ROBERT (Bob) T Schultz

faculty photo
Professor of Clinical Psychology in Pediatrics
Director, Center for Autism Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Faculty Member, Center of Functional Neuroimaging, University of Pennsylvania
Department: Pediatrics

Contact information
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Center for Autism Research
2716 South Street, 5th Floor
Roberts Pediatric Research Building
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Office: 267-426-7540/4909
Fax: 267-426-7590
Graduate Group Affiliations
BA (Psychology)
University of Delaware, 1983.
PhD (Clinical Psychology/Neuropsychology, Behavioral Genetics)
University of Texas at Austin, 1991.
Permanent link

Description of Itmat Expertise

Dr. Schultz is the Director of the Center for Autism Research (CAR). CAR's mission is to discover the causes the autism spectrum disorders, including the relationship between genes, brain and behavior. CAR also studies mechanisms that lead to changes in behavior due to successful intervention.

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

Parish-Morris, J., Sariyanidi, E., Zampella, C., Bartley, G.K., Ferguson, E., Pallathra, A.A., Bateman, L., Plate, S., Cola, M., Pandey, J., Brodkin, E.S., Schultz, R.T. & Tunc, B. : Oral-Motor and Lexical Diversity During Naturalistic Conversations in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Proc N Am Assoc Computational Linguistics: HLT, Comp Ling and Clin Psych Page: xx, June 2018 Notes: page numbers will be added after the proceedings are published.

Estes,A.,Munson,J.,St.John,T., Guralnick,M., Dager,S. R., Rodda,A., Hazlett,H., Botteron,K., Schultz,R.T. ,Piven,J., & Zwaigenbaum, L.: Parent support of peer relationships in preschool-age siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 48(4): 1122-1132, May 2018.

Zhang, F., Savadjiev, P., Cai, W., Song, Y., Rathi, Y., Tunç, B., Parker, D., Kapur, T., Schultz, R.T., Makris, N., Verma, R., & O’Donelle, L.J. : Whole brain white matter connectivity analysis using machine learning: An application to autism. NeuroImage 172: 826-837, May 2018.

Ratto, A.B., Kenworthy, L., Yerys, B.E., Wieckowski, A.T., White, S.W., Wallace, G.L., Pugliese, C., Register-Brown, K., Ollendick, T.H., Scarpa, A., Martin, A., Schultz, R.T., Bascom, J., Seese, S., Anthony, L.G. : What about the Girls?: Sex-Based Differences in Autistic Traits and Adaptive Skills. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 48(5): 1698-1711, May 2018.

Pallathra, A.A., Calkins, M.E., Parish-Morris, J., Maddox, B.B., Perez, L., Miller, J., Gur, R.C., Mandell, D., Schultz, R.T., Brodkin, E.S. : Defining behavioral components of social functioning in adults with autism spectrum disorder as targets for treatment. Autism Research 11(3): 488-502, March 2018.

Marrus, N., Eggebrecht, A.T., Todorov, A., Elison, J.T., Wolff, J.J., Cole, L., Gao, W., Pandey, J., Shen, M.D., Swanson, M.R., Emerson, R., Klohr, C.L., Adams, C.M., Estes, A.M., Zwaigenbaum, L., Botteron, K.N., McKinstry, R.C., Constantino, J.N., Evans, A.C., Hazlett, H.C., Dager, S.R., Paterson, S.J., Schultz, R.T., Styner, M., Gerig, G., The IBIS Network, Schlaggar, B.L., Piven, J., Pruett, J.R.: Walking, Gross Motor Development, and Brain Functional Connectivity in Infants and Toddlers. Cerebral Cortex 28(2): 750-763, February 2018.

155. Feliciano, P., Daniels, A.M., Snyder, L.G., Beaumont, A., Camba, A., Esler, A., Gulsrud, A.G., Mason, A., Gutierrez, A., Nicholson, A., Paolicelli, A., McKenzie, A.P., Rachubinski, A., Stephens, A.N., Simon, A.R., Stedman, A., Shocklee, A.D., Swanson, A., Finucane, B., Hilscher, B.A., Hauf, B., O’Roak, B.J., McKenna, B., Robertson, B.E., Rodriguez, B., Vernoia, B.M., Van Metre, B., Bradley, C., Cohen, C., Erickson, C.A., Harkins, C., Hayes, C., Lord, C., Martin, C.L., Ortiz, C., Ochoa-Lubinoff, C., Peura, C., Rice, C., Rosenberg, C.R., Smith, C.J., Thomas, C., Taylor, C.M., White, L.C., Walston, C.H., Amaral, D.G., Coury, D.L., Sarver, D.E., Istephanous, D., Deana Li, Nugyen, D.C., Fox, E.A., Butter, E.M., Berry-Kravis, E., Courchesne, E., Fombonne, E.J., Hofammann, E., Lamarche, E., Wodka, E.L., Matthews, E.T., O’Connor, E., Palen, E., Miller, F., Dichter, G.S., Marzano, G., Stein, G., Hutter, H., Kaplan, H.E., Li, H., Lechniak, H., Schneider, H., Zaydens, H., Arriaga, I., Gerdts, J.A., Cubells, J., Cordova, J.M., Gunderson, J., Lillard, J., Manoharan, J., McCracken, J.T., Michaelson, J.J., Neely, J., Orobio, J., Pandey, J., Piven, J., Scherr, J., Sutcliffe, J.S., Tjernagel, J., Wallace, J., Callahan, K., Dent, K., Schweers, K.A., Hamer, K.E., Law, J.K., Lowe, K., O’Brien, K., Smith, K., Pawlowski, K.G., Pierce, K.L., Roeder, K., Abbeduto, L.J., Berry, L.N., Cartner, L.A., Coppola, L.A., Carpenter, L., Cordeiro, L., DeMarco, L., Grosvenor, L.P., Higgins, L., Huang-Storms, L.Y., Hosmer-Quint, L., Herbert, L.M., Kasparson, L., Prock, L.M., Pacheco, L.D., Raymond, L., Simon, L., Soorya, L.V., Wasserburg, L., Lazar, M., Alessandri, M., Brown, M., Currin, M.H., Gwynette, M.F., Heyman, M., Hale, M.N., Jones, M., Jordy, M., Morrier, M., Sahin, M., Siegel, M.S., Verdi, M., Parlade, M.V., Yinger, M., Bardett, N., Hanna, N., Harris, N., Pottschmidt, N., Russo-Ponsaran, N., Takahashi, N., Ousley, O., Juarez, A.P., Manning, P., Annett, R.D., Bernier, R.A, Clark, R.D., Landa, R.J., Goin-Kochel, R.P., Remington, R., Schultz, R.T., Brewster, S.J., Booker, S., Carpenter, S., Eldred, S., Francis, S., Friedman, S.L., Horner, S., Hepburn, S., Jacob, S., Kanne, S., Lee, S.J., Mastel, S.A., Plate, S. Qiu, S., Sandhu, S., Thompson, S., White, S., Myers, V.J., Singh, V., Yang, W.S., Warren, Z., Amatya, A., Ace, A.J., Chatha, A.S., Lash, A.E., Negron, B., Rigby, C., Ridenour, C., Stock, C.M., Schmidt, D., Fisk, I., Acampado, J., Nestle, J.L., Nestle, J.A., Layman, K., Butler, M.E., Kent, M., Mallardi, M.D., Carriero, N., Lawson, N., Volfovsky, N., Edgar, R., Marini, R., Rana, R., Ganesan, S., Shah, S., Ramsey, T., Chin, W., Jensen, W., Krentz, A.D., Gruber, A.J., Sabo, A., Salomatov, A., Eng, C., Muzny, D., Astrovskaya, I., Gibbs, R.A., Han, X., Shen, Y., Reichardt, L.F. & Chung, W.K : SPARK: A US Cohort of 50,000 Families to Accelerate Autism Research. Neuron 97(3): 488-493, February 2018.

Koberstein, J.N., Poplawski, S.G.,Wimmer, M.E., Porcari, G., Kao,C, Gomes,B., Risso, D., Hakonarson, H., Zhang, N.R., Schultz, R.T., Abel, T. & Peixoto, L.: Learning-dependent chromatin remodeling highlights noncoding regulatory regions linked to autism. Science Signaling 11(513), January 2018.

Kohls, G., Antenzana, L., Mosner, M., Schultz, R.T., & Yerys, B.: Altered reward system reactivity for personalized circumscribed interests in autism. Molecular Autism 9(9): 1-12, January 2018.

Herrington, J. D., Maddox, B. B., Kerns, C. M., Rump, K., Worley, J., Bush, J. C., McVey, Alana J., Schultz, Robert T., and Miller, J. S.: Amygdala volume differences in autism spectrum disorder are related to anxiety. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 47(12): 3682-3691, December 2017.

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Last updated: 05/22/2018
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