The Brown Center For The

Study Of Children At Risk

Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk
50 Holden Street
Providence RI 02908

Academic Administration:
(401) 453-7640

Clinical Services:
(401) 274-1122
x8936 or x8935

Contact Us



Autism Spectrum Disorders

Current research at the Brown Center for Children seeks to understand how children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) respond to social information and explores individual differences in social functioning in ASD. Our research also seeks to identify signs and markers of autism in the prenatal and early infant periods. Active grant funded studies include a study of prenatal behavioral signs of autism and infant cry as an early marker of autism. The lead investigator for autism studies at the Center is Stephen Sheinkopf, Ph.D. Collaborators at the Center include Barry Lester,Ph.D., Cynthia Loncar, Ph.D., Amy Salisbury, Ph.D., and Todd Levine, MD. For more information contact Stephen Sheinkopf at, or our study email

Autism Home Video Study: Help identify the early signs of autism

Researchers at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and Brown University are investigating signs of autism in early infancy. Home videos or DVDs of children when they were infants (birth - 6 months) will be reviewed. Children can be any age at present – we are seeking videos/DVDs from when children were infants. Our researchers will analyze home recordings of vocalizations including crying or fussing made by babies who were later diagnosed with an ASD (autism spectrum disorder).

You can participate right from your own home! For more information , please contact Gabrielle at (401) 274-1122 ext. 8963 or by email at

Autism Fetal Behavior Study

Researchers at the Brown Center are investigating signs of autism in the fetal and newborn periods in babies at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. This study involves observations of babies before birth using fetal ultrasound, and then an additional observation of your baby after he or she is born.

Who can participate?

If you are an expectant mother with one or more older children with an autism spectrum disorder, you may be eligible to participate. Observations will be made during the 3rd trimester of your pregnancy and then within the first month after your baby’s birth.

Where does the study take place?

At the Fetal Behavior Lab, located at the Brown Center for the Study of Risk in Providence, RI

How to participate:

If interested in this study, please contact the researchers by telephone (401-274-1122 ext. 8964) or by E-Mail

Study of Social Anxiety in Asperger's Disorder

The goal of this pilot study is to determine if social anxiety manifests itself differently in children with Asperger's Disorder compared to children with social anxiety alone. We will examine heart rate, stress hormone response (cortisol), galvanic skin response, as well as parent and child reports of anxiety during a mild social stressor (The Trier Social Stress Test). We will compare these data between the two groups and determine if neurobiological differences do exist which can help elucidate differential response to stress and social anxiety.  For more information contact: Todd Levine at