SPD Research Collaborators

SPD Scientific Work Group (SPD-SWG)
SPD-SWG participants

SPD Scientific Work Group (SPD-SWG)

A group of renowned research scientists representing multiple disciplines met regularly between 2002 and 2017 to discuss how their findings related to explanations of the underlying mechanisms of Sensory Processing Disorder. Known as the SPD Scientific Work Group, this assembly also defined the additional studies needed as next steps to furthering understanding of SPD and solicited scientists to conduct the work.

The SPD Scientific Work Group collaboration began when the SPD Foundation (then the KID Foundation) sponsored a Sensory Processing Disorder research planning retreat in 2002 funded by the Wallace Research Foundation. This planning retreat brought together twelve researchers funded by National Institutes of Health grants to develop a blueprint for future research into SPD. These far-sighted planning efforts were continued at a second meeting in 2004 entitled The Neurobiology of Sensory Processing Disorder.

At the 2004 conference, the participants agreed to formalize their collaborative efforts as the Sensory Processing Disorder Scientific Work Group (SPD-SWG). In 2005, findings of many members were presented at our national conference in Bethesda, Maryland. In 2007, most of the members presented at the SPD Foundation national conference in New York City. The final meeting was in 2017 at the 20th International Symposium: Growth in Research and Strategies for SPD.

The SPD Scientific Work Group was engaged in research related to the following aspects of SPD. Abstracts of member studies may be found by searching “Work Group Publications” in Our Library.

  • Neuropathology: What are the underlying physiological, neurological, and biochemical mechanisms implicated in SPD?
  • Differential Diagnosis: What is the evidence that SPD is a valid and separate condition from other developmental disorders?
  • Defining Characteristics: What is the behavioral phenotype of SPD? What are necessary and specific signs and symptoms for a diagnosis of SPD?
  • Treatment Effectiveness: Which treatments for SPD work effectively?
  • Prevalence: What is the prevalence of SPD in the general population and in individuals with disabilities?
  • Etiologies: What are the causes of SPD?
  • Developmental pathway: What is the developmental trajectory of SPD?


SPD-SWG Participants

December 2012 active members of the Sensory Processing Disorder Scientific Work Group (SPD-SWG) are listed below. To learn more about a member, click on the name.


Margaret L. Bauman, MD Harvard Medical School
Ayelet Ben-Sasson, ScD, OT University of Haifa
Margaret Briggs-Gowan, PhD University of Connecticut
Alice S. Carter, PhD University of Massachusetts - Boston
Patricia L. Davies, PhD, OTR, FAOTA Colorado State University
William J. Gavin, PhD Colorado State University
John J. Foxe, PhD Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
H. Hill Goldsmith, PhD University of Wisconsin - Madison
Edward J. Goldson, MD University of Colorado - Denver Health Sciences Center
Matthew Goodwin, PhD Northeastern University
Moya Kinnealey, PhD, OTR/L Temple University
Michael A. Kisley, PhD University of Colorado - Colorado Springs
Shelly J. Lane, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA Virginia Commonwealth University
Edward D. Levin, PhD Duke University Medical Center
Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR STAR Institute
Sophie Molholm, PhD Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Shula Parush, PhD, OTR Hebrew University of Jerusalem
David L. Pauls, PhD Harvard Medical School
Rosalind Picard, ScD Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stacey Reynolds, PhD, OTR/L Virginia Commonwealth University
M. Zachary Rosenthal, PhD Duke University School of Medicine
Benjamin Rowland, PhD Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Sarah A. Schoen, PhD, OTR STAR Institute
Sinclair A. Smith, ScD Drexel University
Barry E. Stein, PhD Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Teresa Tavassoli, PhD Seaver Autism Center – Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mark Wallace, PhD Vanderbilt University