Na Yeon Kim, Ph.D.

California Institute of Technology

Na Yeon Kim received her B.A. in cognitive science from Yale University and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and neuroscience from Princeton University. As a postdoctoral scholar, she studies perceptual and attention functions that underlie atypical social cognition in autism. Her current projects employ novel eye-tracking technology based on camera input (webcam or smartphone camera) to better characterize individual differences within or across diagnostic labels, as well as within-individual changes across time. In the future, she hopes to combine behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging methods to study typical and atypical development of attention capacities that support our daily social behavior.

Principal Investigator: Ralph Adolphs

Fellows: Emily Corona Galindo & Qianhui Hong

Undergraduate Fellow Project:

In this project, the SURFiN fellow will work closely with a graduate student (Qianying Wu) to explore blinks and pupil changes in response to audio and visual features from naturalistic movies and compare these measurements between autism and control participants.

The fellow will have access to two eyetracking datasets with naturalistic movie-watching tasks:1) a high-quality dataset collected with a desktop eyetracker (20 healthy participants and 20 participants with high-functioning autism), and 2) a large-sample dataset that will be collected over the internet using webcam-based eyetracking (as part of the SFARI 2022 Human Cognitive and Behavioral Science RFA we were recently awarded).

To analyze the data, the fellow will:1) identify blinks and pupil dilations from the eyetracking data, 2) extract audio and visual features from the video stimuli, 3) build individualized regression models to predict blinks and pupil changes using the video features, and 4) compare parameters from individualized models between the autism and control group.

In addition to the data analysis, the student will have extensive opportunities to interact with our autism participants, observe the ADOS administration, and gain experience in data collection. The student will also be co-mentored by principal investigator Ralph Adolphs and Qianying Wu.

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