Profile

Sara Jane Webb, PhD

Sara Jane Webb, PhD

Academic Title: Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and UW Autism Center, Research Program

Research Center: Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development

Overview

Research Description

Educational History:
Yale University, BA, 1996, Psychology (with distinction)
University of Minnesota, Institute of Child Development, PhD, 2001, Child Psychology, minor: Cognitive Neuroscience

Research Description:
My research focuses on the use of electroencephalography (EEG), event- related potentials (ERPs), eye tracking, and behavioral measures to study how infants, children, and adults learn about their environment, and how that learning is impacted by developmental disruptions.

This work covers several areas including:
(1) Attention, perceptual and cognitive ability.
(2) Early risk markers and protective factors.
(3) Prediction of response to intervention.

These projects represent an effort to understand the neural circuits that contributing to and underlie atypical development in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Fragile X Syndrome, and developmental delay. My goal is to bridge the divide between brain and behavior, using tasks and methodologies that allow us to better understand human development.

Lab URL

http://depts.washington.edu/pbslab/Home.html

Research Focus Area

Neuroscience / Neurodevelopment

Awards and Honors

Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs Early behavioral intervention is associated with normalized brain activity in young children with autism. Journal of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Time Magazine 2012
Women in Psychology Leadership Fellow APA 2011

Publications

  • Dawson G, Jones EJ, Merkle K, Venema K, Lowy R, Faja S, Kamara D, Murias M, Greenson J, Winter J, Smith M, Rogers SJ, Webb SJ
    Early behavioral intervention is associated with normalized brain activity in young children with autism.
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , 2012 Nov. : 51(11)1150-9
  • Webb SJ, Merkle K, Murias M, Richards T, Aylward E, Dawson G
    ERP responses differentiate inverted but not upright face processing in adults with ASD.
    Social cognitive and affective neuroscience , 2012 June : 7(5)578-87
  • Faja S, Webb SJ, Jones E, Merkle K, Kamara D, Bavaro J, Aylward E, Dawson G
    The effects of face expertise training on the behavioral performance and brain activity of adults with high functioning autism spectrum disorders.
    Journal of autism and developmental disorders , 2012 Feb. : 42(2)278-93
  • Webb SJ, Jones EJ, Merkle K, Venema K, Greenson J, Murias M, Dawson G
    Developmental change in the ERP responses to familiar faces in toddlers with autism spectrum disorders versus typical development.
    Child development , 2011 Nov. : 82(6)1868-86
  • McPartland JC, Webb SJ, Keehn B, Dawson G
    Patterns of Visual Attention to Faces and Objects in Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    Journal of autism and developmental disorders , 2010 May 25
  • Webb SJ, Jones EJ, Merkle K, Namkung J, Toth K, Greenson J, Murias M, Dawson G
    Toddlers with elevated autism symptoms show slowed habituation to faces.
    Child neuropsychology : a journal on normal and abnormal development in childhood and adolescence , 2010 May : 255-78
  • Corrigan NM, Richards T, Webb SJ, Murias M, Merkle K, Kleinhans NM, Johnson LC, Poliakov A, Aylward E, Dawson G
    An investigation of the relationship between fMRI and ERP source localized measurements of brain activity during face processing.
    Brain topography , 2009 Sept. : 83-96
  • Webb SJ, Merkle K, Murias M, Richards T, Aylward E, Dawson G
    ERP responses differentiate inverted but not upright face processing in adults with ASD.
    Social cognitive and affective neuroscience , 2009 May 19
  • Webb SJ, Sparks BF, Friedman SD, Shaw DW, Giedd J, Dawson G, Dager SR
    Cerebellar vermal volumes and behavioral correlates in children with autism spectrum disorder.
    Psychiatry research , 2009 Apr, 30 : 61-7
  • Faja S, Webb SJ, Merkle K, Aylward E, Dawson G
    Brief report: face configuration accuracy and processing speed among adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.
    Journal of autism and developmental disorders , 2009 Mar. : 532-8
  • Webb SJ, Nalty T, Munson J, Brock C, Abbott R, Dawson G
    Rate of head circumference growth as a function of autism diagnosis and history of autistic regression.
    Journal of child neurology , 2007 Oct. : 1182-90
  • Dawson G, Munson J, Webb SJ, Nalty T, Abbott R, Toth K
    Rate of head growth decelerates and symptoms worsen in the second year of life in autism.
    Biological psychiatry , 2007 Feb. 15 : 458-64
  • Munson J, Dawson G, Abbott R, Faja S, Webb SJ, Friedman SD, Shaw D, Artru A, Dager SR
    Amygdalar volume and behavioral development in autism.
    Archives of general psychiatry , 2006 June : 686-93
  • Dawson G, Webb SJ, McPartland J
    Understanding the nature of face processing impairment in autism: insights from behavioral and electrophysiological studies.
    Developmental neuropsychology , 2005 : 403-24
  • Dawson G, Webb SJ, Wijsman E, Schellenberg G, Estes A, Munson J, Faja S
    Neurocognitive and electrophysiological evidence of altered face processing in parents of children with autism: implications for a model of abnormal development of social brain circuitry in autism.
    Development and psychopathology , 2005 : 679-97

Research Funding

Grant Title Grantor Amount Award Date
Multimodal Developmental Neurogenetics of Females with ASD NIMH Aug. 1, 2012 - July 31, 1917
SPARCS: Physiology of Attention and Regulation in Children with ASD NICHD Aug. 1, 2010 - July 31, 2015
Social Processing, Language, and Executive Functioning in Twin Pairs: Electrophysiological and Behavioral Endophenotypes Autism Speaks June 1, 2010 - May 31, 2013