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Benjamin Yerys, PhD
Benjamin Yerys
Director, PASSAGE Program, Center for Autism Research

Research by Dr. Yerys focuses on the development of cognitive and neural mechanisms that support adaptive behavior in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Bio

Research by Dr. Yerys focuses on brain and cognitive development of executive function, attention, and reward-based learning in children on the autism spectrum and other neurodevelopmental conditions. Dr. Yerys takes a lifespan approach in his research by working with preschoolers through young adults.

His research seeks to understand how executive function, attention, and reward-based learning develop differently in neurodevelopmental populations, how these skills intersect with psychiatric symptoms, one's daily living skills, and ultimately one’s quality of life. He is also applying this knowledge to new treatments.

Among his notable career accomplishments, Dr. Yerys demonstrated that:

  • Co-occurring ADHD symptoms in autistic people are associated with more executive function challenges, more difficulties with day-to-day activities, and a lower self-reported quality of life
  • The brain’s reward system contributes to both social and repetitive behavior features of autism
  • Executive function weaknesses, particularly limited cognitive and behavioral flexibility, plays a role in both social and repetitive behavior features of autistic people

Education and Training

AB, Washington University (Psychology), 1998

MA, University of Denver (Clinical Psychology), 2003

PhD, University of Denver (Clinical Psychology), 2006

Fellowship, Children's National Medical Center (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities), 2008

Titles and Academic Titles

Director, Data and Statistical Core, Center for Autism Research

Director, PASSAGE Program, Center for Autism Research

Director, Clinical Translational Core, Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Research Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania

Psychologist

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Professional Memberships

International Society for Autism Research, 2007-

Society for Neuroscience, 2007-

Cognitive Neuroscience Society, 2007-

Professional Awards

Travel Fellowship, Carnegie Symposium on Cognition, 2008

Publication Highlights

Links of Interest