Sara Jane Webb, PhD

Sara Jane Webb, PhD

Academic Title: Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Center on Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Childrens Research Institute

"By understanding genetics and brain functioning, we hope to be able to predict which interventions will work for each child with autism spectrum disorder. The mission of my lab is to conduct state-of-the-art research into the etiology, course, and treatment of developmental disabilities in an academic training environment."

  • Dr. Sara Jane Webb is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in child/developmental psychology who studies development in individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

    I am the recipient of the Mary Gates Undergraduate Research Mentorship Award, Associate Director of the NICHD Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Center, Steering Board member for the SCRI Center on Child Health, Behavior and Development and the UW Molecular Medicines & Mechanisms of Disease Program, and Faculty Liaison for the SCRI Office of Teaching, Research and Education.

  • Other Publications

    • Neuhaus E, Bernier RA, Webb SJ
      Social Motivation Across Multiple Measures: Caregiver-Report of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
      32929890 Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research, 2020 Sept. 14
    • Levin AR, Naples AJ, Scheffler AW, Webb SJ, Shic F, Sugar CA, Murias M, Bernier RA, Chawarska K, Dawson G, Faja S, Jeste S, Nelson CA, McPartland JC, Åžentürk D
      Day-to-Day Test-Retest Reliability of EEG Profiles in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typical Development.
      32425762 Frontiers in integrative neuroscience, 2020 : 1421 PMCID:PMC7204836
    • McPartland JC, Bernier RA, Jeste SS, Dawson G, Nelson CA, Chawarska K, Earl R, Faja S, Johnson SP, Sikich L, Brandt CA, Dziura JD, Rozenblit L, Hellemann G, Levin AR, Murias M, Naples AJ, Platt ML, Sabatos-DeVito M, Shic F, Senturk D, Sugar CA, Webb SJ, Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials.
      The Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials (ABC-CT): Scientific Context, Study Design, and Progress Toward Biomarker Qualification.
      32346363 Frontiers in integrative neuroscience, 2020 : 1416 PMCID:PMC7173348
    • Neuhaus E, Webb SJ, Bernier RA
      Linking social motivation with social skill: The role of emotion dysregulation in autism spectrum disorder.
      30957732 Development and psychopathology, 2019 Aug. : 31(3)931-943
    • Bazelmans T, Jones EJH, Ghods S, Corrigan S, Toth K, Charman T, Webb SJ
      Heart rate mean and variability as a biomarker for phenotypic variation in preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder.
      30114343 Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research, 2019 Jan. : 12(1)39-52
    • Arnett AB, Hudac CM, DesChamps TD, Cairney BE, Gerdts J, Wallace AS, Bernier RA, Webb SJ
      Auditory perception is associated with implicit language learning and receptive language ability in autism spectrum disorder.
      30312833 Brain and language, 2018 Dec. : 1871-8
    • Neuhaus E, Beauchaine TP, Bernier RA, Webb SJ
      Child and family characteristics moderate agreement between caregiver and clinician report of autism symptoms.
      29251835 Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research, 2018 March : 11(3)476-487 PMCID:PMC5867206
    • Neuhaus E, Bernier RA, Tham SW, Webb SJ
      Gastrointestinal and Psychiatric Symptoms Among Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder.
      30405456 Frontiers in psychiatry, 2018 : 9515 PMCID:PMC6204460
    • Webb SJ, Neuhaus E, Faja S
      Face perception and learning in autism spectrum disorders.
      26886246 Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006), 2017 May : 70(5)970-986 PMCID:PMC5026554
    • Jones EJ, Venema K, Earl RK, Lowy R, Webb SJ
      Infant social attention: an endophenotype of ASD-related traits?
      27861851 Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, 2017 March : 58(3)270-281
    • Webb SJ, Garrison MM, Bernier R, McClintic AM, King BH, Mourad PD
      Severity of ASD symptoms and their correlation with the presence of copy number variations and exposure to first trimester ultrasound.
      27582229 Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research, 2017 March : 10(3)472-484 PMCID:PMC5332517
    • Charman T, Young GS, Brian J, Carter A, Carver LJ, Chawarska K, Curtin S, Dobkins K, Elsabbagh M, Georgiades S, Hertz-Picciotto I, Hutman T, Iverson JM, Jones EJ, Landa R, Macari S, Messinger DS, Nelson CA, Ozonoff S, Saulnier C, Stone WL, Tager-Flusberg H, Webb SJ, Yirmiya N, Zwaigenbaum L
      Non-ASD outcomes at 36 months in siblings at familial risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD): A baby siblings research consortium (BSRC) study.
      27417857 Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research, 2017 Jan. : 10(1)169-178
    • Hudac CM, Stessman HAF, DesChamps TD, Kresse A, Faja S, Neuhaus E, Webb SJ, Eichler EE, Bernier RA
      Exploring the heterogeneity of neural social indices for genetically distinct etiologies of autism.
      28559932 Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders, 2017 : 924 PMCID:PMC5446693
    • Garman HD, Spaulding CJ, Webb SJ, Mikami AY, Morris JP, Lerner MD
      Wanting it Too Much: An Inverse Relation Between Social Motivation and Facial Emotion Recognition in Autism Spectrum Disorder.
      26743637 Child psychiatry and human development, 2016 Dec. : 47(6)890-902 PMCID:PMC4936965
    • Faja S, Clarkson T, Webb SJ
      Neural and behavioral suppression of interfering flankers by children with and without autism spectrum disorder.
      27825750 Neuropsychologia, 2016 Dec. : 93(Pt A)251-261 PMCID:PMC5154614
    • Navot N, Jorgenson AG, Vander Stoep A, Toth K, Webb SJ
      Family planning and family vision in mothers after diagnosis of a child with autism spectrum disorder.
      26395237 Autism : the international journal of research and practice, 2016 July : 20(5)605-15 PMCID:PMC4981328
    • Neuhaus E, Jones EJ, Barnes K, Sterling L, Estes A, Munson J, Dawson G, Webb SJ
      The Relationship Between Early Neural Responses to Emotional Faces at Age 3 and Later Autism and Anxiety Symptoms in Adolescents with Autism.
      27055415 Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 2016 July : 46(7)2450-63 PMCID:PMC5305034
    • Neuhaus E, Kresse A, Faja S, Bernier RA, Webb SJ
      Face processing among twins with and without autism: social correlates and twin concordance.
      26137974 Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 2016 Jan. : 11(1)44-54 PMCID:PMC4692310
    • Jones EJ, Venema K, Lowy R, Earl RK, Webb SJ
      Developmental changes in infant brain activity during naturalistic social experiences.
      26219834 Developmental psychobiology, 2015 Nov. : 57(7)842-53 PMCID:PMC4615531
    • Webb SJ, Bernier R, Henderson HA, Johnson MH, Jones EJ, Lerner MD, McPartland JC, Nelson CA, Rojas DC, Townsend J, Westerfield M
      Guidelines and best practices for electrophysiological data collection, analysis and reporting in autism.
      23975145 Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 2015 Feb. : 45(2)425-43 PMCID:PMC4141903
    • Messinger DS, Young GS, Webb SJ, Ozonoff S, Bryson SE, Carter A, Carver L, Charman T, Chawarska K, Curtin S, Dobkins K, Hertz-Picciotto I, Hutman T, Iverson JM, Landa R, Nelson CA, Stone WL, Tager-Flusberg H, Zwaigenbaum L
      Early sex differences are not autism-specific: A Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC) study.
      26045943 Molecular autism, 2015 : 632 PMCID:PMC4455973
    • Hudac CM, Kresse A, Aaronson B, DesChamps TD, Webb SJ, Bernier RA
      Modulation of mu attenuation to social stimuli in children and adults with 16p11.2 deletions and duplications.
      26213586 Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders, 2015 : 7(1)25 PMCID:PMC4514956
    • Webb SJ, Jones EJ, Kelly J, Dawson G
      The motivation for very early intervention for infants at high risk for autism spectrum disorders.
      24410019 International journal of speech-language pathology, 2014 Feb. : 16(1)36-42 PMCID:PMC4141560
    • Kodish I, Rockhill CM, Webb SJ
      ASD: Psychopharmacologic Treatments and Neurophysiologic Underpinnings.
      24683058 Current topics in behavioral neurosciences, 2014 : 21257-75 PMCID:PMC4180816
    • 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.
      23101741 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.
      19454620 Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 2012 June : 7(5)578-87 PMCID:PMC3375882
    • 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.
      21484517 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.
      22004249 Child development, 2011 Nov. : 82(6)1868-86
    • Webb SJ, Jones EJ, Merkle K, Murias M, Greenson J, Richards T, Aylward E, Dawson G
      Response to familiar faces, newly familiar faces, and novel faces as assessed by ERPs is intact in adults with autism spectrum disorders.
      20452382 International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology, 2010 Aug. : 77(2)106-17 PMCID:PMC2902604
    • Dawson G, Webb SJ, McPartland J
      Understanding the nature of face processing impairment in autism: insights from behavioral and electrophysiological studies.
      15843104 Developmental neuropsychology, 2005 : 403-24
    • Belmonte MK, Allen G, Beckel-Mitchener A, Boulanger LM, Carper RA, Webb SJ
      Autism and abnormal development of brain connectivity.
      15496656 The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2004 Oct. 20 : 24(42)9228-31 PMCID:PMC6730085
    • Dawson G, Carver L, Meltzoff AN, Panagiotides H, McPartland J, Webb SJ
      Neural correlates of face and object recognition in young children with autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, and typical development.
      12038546 Child development, 2002 May : 73(3)700-17 PMCID:PMC3651041

  • Grant Title Grantor Amount Award Date
    L16HTHOUSE. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of the Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy of Arbaclofen in Subjects with 16p11.2 deletion (16p del) Clinical Research Associates, Simons Foundation 2020 - 2022
    Exploratory Biomarkers of EEG response in children with 16p11.2 deletions Clinical Research Associates, Simons Foundation 2020 - 2022
    Attentional attributes of early child media usage NICHD 2019 - 2022
    U19 Consortium on biomarker and outcome measures of social impariment for use in clinical trials in autism spectrum disorders NIMH 2015 - 2024
    ACE Multimodal developmental Neurogenetics of females with ASD NIMH 2012 - 2022
    Complex versus Essential Autism: A Developmental Study of Risk NIMH
    Testing a computational model of neural responses in autism NIMH
    Parsing ASD heterogeneity: Neuroendophenotypes of social attention and sensory responsivity NIMH


Medical/Professional School

University of Washington, Seattle
Yale University, New Haven
University of Minnesota - Institute of Child Development, Minneapolis

Research Description

My work is focused on developing biomarkers of nervous system functioning across the lifespan, using methodologies such as electroencephalography (EEG), event-related potentials (ERP), eye tracking, cardiophysiology (EKG), functional magnetic resonance imaging and behavioral measures. 

Our research program is part of the Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials, the GENDAAR study of females/girls/women with ASD, the WONDER study of risk for autism in infants, as well as a number of other projects investigating the relation between genetics, brain functioning, and the trajectory of autism symptoms and behaviors.

Research Focus Area

Neuroscience / Neurodevelopment