Dr Amandine Lassalle

Amandine Lassalle
Email alassalle@mgh.harvard.edu
Phone +1 (617) 726-0558
Office 2132B (Building 75)
Address Neurolimbic Research Laboratory
MGH / Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging / Harvard Medical School
149 Thirteenth Street
Charlestown, MA 02129 USA

Research interests

I am interested in the mechanisms underlying social cognition and in how they break down in autism.

Given the importance of facial cues in social communication, my research is aimed at uncovering the behavioral and neural processes involved in perceiving, processing and using gaze and emotion cues. In particular, I have investigated how attention orienting toward others’ gaze direction is affected by the facial expression of the gazing face and the personality traits (i.e., anxiety, autistic traits) of the observer.

During my first postdoc at the Autism Research Center of Cambridge University, I led the ASC-Inclusion project aimed at developing and evaluating an online game to teach socio-emotional skills to children with autism. As part of this EU funded project, I collaborated with clinical teams in Israel, Sweden and Poland to investigate the differences in how children with and without autism recognize and express emotions across various modalities (facial expression, body language, tone of voice).

In my previous research, I have used behavioural and neuroimaging techniques (EEG, eyetracking, neuropsychological testing). I am now using fMRI and MEG to further explore the atypicalities of social processing in autism.


For more information see my ResearchGate and Google Scholar profiles.
  1. Rynkiewicz, A., Schuller, B., Marchi, E., Piana, S., Camurri, A., Lassalle, A. Baron-Cohen, S. (2016). An investigation of the ‘female camouflage effect’ in autism using a computerized ADOS-2 and a test of sex/gender differences. Molecular Autism. 7(1): 1–8.
  2. Lassalle, A., Itier, R.J. (2015). Emotional modulation of attention orienting by gaze varies with dynamic cue sequence. Visual Cognition. 23(6): 720–735.
  3. Lassalle, A., Itier, R.J. (2015). Autistic traits influence gaze-oriented attention to happy but not fearful faces. Social Neuroscience. 10(1): 70–88.
  4. Hadjikhani, N., Zürcher, N.R., Rogier, O., Hippolyte, L., Lemonnier, E., Ruest, T., Ward, N., Lassalle, A., Gillberg, N., Billstedt, E., Helles, A., Gillberg, C., Solomon, P., Prkachin, K.M., Gillberg C. (2014). Emotional contagion for pain is intact in autism spectrum disorders. Translational Psychiatry. 4: e343.
  5. Lassalle, A., Itier, R.J. (2013). Fearful, surprised, happy, and angry facial expressions modulate gaze-oriented attention: Behavioral and ERP evidence. Social Neuroscience. 8(6): 583–600.



I have refereed research articles for the following journals:

Teaching experience

Adjunct Lecturer (University of Waterloo)

  • Physiological Psychology, on campus (Fall 2013)
  • Physiological Psychology, online (Fall 2012)

Guest Lecturer (University of Waterloo)

  • Physiological Psychology (Spring 2013, Fall 2012)
  • Knowledge Transfer (Winter 2011)

Teaching Assistant (University of Waterloo)

  • Physiological Psychology (Spring 2010)
  • Developmental Psychology (Fall 2011, Spring 2011, Spring 2012)
  • Cognitive Processes (Fall 2011, Winter 2013)
  • Personality Theory (Winter 2012)
  • Introduction to Psychology (Winter 2010, Winter 2011)

Lab Instructor (University of Waterloo)

  • Advanced Data Analysis (Fall 2010)

Qualification in university teaching

I obtained a Certificate in University Teaching from the Centre for Teaching Excellence of the University of Waterloo. As part of this program, I completed a teaching dossier and a research project on teaching international university students.

Academic dissemination

  • Lassalle, A. (October 16, 2015). Joint attention and its abnormality in autism. Talk at the University of Maryland.
  • Lassalle, A. (May 29, 2015). L’influence des émotions sur l’attention portée au regard de l’autre chez les sujets typiques et autistes. Talk at the University of Toulouse.
  • Lassalle, A. (May 26, 2015). The emotional modulation of gaze-oriented attention and its influence by autistic-like traits. Talk at the University of Cambridge.

Public engagement

  • Lassalle, A. (January 18, 2016). Current research in Autism. Invited talk at the Whitefield Academy Trust (London).
  • Lassalle, A. (October 23, 2015). An evidence-based online game to train socio-emotional skills in children with autism. Invited talk at the Phoenix school (London).
  • Lassalle, A. (September 4, 2014). An online game to train emotion understanding in children with autism. Invited talk at the weekly parent meeting of Daisy Chain.
  • Lassalle, A. (April, 2012). Autistic Traits and Impact of Emotion on Spatial Attention to Gaze. Poster at the Stages of Autism: Adolescence and Beyond conference in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
  • Lassalle, A. (October, 2014). Interview for the Open University.