Adults with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome

Understanding the brain mechanisms at work in older adults with autism can help us improve their lives and the lives of those who care about them.


Research Question

Dr. Ruth Carper, Dr. Inna Fishman, and their colleagues are conducting a research study to find out more about adults with autism spectrum disorders, including how adults with ASD think, how their brains work, and how these things change as they get older.

How can you help?

If you are between 40 and 75 years of age, live in Southern California, and have or suspect to have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Asperger’s Syndrome, you may be able to participate. We also invite adults who are not affected by autism to volunteer as comparison research participants.

What’s involved?


Diagnostic & Cognitive Assessments

The study involves autism diagnostic evaluation at the SDSU Center for Autism, and a neuropsychological battery testing your memory, attention span, and other cognitive skills.

MRI Scan

An MRI scan of your brain at the SDSU Imaging Center, which allows us to collect information about your brain anatomy and function.

Come back in 3-4 years

This is a longitudinal study, so we hope to see you back in about 3-4 years for another scan and set of assessments.

Get Compensated

Participants will be compensated for their time, about 8 hours over the course of 2 or 3 visits for each time point.


If you think you qualify for this study or if you are the guardian or conservator of someone who might, please get in touch!


Call (619) 594-0176 or email us at

Hear more about the study from KPBS

Coverage from SDSU News Center

“In the public consciousness, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a disorder that affects only children. In truth, ASD is a lifelong condition. But how it affects older adults is a gaping unknown in autism research. Now, a new and significant grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will help researchers at San Diego State University understand how the disorder plays out across the lifespan…”