Jason completed his PhD in Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience) at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Towards the end of his PhD, Jason moved to Baltimore, Maryland in the United States of America to work with Dr. Nicolaas Puts at Johns Hopkins University. After a productive year, Jason moved with Dr. Puts to King’s College London, where they currently work as part of the AIMS-2-TRIALS, a large European wide collaboration aiming to identify biomarkers for the early-identification and treatment of autism.
Jason’s research is focused on identifying alterations of sensory processing and cognition in a range of neurodevelopment conditions. Jason is particularly interested in autism. In his recent publication in Communications Biology, we identified perceptual alterations that were specifically associated with autism symptom severity. Specifically, Jason found that autistic children who had more difficulties with discriminating between the amplitudes and frequencies of tactile stimuli also had more clinically-assessed difficulties with social communication. The findings in this study were impactful since sensory symptoms were believed to be a disorder-general symptom present across a range of neurodevelopment conditions. Instead, the results of this study suggests that although some symptoms may be disorder-general, there are sensory symptoms that are indeed disorder-specific. In our recent work, Jason found that children on the autism spectrum had elevated levels of glutamate + glutamine in their primary sensorimotor cortices. Critically, elevated glutamate + glutamine was associated with worse amplitude and frequency discrimination (which had earlier been identified as being an autism-specific sensory alteration).
Outside of work, Jason likes to spend time with his wife, friends and family, and engages in a range of different hobbies which includes going to the gym, skateboarding and playing chess.