Inge-Marie Eigsti


Degree: Dual Ph.D., 2001, University of Rochester, in Clinical Psychology, & Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Webpages: Dr. Eigsti Lab
Research Interests: Psycholinguistics in autism spectrum disorders (acquisition of language, conversational gestures, discourse and executive processes, prosody); optimal outcomes in ASD; hyperlexia; savant musical skills; implicit learning; functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Research Synopsis: My research addresses a fundamental challenge in ASD: how to map complex behavioral constructs, such as social communication deficits, onto mechanistic processes in the brain. We primarily target low-level (and particularly non-social) cognitive processes, such as working memory and auditory processing, that may not be specific to the ASD diagnosis, but that can be linked to genetic, neurophysiological or neuroanatomical domains, and that impact socio-communicative behavior. The aim is to better understand the pathology of ASD by linking research at the molecular level (genetics), at the neurofunctional level (brain imaging), and at the behavioral level (symptomatology): We aim to connect complex behaviors to underlying genetic mechanisms. Click on the “projects” link for more detail on current research projects.
Courses: Abnormal Psychology (2300). Large (280 enrollments) undergraduate lecture course

Autism and Developmental Disorders (3202). Advanced undergraduate seminar incorporating both didactic and clinical components

Cognitive Assessment (5301). Graduate practicum course including supervised assessment experiences

Language Acquisition and Cognitive Development in Language Pathologies (5470), co-taught with L. Naigles. Graduate seminar on atypical language acquisition

Students in Research: Brian Castelluccio, M.A. (matriculated 2012). Outstanding Scholar Program Fellowship; IGERT Fellowship.

M.A.: Neural bases of emotion processing: Semantics and Prosody


Allison Canfield, M.A. (matriculated 2012).

M.A.: Story grammars in ASD and optimal outcomes from ASD

Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 1/2016


Joshua Green, M.A. (matriculated 2013). IGERT Fellowship.

M.A. (12/16/2015): Emotion perception in cell phone versus microphone recordings.


Anders Hogstrom, B.A. (matriculated 2014). Outstanding Scholar Fellowship.

M.A.: Music cognition in autism spectrum disorders.


Karla Rivera-Figueroa, B.A. (matriculated 2016). IGERT Fellowship; Crandall-Cordero Fellowship.

Recent publications: 1 . Brynskov, C., Eigsti, I. M., Jørgensen, M., Lemcke, S., Bohn, O.-S., & Krøjgaard, P. (2017). Syntax and morphology in Danish-speaking children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(2), 373-383. doi:10.1007/s10803-016-2962-7

2. De Marchena, A., & Eigsti, I. M. (2014). Context counts: The impact of social context on gesture rate in verbally fluent adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Gesture, 14(3), 375–93. doi:10.1075/gest.14.3.05mar

3. Eigsti, I. M., Stevens, M., Schultz, R., Barton, M., Kelley, E., Naigles, L. R., . . . Fein, D. A. (2016). Language comprehension and brain function in individuals with optimal outcomes from autism. NeuroImage: Clinical, 10, 182-91.

4. Hall, M. L., Eigsti, I. M., Bortfeld, H., & Lillo-Martin, D. (in press). Auditory access, language access, and implicit sequence learning in Deaf children. Developmental Science.

5. Schuh, J. M., Eigsti, I. M., & Mirman, D. (2016). Referential communication in autism spectrum disorder: The roles of working memory and theory of mind. Autism Research. doi:10.1002/aur.1632

Representative Publications: 1. Eigsti, I. M., Stevens, M., Schultz, R., Barton, M., Kelley, E., Naigles, L. R., . . . Fein, D. A. (in press). Language comprehension and brain function in individuals with optimal outcomes from autism. NeuroImage: Clinical.


2. Eigsti, I. M., Rosset, D., Col Cozzari, G., da Fonseca, D., & Deruelle, C. (2015). Effects of motor action on affective preferences in autism spectrum disorders: different influences of embodiment. Developmental Science. doi:10.1111/desc.12278


3. Eigsti, I. M., & Fein, D. A. (2013). More is less: pitch discrimination and language delays in children with optimal outcomes from autism. Autism Research, 6(6), 605-613. doi: 610.1002/aur.1324. Epub 2013 Aug 1008.


4. Eigsti, I. M. (2013). A review of embodiment in autism spectrum disorders. Frontiers in psychology, 4:224.(doi), 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00224. eCollection 02013.


5. *Mayo, J., & Eigsti, I. M. (2012). A comparison of statistical learning in school-aged children with high functioning autism and typically developing peers. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 2476-2485. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1493-0

Primary Collaborators:
  • Jim Magnuson (Perception/Action/Cognition)
  • Deb Fein (Clinical)
  • Holly Fitch (Behavioral Neuroscience)
  • Ed Large (Perception/Action/Cognition)
  • Elena Grigorenko (Behavioral Genetics)
  • Jan Edwards (Speech-Language Pathology)
  • Elena Tenenbaum (Psychology)


Dr. Inge-Maire Eigsti
Contact Information
Mailing AddressUnit 1020
Office LocationBousfield 146