Research

Advancing autism research is a key aspect of the Victorian ASELCC. Thanks to our partnership with OTARC and the MIND Institute, we have the unique opportunity to conduct high quality, cutting-edge collaborative research in a community setting with participation of both educational and academic scientists. 

Our research program follows a 'translational model', in which intervention issues guide research questions and research, in turn, informs intervention.

Our research program aims to address three critical issues:

  • evidence (gathering evidence, developing and implementing evidence-based practices and evaluating their effectiveness);
  • individual differences in learning and responding to intervention (understanding heterogeneity in ASD,  and how different children learn in different ways, so to understand 'what works for whom, and why' in autism;
  • sustainability (testing feasibility of intervention strategies in cost-effective settings).

We have recently published an important paper in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders titled, 'Effectiveness and Feasibility of the Early Start Denver Model Implemented in a Group-Based Community Childcare Setting'. More information about this research (and other projects) can be found at the OTARC Blog.

Giacomo Vivanti

Dr Giacomo Vivanti is the Post-Doc Research Fellow working at the Margot Prior Wing. He also works at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre. His previous work experience includes a clinical internship at the University Hospital of Siena, Italy, a research fellowship at the Yale Child Study Centre, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the MIND Institute, Univeristy of California at Davis under the mentorship of Professor Sally Rogers.

Recent output from our research programs include invited lectures, seminars and training in national and international scientific meetings (including India, Italy, Israel, and Spain) and publications in leading scientific journals and books, including the following:

Vivanti, G., Dissanayake, C., Zierhut, C., Roger, S.J, & the Victorian ASELCC Team (2012). Predictors of Outcomes in the Early Start Denver Model delivered in a Group Setting. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI 10.1007/s10803-012-1705-7.

Vivanti, G., Rogers, S.J. (2011). Action understanding and social learning in Autism: A developmental perspective. Lifespan and Disability, 14(1):7-29.

Vivanti, G., McCormick, C., Young, G., Abucayan, F., Hatt, N., Nadig, A., Ozonoff, S., Rogers, S. (2011). Intact and Impaired Mechanisms of action understanding in autism and typical development. Developmental Psychology, 47(3):841-56.

Colombi, C., Vivanti, G., Rogers, S. (2011). The Neuropsychology of Imitation Deficit in Autism. In Fein, D. (Ed) The Neuropsychology of Autism. Oxford University Press.

Vivanti, G., Hamilton, A. (in press) Imitation in Autism Spectrum Disorders. In Volkmar, F., Paul, R., Rogers, S., Pelphrey, K. (Eds) The Handbook of Autism and Developmental Disorders. New York, Wiley.

Nuske, H., Vivanti, G., Dissanayake, C. (2013). Are emotion impairments unique to, universal, or specific in autism spectrum disorder? A comprehensive review. Cognition and Emotion, DOI10.1080/02699931.2012.762900.

Publications

Vivanti, G., Hamilton, A. (in press) Imitation in Autism Spectrum Disorders. In Volkmar, F., Paul, R., Rogers, S., Pelphrey, K. (Eds) The Handbook of Autism and Developmental Disorders. New York, Wiley

Vivanti, G., Hudry, K., Trembath, D., Barbaro, J., Richdale, A., Dissanayake, C. (2013) Towards the DSM 5 Criteria for Autism: Clinical, Cultural and Research Implications. Australian Psychologist.

Nuske, H., Vivanti, G., Dissanayake, C. (2013). Are emotion impairments unique to, universal, or specific in autism spectrum disorder? A comprehensive review. Cognition and Emotion, DOI10.1080/02699931.2012.762900

Duncan, E., Vivanti, G. (2013) Team approach. In Volkmar, F. (Ed) The Encyclopedia of Autism and Related Disorders. Springer

Vivanti, G., Dissanayake, C., Zierhut, C., Roger, S.J, & the Victorian ASELCC Team (2012). Predictors of Outcomes in the Early Start Denver Model delivered in a Group Setting. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI 10.1007/s10803-012-1705-7  

Volkmar, F., McClure, I., Van der Gaag, R., Vivanti, G., Minderaa, R. (2012) International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions Declaration on Autism. http://iacapap.org/iacapaps-declaration-on-austism-spectrum-disorders

Colombi, C., Vivanti, G., Rogers, S. (2011). The Neuropsychology of Imitation Deficit in Autism. In Fein, D. (Ed) The Neuropsychology of Autism. Oxford University Press

Vivanti, G., Rogers, S.J. (2011). Action understanding and social learning in Autism: A developmental perspective. Lifespan and Disability, 14(1):7-29.

Vivanti, G., McCormick, C., Young, G., Abucayan, F., Hatt, N., Nadig, A., Ozonoff, S., Rogers, S. (2011). Intact and Impaired Mechanisms of action understanding in autism and typical development. Developmental Psychology, 47(3):841-56.

Panocchia, N., Bossola, M., Vivanti, G. (2010). Transplantations and mental retardation. American Journal of Transplantation, 10(4): 727-730.

Nadig, A., Vivanti, G., Ozonoff, S. (2009) Object Descriptions Under Different Communicative Demands:  How Do Children with and without Autism Adapt?Autism Research 2(6):334-47

Vivanti, G., Nadig, A., Ozonoff, S., Rogers, S. (2008): What do children with autism attend to during imitation tasks? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 101(3):186-205

Canitano, R., Vivanti. G. (2007): Tics and Tourette syndrome in Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Autism, the International Journal of Research and Practice, 11(1): 19-28.