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Communication and Social Skills by Imagination study -- Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institution

The resources and information in the Milestones Autism Resources Center are meant to be a reference, and should not be considered comprehensive or an endorsement or recommendation of any providers, methodologies or services from any of the groups, agencies or companies listed. We urge you to make independent judgment when selecting a professional to assist you. We provide guiding questions to help you think through what is right for your situation.

Person: Hunter Block-Beach
Phone: 216.445.3494


The Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institution is looking for high-functioning individuals age 21 and over with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as healthy volunteers to participate in a research study. They are looking at how to improve communication and social skills by training people to imagine themselves participating in social tasks.

As a volunteer for the study, you will complete some questionnaires and tasks to get an idea of your baseline functioning, including some autism specific tests, EEGs, and MRI. These will be repeated after training to see if there was any change as a result of the training. Next, you will participate in six brain-training sessions at NASA Glenn Research Center. There, they have a room designed for virtual reality experiences that make you feel like you’re entirely surrounded/involved in the activities you’re watching (called the GRUVE lab). You can read about the GRUVE lab here.

During several training sessions, they will record your brain activity by placing a cap on your head that picks up brain waves (called an EEG). Your brain activity will also be evaluated before and after training using MRI, a completely painless imaging machine that lets them see how your brain is working while you’re performing certain tasks.

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