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Vanessa Troiani



Dr. Troiani is an Associate Research Scientist at the Center for Autism Research (CAR). She has a bachelor's degree from the honors program at the University of Michigan, where she used histological and MRI techniques to study microanatomical structure and cortical organization in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Dr. Troiani completed her doctorate degree in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, working under the mentorship of Robert Schultz, PhD. Her thesis work focused on whether hypoactivation in the amygdala in children with ASD is due to impaired automatic attention processes that proceed without awareness. Her current and future research at CAR focuses on understanding the complex interplay between reward and experience on perceptual learning. Dr. Troiani’s primary research methods are functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in combination with continuous flash suppression (CFS).

Dr. Troiani is also a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Temple University in the laboratory of Ingrid Olson, PhD. At Temple University, she studies social motivation and cognition in college students and adolescents. The goal of Dr. Troiani’s research is to fully characterize the attention processes that are modulated by altered social homeostasis in typical development, in order to ultimately understand how these processes malfunction in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Sample of Significant Publications

Chevallier, C., Kohls, G., Troiani, V., Brodkin, E.S., Schultz, R.T. (in press). The Social Motivation Theory of Autism. Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

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