Oulu Autism Research Group

Oulu Autism Research Group is multidisciplinary research team focusing on neurodevelopmental disorders, especially Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Communication difficulties, interaction problems and restrictive/repetitive behaviors are typical symptoms in ASD, but the level of disability and the combination of symptoms vary from person to person. ASD is typically diagnosed in childhood.

Research group information

Research group description

Oulu Autism Research Group in the Department of Child Psychiatry is part of the Research Unit of Clinical Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine. The Research Group consists of several researchers at the University and University Hospital of Oulu, child psychiatrists, education scientists, pediatrician, psychologists, radiologists and logopedists.

The research launched by professor emerita Irma Moilanen started in 1995 with epidemiological study of autism and ASD. Over the years the research has extended to include several different domains and subprojects. Oulu Autism Research Group works in collaboration with several international researchers and research units. The group received major funding from the Academy of Finland, the Alma and K. A. Snellman Foundation, the Thule Institute, the National Alliance for Autism Research, U.S., the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, the Finnish Brain Foundation and Emil Aaltonen foundation, among other sponsors.

With the aim to investigate the nature of ASD and relating features, also as basis for treatment and rehabilitation, group's comprehensive child and adolescent psychiatric study consists of different subprojects connective with each other.

  • Register-based and epidemiological studies including prevalence, validity of screening and diagnostic methods, co-morbid neurological and psychiatric disorders
  • Molecular genetic study of outpatients with ASD
  • Emotions and social anxiety in ASD
  • Communication in ASD
  • Brain morphology and function in ASD, including studies using MRI, fMRI, ERP, SPECT, neuropsychological tests and tests for affect recognition
  • Early detecting and interventions of Autism
  • Follow up-study from childhood to young adulthood

Research Group