Helen Tager-Flusberg received her B.Sc. in psychology from University College London and her doctorate from Harvard University. She is currently a professor of psychological and brain sciences and director of the Center for Autism Research Excellence, at Boston University.
The main focus of Tager-Flusberg’s research has been on defining the neurocognitive and developmental bases of the language, communication and associated social-cognitive deficits in autism (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Over the past decade, she has investigated language phenotypes across the full spectrum of language ability from minimally verbal to verbally fluent and in comparison to other populations using behavioral/cognitive methods and structural and functional imaging methods in individuals with ASD and their first degree relatives.
This work is now continuing with: (1) investigations of minimally verbal individuals with ASD with a specific focus on adapting and developing appropriate testing methods and measures, exploring the neural and cognitive mechanisms that underlie the absence of speech and language in this population and evaluating novel behavioral interventions; (2) neurobehavioral risk markers in infants who are at heightened risk for ASD or communication disorders; (3) the development of a novel game-based intervention for auditory attention; (4) neural and behavioral investigations of the mirror neuron system; and (5) the development of expressive language outcome measures.
Tager-Flusberg has edited seven books and written over 200 journal articles and book chapters. She is the former president of the International Society for Autism Research, serves on the editorial board of several scientific journals and is section editor of the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Tager-Flusberg regularly presents her work at scientific and professional conferences and to parent advocacy groups and other stakeholders in the United States and countries around the world.