Loisa Bennetto

Loisa Bennetto

  • Associate Professor of Psychology, Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Neuroscience

PhD, University of Denver, 1999

Office Location
492 Meliora Hall
(585) 275-8712
(585) 273-1100
Web Address

Office Hours: By appointment

Research Overview

Professor Bennetto will be accepting applications for graduate students this fall for the 2025-2026 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.

Research Interests

  • Neurocognitive bases of autism
  • The role of multisensory processing in social-communication difficulties

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • PSYC 570:  Clinical Assessment I: Psychometrics
  • PSYC 351 :  Research in Developmental Neuropsychology
  • PSYC 381:  Seminar in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Selected Publications

  • Cubit, L.S., Canale, R., Handsman, R., Kidd, C., & Bennetto, L. (2021). Visual attention preference for intermediate predictability in young children. Child Development.
  • Park, W. J  1, Schauder, K.B. 1, Kwon, O-H., Bennetto, L. 2,   & Tadin, D. 2 (2021). A typical motion prediction abilities in autism spectrum disorder. Clinical Psychological Science. 1co-first author, 2co-senior author
  • Zampella, C. J., Bennetto, L. 1, & Herrington, J. D. 1 (2020). Computer vision analysis of reduced interpersonal affect coordination in youth with autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research, 13, 2133-2142. 1co-senior author
  • Zampella, C.J., Csumitta, K.D., Simon, E., & Bennetto, L. (2020). Interactional synchrony and its association with social and communication ability in children with and without autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 50, 3195-3206.
  • Keith, J.M., Jamieson, J.P., & Bennetto, L. (2019). The importance of adolescent self-report in autism research: Integration of questionnaire and autonomic measures. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47, 741-754.
  • Keith, J.M., Jamieson, J.P., & Bennetto, L. (2019). The influence of noise on autonomic arousal and cognitive performance in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49, 113-126
  • Schauder, K.B., Park, W.J., Tsank, Y., Eckstein, M., Tadin, D., & Bennetto, L. (2019). Initial eye gaze to faces and its functional consequence on face identification abilities in autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 11, 1-20.
  • Bennetto, L., Keith, J. M., Allen, P. D., & Luebke, A. E. (2017). Children with autism spectrum disorder have reduced otoacoustic emissions at 1 kHz mid-frequency region. Autism Research, 10, 337-345.
  • Schauder, K.1, Park, W.1, Tadin, D.2, & Bennetto, L.2 (2017). Larger receptive field size as a mechanism underlying atypical motion perception in autism spectrum disorder. Clinical Psychological Science. 1co-first author, 2co-senior author.
  • Silverman, L. B., Eigsti, I-M., & Bennetto, L. (2017). I tawt I taw a puddy tat: Gestures in Canary Row narrations by high-functioning youth with autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research.
  • Smith, E. G., Zhang, S., & Bennetto, L. (2017). Temporal synchrony and audiovisual integration of speech and object stimuli in autism research in autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • Soskey, L., Allen, P., & Bennetto, L. (2017). Auditory spatial attention to speech and complex non-speech sounds in children with autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research.
  • Schauder, K. B., & Bennetto, L. (2016). Towards an interdisciplinary understanding of sensory dysfunction in autism spectrum disorder: An integration of the neural and symptom literatures. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 10.
  • Keith, J. M., Bennetto, L., & Rogge, R. D. (2015). The relationship between contact and attitudes: Reducing prejudice toward individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 47, 14-26.
  • 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., 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.