Autism Study at the FACE Lab at Emerson College

Research Study

What is the FACE Lab?
We are the Facial Affective and Communicative Expressions (FACE) Lab for Autism Research at Emerson College in Boston, MA. The FACE Lab studies how children with and without autism use their faces, voices, and words to communicate with others, with the hope of eventually improving diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes in this population. We compensate for our studies, and many participants find the experience to be educational. We can show them what their heartbeat looks like, a three-dimensional model of their face, and how eye trackers work! Participation in our study consists of 2 visits to our lab, which is conveniently located across the street from the Boston Common (a five-minute walk from the red, green, and orange lines) and we do validate parking.

Who are we looking for:
We are looking for participants in some of our new studies! Specifically, we are looking for children ages 10-16 with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, as well as typically developing children to participate this spring, starting in late February.

What to expect at the lab:

  • About 4-6 hours (across two visits), but this may vary slightly depending on the study being done at the time
  • Consists of an ADOS (an autism diagnostic tool), an IQ test, a language test, and some surveys about anxiety levels
  • Is usually scheduled on a weekend (anytime) or in the evening on a weekday (afternoon 3:30-6:30), but scheduling is flexible
  • We record eye movements with a small camera, motion capture with small reflective stickers, and heart rate/sweating with small, non-painful electrodes
  • The studies consist of watching videos, creating a story, describing objects, and having various conversations with a staff member
  • Is compensated with $15-$20 per hour in Amazon gift cards depending on the length of the study.

However, before scheduling participants, we will need to have you complete a short (5-10 minute) phone screen about the child to make sure he/she fits our criteria.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send an email to