Welcome to the Social Attention Research Group (SARG) at Simon Fraser University!

Our research examines how children, adolescents, and adults attend to and interpret social information. In addition, we examine how mechanisms of social attention and perception operate differently in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  Our research uses a variety of methodologies, from behavioural measures of face perception, eye tracking studies of scene perception, to observations of social attention in the real world.  A central goal is to determine the role of mechanisms of attention and perception in the development of real world social competence.

Our research is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada.



Are you a parent to an individual with ASD? Does your son or daughter (any age) experience issues with sound sensitivity that impacts their daily life? We want to hear from you! We are surveying parents about their child’s experiences dealing with sound sensitivity. The survey will take under 30 minutes to complete (approx 15-20 min).

To complete the survey please visit this URL (you may need to copy and paste it into your browser):


For questions or to learn more, email ebirming[at]sfu.ca


Birmingham, E., Johnston, K.H.S., Iarocci, G. (2017). Spontaneous gaze following during naturalistic social interactions in school-aged children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Online First Publication, June 12, 2017,  the Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/cep0000131 [pdf]

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