Brittany G. Travers

Brittany Travers

PhD, University of Alabama
Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Program in Department of Kinesiology

Contact Information:

Waisman Center
1500 Highland Avenue
Room 435
Madison, WI 53705
608.263.0282
btravers@wisc.edu
Website: Motor Brain and Development Lab

Research Statement

My research examines motor development and corresponding brain development in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disorders. We combine neuroimaging measures using Magnetic Resonance Imaging [MRI] with behavioral measures of motor function and daily living skills. Our research to date suggests that individuals with autism struggle with motor difficulties and that these motor difficulties predict impairments in other domains. Therefore, we are particularly interested in how interventions that target motor ability in ASD may have cascading benefits on an individual’s ability to independently function.

 The long term goals of this research are to:

  1. Learn how motor difficulties manifest and change with age in autism and other developmental disorders
  2. Understand the underlying brain mechanisms of motor and core symptoms in autism
  3. Find ways that motor performance can be improved to enhance quality of life of people with autism and other developmental disorders

Representative Publications

Dean DC 3rd, Travers BG, Adluru N, Tromp do PM, Destiche DJ, Samsin D, Prigge MB, Zielinski BA, Fletcher PT, Anderson JS, Froehlich AL, Bigler ED, Lange N, Lainhart JE, Alexander AL. (2016) Investigating the Microstructural Correlation of White Matter in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Brain Connectivity. 6(5):415-33. doi: 10.1089/brain.2015.0385.

Trontel HG, Duffield TC, Bigler ED, Abildskov TJ, Froehlich A, Prigge MB, Travers BG, Anderson JS, Zielinski BA, Alexander AL, Lange N, Lainhart JE. (2015) Mesial temporal lobe and memory function in autism spectrum disorder: An exploration of volumetric findings. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. 37(2):178-92. doi: 10.1080/13803395.2014.997677.

Travers BG, Tromp do PM, Adluru N, Lange N, Destiche D, Ennis C, Nielsen JA, Froehlich AL, Prigge MB, Fletcher PT, Anderson JS, Zielinski BA, Bigler ED, Lainhart JE, Alexander AL. (2015) Atypical development of white matter microstructure of the corpus callosum in males with autism: a longitudinal investigation. Molecular Autism. 11;6:15. doi: 10.1186/s13229-015-0001-8.

Mussey JL, Travers BG, Klinger LG, Klinger MR. (2015) Decision-Making Skills in ASD: Performance on the Iowa Gambling Task. Autism Research. 8(1):105-14. doi: 10.1002/aur.1429.

Travers BG, Kana RK, Klinger LG, Klein CL, Klinger MR. (2015) Motor learning in individuals with autism spectrum disorder: activation in superior parietal lobule related to learning and repetitive behaviors. Autism Research. 8(1):38-51. doi: 10.1002/aur.1403.

Lange N, Travers BG, Bigler ED, Prigge MB, Froehlich AL, Nielsen JA, Cariello AN, Zielinski BA, Anderson JS, Fletcher PT, Alexander AA, Lainhart JE. (2015) Longitudinal volumetric brain changes in autism spectrum disorder ages 6-35 years. Autism Res. 2015 Feb;8(1):82-93. doi: 10.1002/aur.1427. 8(1):82-93. doi: 10.1002/aur.1427.

Jantz PB, Bigler ED, Froehlich AL, Prigge MB, Cariello AN, Travers BG, Anderson J, Zielinski BA, Alexander AL, Lange N, Lainhart JE. (2015) Wide range achievement test in autism spectrum disorder: test-retest stability. Psychological Reports. 116(3):674-84. doi: 10.2466/03.15.PR0.116k24w8.

Travers BG, Bigler ED, Tromp DPM, Adluru N, Froehlich AL, Ennis C, Lange N, Nielsen JA, Prigge MB, Alexander AL, Lainhart JE. (2014) Longitudinal processing speed impairments in males with autism and the effects of white matter microstructureLongitudinal processing speed impairments in males with autism and the effects of white matter microstructure. Neuropsychologia. Neuropsychologia, 53, 137-145.

Converse AK, Ahlers EO, Travers BG, Davidson RJ. (2014) Tai chi training reduces self-report of inattention in healthy young adults. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 27;8:13.

Zielinski BA, Prigge MB, Nielsen JA, Froehlich AL, Abildskov TJ, Anderson JS, Fletcher PT, Zygmunt KM, Travers BG, Lange N, Alexander AL, Bigler ED, Lainhart JE. (2014) Longitudinal changes in cortical thickness in autism and typical development. Brain. 137(Pt 6):1799-812.

Trontel HG, Duffield TC, Bigler ED, Froehlich A, Prigge MB, Nielsen JA, Cooperrider JR, Cariello AN, Travers BG, Anderson JS, Zielinski BA, Alexander A, Lange N, Lainhart JE. (2013) Fusiform correlates of facial memory in autism. Behavioral Sciences. 3(3):348-71. doi: 10.3390/bs3030348.

Duffield TC, Trontel HG, Bigler ED, Froehlich A, Prigge MB, Travers B, Green RR, Cariello AN, Cooperrider J, Nielsen J, Alexander A, Anderson J, Fletcher PT, Lange N, Zielinski B, Lainhart J. (2013) Neuropsychological investigation of motor impairments in Autism. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. 35(8):867-81.

Travers BG, Powell PS, Mussey JL, Klinger LG, Crisler ME, Klinger MR. (2013) Spatial and identity cues differentially affect implicit contextual cueing in adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 43(10):2393-404.

Travers BG, Powell PS, Klinger LG, Klinger MR. (2013) Motor difficulties in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Linking symptom severity and postural stability. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 43(7):1568-83.

Travers BG, Adluru N, Ennis C, Tromp do PM, Destiche D, Doran S, Bigler ED, Lange N, Lainhart JE, Alexander AL. (2012) Diffusion tensor imaging in autism spectrum disorder: a review. Autism Research. 5(5):289-313.

Kana RK, Travers BG. (2012) Neural substrates of interpreting actions and emotions from body postures. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 7(4):446-56.

Travers BG, Klinger MR, Mussey JL, Klinger LG. (2010) Motor-linked implicit learning in persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Autism Research. 3(2):68-77.