SPD Research Collaborations

SPD Scientific Work Group (SPD-SWG)

A group of renowned research scientists representing multiple disciplines has been meeting regularly since 2002 to discuss how their findings relate to explanations of the underlying mechanisms of Sensory Processing Disorder. Known as the SPD Scientific Work Group, this assembly also defines the additional studies needed as next steps to furthering understanding of SPD and solicits scientists to conduct the work.

The SPD Scientific Work Group collaboration began when the SPD Foundation (then the KID Foundation) sponsored a Sensory Processing Disorder research planning retreat in 2002 funded by the Wallace Research Foundation. This planning retreat brought together twelve researchers funded by National Institutes of Health grants to develop a blueprint for future research into SPD. These far-sighted planning efforts were continued at a second meeting in 2004 entitled The Neurobiology of Sensory Processing Disorder.

At the 2004 conference, the participants agreed to formalize their collaborative efforts as the Sensory Processing Disorder Scientific Work Group (SPD-SWG). In 2005, findings of many members were presented at the SPDF national conference in Bethesda, Maryland. In 2007, most of the members presented at the SPD Foundation national conference in New York City.

The SPD Scientific Work Group is engaged in research related to the following aspects of SPD. Abstracts of member studies may be found under Research, SPD-SWG in Our Library.

  • Neuropathology: What are the underlying physiological, neurological, and biochemical mechanisms implicated in SPD?
  • Differential Diagnosis: What is the evidence that SPD is a valid and separate condition from other developmental disorders?
  • Defining Characteristics: What is the behavioral phenotype of SPD? What are necessary and specific signs and symptoms for a diagnosis of SPD?
  • Treatment Effectiveness: Which treatments for SPD work effectively?
  • Prevalence: What is the prevalence of SPD in the general population and in individuals with disabilities?
  • Etiologies: What are the causes of SPD?
  • Developmental pathway: What is the developmental trajectory of SPD?

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SPD-SWG Participants

Active members of the Sensory Processing Disorder Scientific Work Group (SPD-SWG) in December 2012 are listed below. To learn more about a member, click on the name.

Roianne Ahn, PhD STAR Center
Simon Baron-Cohen, PhD, FBA University of Cambridge, Autism Research Centre
Margaret L. Bauman, MD Harvard Medical School
Ayelet Ben-Sasson, ScD, OT University of Haifa
Margaret Briggs-Gowan, PhD University of Connecticut
Jennifer Brout, PsyDSENetwork (Sensation and Emotion Network)
Joseph Buxbaum, MSc, PhD Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Stephen Camarata, PhDVanderbilt University
Alice S. Carter, PhDUniversity of Massachusetts - Boston
Patricia L. Davies, PhD, OTR, FAOTAColorado State University
David Eagleman, PhD Baylor College of Medicine
John J. Foxe, PhDAlbert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva
William J. Gavin, PhDColorado State University
H. Hill Goldsmith, PhDUniversity of Wisconsin - Madison
Edward J. Goldson, MDUniversity of Colorado - Denver Health Sciences Center
Matthew Goodwin, PhD Northeastern University
Moya Kinnealey, PhD, OTR/LTemple University
Michael A. Kisley, PhDUniversity of Colorado - Colorado Springs
Jane Koomar, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTASpiral Foundation
Shelly J. Lane, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTAVirginia Commonwealth University
Edward D. Levin, PhDDuke University Medical Center
David Lewkowicz, PhDFlorida Atlantic University
Elysa J. Marco, MDUniversity of California – San Francisco
Teresa A. May-Benson, ScD, OTR/LSpiral Foundation
Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTRSPD Foundation
Sophie Molholm, PhDAlbert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Darci Nielsen, PhD SPD Foundation
Shula Parush, PhD, OTRHebrew University of Jerusalem
David L. Pauls, PhDHarvard Medical School
Rosalind Picard, ScD Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stacey Reynolds, PhD, OTR/LVirginia Commonwealth University
M. Zachary Rosenthal, PhD Duke University School of Medicine
Benjamin Rowland, PhDWake Forest University School of Medicine
Roseann C. Schaaf, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTAThomas Jefferson University
Mary L. Schneider, PhD, OTR/LUniversity of Wisconsin - Madison
Sarah A. Schoen, PhD, OTRSPD Foundation
Sinclair A. Smith, ScDDrexel University
Barry E. Stein, PhDWake Forest University School of Medicine
Teresa Tavassoli, PhDSeaver Autism Center Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mark Wallace, PhD Vanderbilt University

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