EEG study


This project is a longitudinal extension of the Social Outcomes and Early Life Experiences Study (SOCiAL) and aims to discover the underlying cognitive mechanisms of emotion processing in children who have experienced early environmental adversity.

The project builds upon recent evidence that early adversity is associated with social difficulties of a similar quality to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in some children.

Key objectives

The study aims to understand the electrophysiological correlates of emotion recognition in a sub-sample of the SOCiAL cohort.  Our goal is to broaden our understanding of the impact of early adversity on social and emotional development at a neurodevelopmental, electrophysiological, cognitive and behavioural level.

Our key objectives are as follows:

  1. To explore the neural architecture underlying vocal emotion processing in maltreated children with ASD using an established Event-Related Potential paradigm.

  2. To study the distinctive processing style of emotion in maltreated children with and without ASD reflecting distinct mechanisms underlying information processing in these two groups.


Between September 2014 and September 2015 we recruited three groups of children aged 9 to 15 years participating in the SOCiAL study.

  1. A group of typically developing children.

  2. A group of adopted children who have experienced maltreatment.

  3. A group of adopted children who have experienced maltreatment and meet criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).


The study consists of an Electroencephalography (EEG), assessment of the emotional climate in the family, interviews with parents and child behavioural and cognitive assessments.

Further information and contact

Further information about the study and how to take part can be found in ‘Information for children and parents’

For further Information regarding the EEG study please contact Dr Georgia Chronaki.