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TACC-Q1K Research Forum
TACC-Q1K Research Forum

TACC-Q1K Research Forum

Time & Location

29 May 2024, 16:00 – 17:00 GMT-4


About the event


Format: Virtual (via Zoom)

Speaker(s): Christian O'Reilly, Ph.D., M.Sc., B.Eng., Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of South Carolina, and  Diksha Srishyla, M.Sc., PhD Student, University of South Carolina

Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Time: 4 - 5 p.m. EDT

Join us for the TACC-Q1K Research Forum, featuring a virtual presentation that explores research at the intersection of neurodevelopmental conditions and cutting-edge technology. Dr. Christian O'Reilly will lead a presentation on the "Q1K EEG/Eye-Tracking Experimental Test Battery," while PhD student Diksha Srishyla from the University of South Carolina will present "Pupillary Light Reflex Eye-Tracking Data Validation from the Q1K Pilot."

This Forum will explore new methods and findings from the Quebec 1000 Families (Q1K) initiative, offering important insights into autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions.

Open to all, registration is required to participate in this engaging event.

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The Q1K EEG/Eye-Tracking Experimental Test Battery

The Quebec 1000 Families (Q1K) initiative is a large cohort of families with at least one member with autism spectrum disorder or a related neurodevelopmental condition. It has been developed as a three-phase project, with increasing phenotyping depth from the first phase (research registry) to the third phase (deep phenotyping). The ultimate phase builds on collected demographics, questionnaires, and biosamples for genetic assessment and adds multi-modal deep phenotyping including high-density EEG, eye tracking, behavioral, and MRI data. In this talk, Dr. O'Reilly will focus on the EEG/Eye-Tracking experimental test battery developed by the Q1K Experimental Team. He will discuss our general approach and design philosophy, the system and its multi-modal EEG/Eye-Tracking integration, the tasks, and their preliminary validation. He will conclude by discussing future directions, including the open-access release of this experimental test battery to support task standardization and multi-project data pooling in autism.

Pupillary light reflex eye-tracking data validation from the Q1K pilot

The pupillary light reflex (PLR) assesses autonomic function by measuring pupil diameter in reaction to a light stimulus. 7 studies have previously used the PLR in the context of autism. During the pilot trial of the Quebec 1000 (Q1K) study, we administered the PLR along with a battery of other eye-tracking tasks using a remote eye-tracker. We validated results from the PLR task in our Q1K pilot trial by comparing our results with those from other studies that utilized quantitative pupillometers in clinical settings (Kim et al. 2022). Specifically, we calculated the latency. This is the time taken by the pupil to start constricting in reaction to the light stimulus. We calculated an average PLR of 0.33 +/- 0.053 s. This is higher than the average latency calculated by quantitative pupillometers (0.24-0.28 s). We discuss our calculation methodology and potential improvements.

Speaker Biographies:

Christian O’Reilly received his B.Ing (electrical eng.; 2007), his M.Sc.A. (biomedical eng.; 2011), and his Ph.D. (biomedical eng.; 2012) from the École Polytechnique de Montréal where he applied pattern recognition and machine learning to predict brain stroke risks. He was later a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine of the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur/Université de Montréal (2012-2014) and then an NSERC postdoctoral fellow at McGill's Brain Imaging Center (2014-2015) where he worked on characterizing EEG sleep transients, their sources, and their functional connectivity. During this period, he also was a visiting scholar in Pr. K. Friston's laboratory at the University College of London to study effective connectivity during sleep transients using the Dynamic Causal Modelling approach. He later took on a six-month fellowship with the Pr. M. Elsabbagh on functional connectivity in autism after which he moved to Switzerland to work for the internationally renowned Blue Brain project (EPFL; 2015-2018) where he led the project on large-scale biophysically-detailed modeling of the thalamocortical loop. In 2020, he resumed his collaboration with Dr. Elsabbagh as a research associate at the Azrieli Centre for Autism Research (McGill) where he studied brain connectivity in autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Since 2021, Christian joined the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Artificial Intelligence Institute, the Institute for Mind and Brain, and the Carolina Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research Center at the University of South Carolina as an assistant professor. He chaired the Q1K Experimental Group from 2020 to 2024.

Diksha Srishyla is a PhD student under the supervision of Christian O’Reilly at the University of South Carolina.

About the TACC-Q1K Research Forum:

TACC-Q1K Research Forums showcase the diverse work of TACC and Q1K members, and foster opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange around ongoing work in neurodevelopmental research and across disciplines.

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