Loisa Bennetto

Associate Professor of Psychology
PhD, University of Denver, 1999

354 Meliora Hall
(585) 275-8712
Fax: (585) 273-1100

Office Hours: By appointment


Research Overview

Prof. Bennetto will be accepting applications for graduate students for the 2017-18 academic year.

Professor Bennetto's research interests focus on the neurocognitive bases of autism and other developmental disorders. Her recent work examines the role of multisensory processing in social-communication difficulties and in everyday behaviors, including restricted food preferences.

My program of research is broadly directed at examining the neurocognitive bases of developmental disabilities, with the ultimate goal of understanding how atypical neurocognitive development relates to deficits in social-communication difficulties as well as everyday difficulties with adaptive functioning. My lab focuses primarily on understanding autism spectrum disorders, but we have also been working to understand other developmental disorders such as Down syndrome, as well as normal developmental processes.

Our recent work examines the role of multisensory processing in several domains, including social communication and feeding. Some of our current projects in the domain of social communication in autism examine audiovisual speech perception, hearing-in-noise perception (including both speech-in-noise and music-in-noise), speech-and-gesture production and comprehension, and the role of atypical sensorimotor function in facial expressiveness. Our research on feeding investigates the role of multisensory processing in the development of restrictive food preferences (picky eating) in children with autism. We are interested in understanding the relative roles of sensory functions (including taste and olfaction), behavioral factors (e.g., restricted behavior style, neophobia), and family preferences on eating behaviors.

For more information, please visit the Bennetto Lab page.

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • CSP 570  Clinical Assessment I: Psychometrics
  • PSY/CSP 384 and 385  Practicum in Developmental Disabilities
  • PSY/CSP 351 and 352  Research in Developmental Neuropsychology

Selected Publications

  • Silverman, L.B., Bennetto, L., Campana, E., & Tanenhaus, M.K. (2010). Speech-and-gesture integration in high functioning autism. Cognition, 115, 380-393.
  • Diehl, J.J., Watson, D., Bennetto, L., McDonough, J., & Gunlogson, C. (2009). An acoustic analysis of prosody in high-functioning autism. Applied Psycholinguistics, 30, 1-20.
  • Arnold, J.E., Bennetto, L., & Diehl, J.J. (2009). Reference production in young speakers with and without autism: Effects of discourse status and processing constraints. Cognition, 110, 131-146.
  • Eigsti, I.M., & Bennetto, L. (2009). Grammaticality judgments in autism: Deviance or delay? Journal of Child Language,19, 1-23.
  • Diehl, J.J., Bennetto, L., Watson, D., Gunlogson, C., & McDonough, J. (2008). Resolving ambiguity: A psycholinguistic approach to understanding prosody processing in high-functioning autism. Brain and Language, 106, 144-152.
  • Bennetto, L., Kuschner, E.S., & Hyman, S.L. (2007). Olfaction and taste processing in autism. Biological Psychiatry, 62, 1015-1021.
  • Smith, E.G., & Bennetto, L. (2007). Audiovisual speech integration and lipreading in autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48, 813-821.
  • Kuschner, E.S., Bennetto, L., & Yost, K. (2007). Patterns of nonverbal cognitive functioning in young children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 795-807.
  • Eigsti, I.M., Bennetto, L., & Dadlani, M.B. (2007). Beyond pragmatics: Morphosyntactic development in autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 1007-1023.
  • Diehl, J.D., Bennetto, L., & Young, E.C. (2006). Narrative coherence of high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34, 87-102.
  • Young, E.C., Diehl, J.J., Morris, D., Hyman, S.L., & Bennetto, L. (2005). Pragmatic language disorders in children with autism: The use of two formal tests to distinguish affected children from controls. Language, Speech, and Hearing in the Schools, 36, 62-72.