Christine Nordahl, Ph.D

 Christine    Nordahl, Ph.D


  • Assistant Professor
  • Psychiatry and Behavioral Science


Neural Basis for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Research Summary

Dr. Nordahl’s research interest is in understanding the neural basis for autism spectrum disorders. She utilizes structural and functional neuroimaging to investigate alterations in brain structure and connectivity in very young children with autism.  She completed a double major at Cornell University in Neurobiology & Behavior and Psychology and received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UC Davis. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the MIND Institute’s Interdisciplinary Autism Research Training Program and spearheaded the development of pediatric imaging protocols to acquire MRI scans in infants and toddlers during natural sleep, without the use of sedation or anesthesia. Dr. Nordahl joined the MIND Institute faculty in 2011 and holds an academic appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. 

Selected Publications

Nordahl CW, Scholz R, Yang X, Buonocore MH, Simon T, Rogers S, Amaral DG (2012) Increased rate of amygdala growth in children aged 2 to 4 years with autism spectrum disorders: a longitudinal study. Archives General Psychiatry 69:53-61

Nordahl CW, Lange N, Li DD, Barnett LA, Lee A, Buonocore MH, Simon TJ, Rogers S, Ozonoff S, Amaral DG (2011) Brain enlargement is associated with regression in preschool-age boys with autism spectrum disorders. Proceedings of the Naional Academy of Sciences 108:20195-20200.

Schumann CM, Nordahl CW (2011) Bridging the gap between MRI and postmortem research in autism. Brain Research 1380:175-186.

Nordahl CW, Simon TJ, Zierhut C, Solomon M, Rogers SJ, Amaral DG (2008) Brief report: methods for acquiring structural MRI data in very young children with autism without the use of sedation. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 38:1581-1590

Amaral DG, Schumann CM, Nordahl CW (2008) Neuroanatomy of autism. Trends in Neuroscience 31:137-145

Nordahl CW, Dierker D, Mostafavi I, Schumann CM, Rivera S, Amaral DG, Van Essen DC. (2007) Cortical shape characteristics in children and adolescents with autism. Journal of Neuroscience 27(43):11725–11735