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Twin Autism Project

researchersThe Twin Autism Project is a population-based twin study of autism. The project aims to identify nearly all of the twin pairs aged 2-21 years in the state of Wisconsin, in which one or both twins have an autism spectrum diagnosis. The project includes primary screening during toddlerhood, secondary screening after age four, and a full diagnostic and behavioral assessment of both co-twins to confirm or rule out the presence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis. A section of the project is also dedicated to conducting structural and functional MRI on twin pairs over age seven.

A main goal of the project is to estimate the degree of genetic influence on autism. Inferences about the heritability of the autism spectrum depend on the differential concordance of monozygotic versus dizygotic co-twins. The project also assesses whether twins are more likely than singletons to receive an autism spectrum diagnosis. The neuroimaging component investigates twins’ concordance for neural activation and brain structure, with particular attention paid to the discordant monozygotic pairs.


University of Wisconsin-Madison :: Department of Psychology :: Waisman Center
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Psychology Department, University of WI, Madison
Waisman Center, UW Madison