ROBERT (Bob) T Schultz, PhD

faculty photo
Professor of Clinical Psychology in Pediatrics
Department: Pediatrics
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Center for Autism Research
2716 South Street, 5th Floor
Roberts Pediatric Research Building
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Office: 203.494.2787/267-426-7540
Fax: 267-426-7590
BA (Psychology)
University of Delaware, 1983.
PhD (Clinical Psychology/Neuropsychology, Behavioral Genetics)
University of Texas at Austin, 1991.
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Description of Research Expertise

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Intellectual Disability (ID) and related developmental disabilities (DDs). Behavioral Genetics. Cognitive neuroscience. Biomarkers that moderate treatment outcome. Big Data. Online Phenotyping. Relationships between genes, brain, behavior and development in the DDs.

RESEARCH METHODS: sMRI, fMRI, DTI, ERP, genotyping, infra red Eye Tracking; Clinical and Neuropsychological Assessment, Online Computer Adaptive Testing; Clinical trials

RESEARCH SUMMARY: I am the Director of the Center for Autism Research (CAR) at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). CAR's mission is to find the biological causes of ASD so that we can help create more efficacious treatments.

My lab's research focuses on obtaining large samples of research volunteers with ASD, so that we can examine the relationships between ASD, ID, DD and susceptibility genes, endophenotypes (e.g., as measured with MRI, EEG or Eye tracking), clinical phenomenology and development (including response to treatment). Given the heterogeneity of ASD, and the opportunities to collect large samples through CAR (and online), we feel like studying relationships between gene, brain, behavior and time will provide critical insights into the biological causes of DDs and related psychiatry comorbidities (e.g., ADHD).

Selected Publications
Schultz, R.T., Cho, N.K., Staib, L.H., Kier, L.E., Fletcher, J. M., Shaywitz, S.E., Shankweiler, D.P., Katz, L., Gore, J.C., Duncan, J. S.,& Shaywitz, B. Brain morphology in normal and dyslexic children: The influence of sex and age. Annals of Neurology, 1994: 35, 732-742

Schultz, R.T., Gauthier, I., Klin A., Fulbright, R., Anderson, A., Volkmar, F., Skudlarski, P., Lacadie, C., Cohen, D.J., Gore, J.C. Abnormal ventral temporal cortical activity during face discrimination among individuals with autism and Asperger syndrome. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2000: 57(3), 331-340

Schultz, R.T. Romanski, L., Tsatsanis, K. Neurofunctional Models of Autistic Disorder and Asperger Syndrome: Clues from Neuroimaging. In A. Klin, F.R Volkmar & S.S Sparrow (Eds.) Asperger Syndrome. New York: Plenum Press, 2000, 179-209.

Klin, A, Jones, W., Schultz, R., Volkmar, F., & Cohen, D.J. Visual fixation patterns during viewing of naturalistic social situations as predictors of social competence in individuals with autism. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2002: 59, 809-816.

Schultz, R.T., Grelotti, D.J., Klin, A., Kleinman, J., Van der Gaag, C., Marois, R. & Skudlarski, P. The role of the fusiform face area in social cognition: Implications for the pathobiology of autism. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B, 2003: 358, 415-427.

Pasley, B.N., Mayes, L.C. & Schultz, R.T. Subcortical discrimination of unperceived objects during binocular rivalry. Neuron, 2004: 42, 163-172.

Schultz, R.T. & Robins, D.L. Functional Neuroimaging Studies of Autism Spectrum Disorders. In F. Volkmar, A. Klin, & R. Paul (Eds), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders (3rd Edition). New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2005: 515-533.

Schultz, R.T. Developmental deficits in social perception in autism: The role of the amygdala and fusiform face area. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 2005: 23, 125-141

Vanderwal, T., Hunyadi, E., Grupe, D.W., Connors, C.M., Schultz, R.T. Self, Mother and Abstract Other: an fMRI study of reflective social
 processing. NeuroImage. 2008:41 (4), 1437-1446.

Levy, S.E., Mandell, D.S, & Schultz, R.T. Autism. Lancet. 2009: 374 (9701):1627-38

Wang, K., et al. Common genetic variants on 5p14.1 associate with autism spectrum disorders, Nature, 2009: 459(7246):528-33

Glessner, J.T., et al. Autism genome-wide copy number variation reveals ubiquitin and neuronal genes, Nature, 2009:459(7246): 569-73.

Chevallier, C., Kohls, G., Troiani, V., Brodkin, E.S. & Schultz, R.T. The Social Motivation Theory of Autism. Trends in Cognitive Science, 2012, 16(4):231-9. PMID: 22425667

Kohls, G., Perino, M.T., Taylor, J.M., Madva, E.N., Troiani, V., Price, E., Faja, S., Herrington, J.D., & Schultz, R.T. The nucleus accumbens is involved in both the pursuit of social reward and the avoidance of social punishment. Neuropsychologia, 2013: 51(11), 2062-9. PMID 23911778

Kohls, G., Schulte-Ruther, M., Nehrkorn, B., Muller, K, Fink, GR, Kamp-Becker, I., Herpertz-Dahlmann, B., Schultz, R.T., & Konrad, K. Reward system dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders. Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience, 2013: 8(5), 565-72. PMID: 22419119. PMCID: PMC3682440

Kohls, G., Chevallier, C., Troiani, V., & Schultz, R.T. Social ‘wanting’ dysfunction in autism: neurobiological underpinnings and treatment implications. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 2012, 4(7), 1-20. PMID: 22958468. PMCID: PMC3436671

Tanaka,, JW, Wolf, JM, Klaiman, C, Koenig, K, Cockburn, J, Herlihy, L, Brown, C, Stahl, S, Kaiser, MD, & Schultz, R.T.. Using computerized games to teach face recognition skills to children with autism spectrum disorder: The Let's Face It! program. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2010: 51(8), 944-952. PMID: 20646129

Coutanche, MN, Thompson-Schill, SL and Schultz, R.T. Multi-voxel pattern analysis of fMRI data predicts clinical symptom severity. NeuroImage, 2011: 57(1), 113-123. PMID: 21513803

Herrington, JD, Nymberg, C & Schultz, R.T. Biological Motion Task Performance Predicts Superior Temporal Sulcus Activity. Brain and Cognition, 2011: 77(3):372-81. PMID: 22024246

Bloy, L., Ingalhalikar, M., Eavani, H., Schultz, R.T., Roberts, T.P.L., Verma, R., White Matter Atlas Generation using HARDI based Automated Parcellation. Neuroimage, 2012: 59(4):4055-63PMID: 21893205

Wolff, JJ, Gu, H, Gerig, G, Elison, JT, Gouttard, S, Styner, M Botteron, KN, Collins, L, Dager, SR, Dawson, G, Estes, AM, Evans, A, Hazlett, HC, Kostopoulos, P, McKinstry, RC, Paterson, SJ, Schultz, R.T., Zwaigenbaum, L, Piven, J. for the IBIS Network. Differences in White Matter Fiber Tract Development Present from 6 to 24 Months in Infants with Autism. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2012;169(6):589-60 Feb 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Bloy, L., Ingalhalikar, M., Batmanghelich, N.K., Schultz, R.T., Roberts, T.P.L., & Verma, R. An integrated framework for HARDI-based investigation of structural connectivity. Brain Connectivity, 2012: 2(2), 69-79. PMID: 22500705.

Tanaka, J.W., Wolf, J.M. Klaiman, C., Koenig, K., Cockburn, J., Herlihy, L., Brown, C., Stahl, S., South, M., McPartland, J., Kaiser, M.D., & Schultz, R.T. The perception and identification of facial emotions in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders using the Let’s Face It! Emotion Skills Battery. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2012 Jul 11. [Epub ahead of print]

Hazlett, H.C., Gu, H., McKinstry, R.C, Shaw, D.W.W., Botteron, K.N., Dager, S., Styner, M., Vachet, C., Gerig, G., Paterson, S.J., Schultz, R.T, Estes, A.M., Evans, A.C., & Piven, J. for the IBIS network. Brain volume findings in six month old infants at high familial risk for autism. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2012 Jun;169(6):601-8.

Wolff, JJ, Botteron, KN, Dager, SR, Elison, JT, Estes, AM, Gu, H, Hazlett, HC, Pandey, J, Paterson, SJ, Schultz, RT, Zwaigenbaum, L & Piven, J, The IBIS Network. Longitudinal Patterns of Repetitive Behavior in Toddlers with Autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. In Press

Lewis, J. D., Evans, A. C. , Pruett, J. R. , Botteron, K., Zwaigenbaum, L., Estes, A., Gerig, G., Collins, L., Kostopoulos, P. , McKinstry, R., Dager, S. Paterson, S., Schultz, R., Styner, M., Hazlett, H., Piven, J. and the IBIS network (In Press). Network inefficiencies in autism spectrum disorder at 24 months. Translational Psychiatry. In Press

Herrington, J.D., Nymberg, C., Faja, S.K., Price, E., & Schultz, R. The responsiveness of biological motion processing areas to selective attention towards goals. Neuroimage, 2012: 63(1), 581-90. PMID: 22796987.

Fein, D., Barton, M., Eigsti, I., Kelley, E., Naigles, L., Schultz, R.T., Stevens, M., Helt, M., Orinstein, A., Rosenthal, M., Troyb, E., & Tyson, K. Optimal outcome in individuals with a history of Autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2013: 54(2), 195–205. PMID: 23320807. PMCID: PMC3547539

Maxwell, C.R., Parish-Morris, J., Hsin, O., Bush, J.C., Schultz, R.T. The Broad Autism Phenotype Predicts Child Functioning in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 2013:5[1]. PMID: 24053506

Chevallier, C, Parish-Morris, J, Tonge, N, Le, L, Miller, J, & Schultz, R.T. Susceptibility to the audience effect explains performance gap between children with and without autism in a Theory of Mind task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Jan 6, 2014 [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 24392710

Troiani, V., Price, E.T., & Schultz, R.T. Unseen fearful faces promote amygdala guidance of attention. Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience, 2014 Feb;9(2):133-40. PMID: 23051897

Selected Publications

Chaxiong, P, Burrows,C, Botteron, KN, SR Dager, SR, Estes, AM, HC Hazlett, HC, Schultz, RT, Zwaigenbaum, L, Piven, J, Wolff, J: Relations of Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors to Social Skills in Toddlers with Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders April 2021.

A Burrows C., W Bodfish J., J Wolff J., P Vollman E., R Altschuler M, N Botteron K., R Dager S., M Estes A., C Hazlett H., R Pruett J. Jr, T Schultz R., Zwaigenbaum L, Piven J., T Elison J., IBIS Network: Cataloguing and Characterizing Interests in Typically Developing Toddlers and Toddlers who Develop ASD. Autism Research 2021.

Stallworthy I., Lasch C., Berry D., Wolff J., Pruett J. Jr, Marrus N., Swanson M., Botteron K., R Dager S., M Estes A., C Hazlett H., T Schultz R., Zwaigenbaum L, Piven J., T Elison J., IBIS Network: Variability in Responding to Joint Attention Cues in the First Year is Associated With Autism Outcome Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2021.

Dunlop, A.L., Essalmi, A.G., Alvalos, L., Breton, C., Camargo, C.A., Cowell, W.J., Dabelea, D., Dager, S.R., Duarte,C., Elliott, A., Fichorova, R., Gern, J., Hedderson,M.M., Thepaksorn, H., Huddleston,K., Karagas,M.R., Kleinman,K., Leve L., Li, X., Li, Y., Litonjua, Ludena-Rodriguez, Y., Madan, J.C., Nino, J.M., McEvoy, C., O’Connor, T.G., Padula, A.M., Paneth, N., Perera, F., Sathyanarayana, S., Schmidt, R.J., Schultz, R.T., McGrath, M., : Racial and Geographic Variation in Effects of Maternal Education and Neighborhood-Level Measures of Socioeconomic Status on Gestational Age at Birth. Findings from the ECHO cohorts. PLoS ONE 16(1)(e0245064), 2021.

Gunderson J., Worthley E., Grzadzinski R., Burrows C., Estes A., Zwaigenbaum L., Botteron K., Dager S., Hazlett H., Schultz R., Piven J., Wolff J., IBIS Network : Social and Non‐Social Sensory Responsivity in Toddlers at High‐Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Research 2021.

Chawner, S., Doherty, J.L., Anney, R., Antshel, K.M., Bearden, C.R., Bernier, R., Chung, W.K., Clements, C.C., Curran, S.R., Cuturilo, G., Fiksinski, A.M., Gallagher, L., Goin-Kochel, R.P., Kushan, L., Gur, R.E., Hanson, E., Jacquemont, S., Kates, W.K., Maillard, A.M., McDonald-McGinn, D.M., Mihaljevic, M., Miller, J.S., Moss, H., Pejovic-Milovancevic, M., Schultz, R.T., Green-Snyder, L., Vorstman, J.A., Wenger, T.L,. IMAGINE-ID Consortium, Hal, J., Owen, M.J., & Van Den Bree, M: A Genetics-First Approach to Dissecting the Heterogeneity of Autism: Phenotypic Comparison of Autism Risk Copy Number Variants. American Journal of Psychiatry 178 (1)(77-86), 2021.

Holmes, L.G., Zampella, C.J., Clements, C., McCleery, J.P., Maddox, B.B., Parish-Morris, J., Schultz, R.T., & Miller, J.S. : A lifespan approach to patient-reported outcomes and quality of life for people on the autism spectrum. Autism Research 13(6): 970-987, June 2020.

Hocking, M.C., Parish-Morris, J., Schultz, R.T., Minturn, J.E., Brodsky, C., Shabason, E.K., Herrington, J.D. : Diminished social attention in pediatric brain tumor survivors: Using eye tracking technology during naturalistic social perception. Neuropsychology 34(3): 350-358, March 2020.

Wang, L.A.L., Herrington, J.D., Tunc, B., & Schultz, R.T.: Bayesian Regression-Based Developmental Norms for the Benton Facial Recognition Test in Males and Females. Behavior Research Methods Jan 2020 Notes: [Epub ahead of print]

Sariyanidi, E., Zampella, C., Bartley, KG., Herrington, JD, Satterthwaite, TD, Schultz, RT. and Tunc, B. : Discovering Synchronized Subsets of Sequences: A Large Scale Solution. Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR Page: 9493-9502 2020.

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Last updated: 07/23/2021
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