SNAP: Sensory Activity in Preschoolers

The SNAP study is looking at 3-6 year olds with a diagnosis of ASD


Sensory differences are part of autism diagnostic criteria, with 70-90% of children with autism being reported as hyper- or hypo-responsive. Among all, touch plays an important role in perception, and in early social and communicative development. In the present study we analyse brain and tablet-based touch responses in children at preschool age in order to make a subject-specific sensory-profile.



Given the impact of sensory difficulties on individuals’ lives including their potential impact on core social and associated symptoms of anxiety, our prospective approach will help to better understand the effect of specific sensory subtypes on later performance, including education and social life.


Your child learns about the world and other people through their senses, like seeing, hearing and touching. Among all, touching has guided your child’s curiosity in exploring the environment since the first years of life. But how can we understand how individual children sense the surrounding environment and which stimuli they prefer? We aim to answer this question by combining your child’s responses to different touch stimuli. Your child will be asked to spontaneously play or watch videos while both their natural brain and touch responses are recorded. If you or your child is interested in participating, sign up to our database, and we will invite you as soon as your child is the right age.

Please email us for further info and to take part: 


Click the link for a child-friendly overview with photos to show what will happen when they visit our labs for the SNAP study:-) 


Prof. Emily Jones (PI), Prof. Eva Loth (PI), Dr. Nick Puts (PI), Dr. Teresa Tavassoli (PI), Jannath Begum-Ali (Postdoc), Ottavia Ollari (RA), Zelal Gulbahce (RA), Laura Silva Abello (PhD student).

This research project is a collaboration between Birkbeck and King's