation. Neuroimage, 2012: 59(4):4055-63.
Bloy L, Ingalhalikar, M, Batmanghelich, NK, Schultz, RT, Roberts, TPL, Verma, R. An Integrated Framework for HARDI-based Investigation of Structural Connectivity. Brain Connectivity, 2012 Apr 15. [Epub ahead of print]
Wolff, JJ, Gu, H, Gerig, G, Elison, JT, Gouttard, S, Styner, M Botteron, KN, Collins, L, Dager, SR, Dawson, G, Estes, AM, Evans, A, Hazlett, HC, Kostopoulos, P, McKinstry, RC, Paterson, SJ, Schultz, R.T., Zwaigenbaum, L, Piven, J. for the IBIS Network. Differences in White Matter Fiber Tract Development Present from 6 to 24 Months in Infants with Autism. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2012;169(6):589-60
Chevallier, C., Kohls, G., Troiani, V., Brodkin, E.S. & Schultz, R.T. The Social Motivation Theory of Autism. Trends in Cognitive Science, 2012, 16(4):231-9.
Tanaka, J.W., Wolf, J.M. Klaiman, C., Koenig, K.,Cockburn, J., Herlihy, L., Brown, C., Stahl, S., South, M., McPartland, J.,Kaiser, M.D., & Schultz, R.T. The perception and identification of facial emotions in individuals with AutismSpectrum Disorders using the Let’s Face It! Emotion Skills Battery. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2012 Jul 11. [Epub ahead of print]
Kohls, G., Schulte-Ruther, M., Nehrkorn, B., Muller, K, Fink, GR, Kamp-Becker, I., Herpertz-Dahlmann, B., Schultz, R.T., Konrad, K. Reward system dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders. Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience, 2012 Apr 11 [Epub ahead of print]
Herrington, JD, Nymberg, C, Faja, SK, Price, E & Schultz, RT. The Responsiveness of Biological Motion Processing Areas to Selective Attention Towards Goals. Neuroimage., 2012 Oct 15;63(1):581-90. Epub 2012 Jul 14
Kohls, G., Chevallier, C., Troiani, V., Schultz, R.T. Social ‘wanting’ dysfunction in autism: neurobiological underpinnings and treatment implications. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. 2012, 4(7), 1-20, Epub 2012, June 27