Yale University

Understanding Autism

An educational resource from the Yale Child Study Center

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James C. McPartland

Assistant Professor, Yale Child Study Center

Associate Director, Developmental Electrophysiology Laboratory

James McPartland graduated magna cum laude in Psychology from Harvard University in 1996 and received a doctoral degree in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington in 2005, studying with Dr. Geraldine Dawson.  Under the mentorship of Drs. Ami Klin and Fred Volkmar, he completed a clinical fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center before joining the faculty in 2006.  Dr. McPartland is a licensed clinical psychologist, and he leads a multidisciplinary clinical team in the Yale Developmental Disabilities Clinic. 

Dr. McPartland’s program of research employs the temporally sensitive method of electroencephalography to investigate the integrity of brain systems supporting social information processing in social disabilities.  He is particularly interested in the developmental nature of social deficits in autism and the role that experience plays in shaping brain function and behavior over time.  His work has revealed anomalies in temporal processing of faces in people with autism at the most basic stages of perception.  His most recent research demonstrates preserved brain specialization for non-social information in people with autism despite atypical processing of social information.  The objective of Dr. McPartland’s program of research is to develop biologically-based tools for earlier identification of autism and for the objective assessment of response to intervention.  Dr. McPartland’s work in autism has been recognized by a Clinical and Translational Sciences Scholar Award from the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, a National Institutes of Mental Health Behavioral Science Track Award for Rapid Transition, and a NARSAD Young Investigator Award.