Rachel S. Brezis, PhD, is a developmental psychologist specializing in autism – at the nexus of biological, psychological and cultural constraints. Dr. Brezis received a BA in Psychology and Amirim Interdisciplinary Honors Program from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem in 2006 and a PhD in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago in 2011. Her main research interest focuses on autism as a case study for understanding the neuropsychological bases of cultural development. Her dissertation work examined the development of social and non-social memory in children and adolescents with autism, using qualitative interviews, clinical assessments and fMRI. She was then awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Foundation for Psychocultural Research at the University of California, Los Angeles, and directed a series of research projects on children and adults with autism in India in collaboration with Action for Autism, the National Center for Autism, India.
Dr. Brezis joined the IDC in 2014, where she brings to bear her two passions – for autism research and contact improvisation dance – to further our understanding of interpersonal motor synchronization in autism and its relation to social and communication skills. She is currently directing a research project examining the motion patterns of adults with and without Autism Spectrum Disorders during an open-ended improvisational game, for which she was awarded the German-Israel Foundation (GIF) Young Investigator Award. She is further co-directing an evaluation study of a mindfulness-based biofeedback intervention for adults with autism living in the Beit-Ekstein network of group homes.
Read Dr. Brezis’s full CV.
Podcasts (in Hebrew)
In the popular media
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Brezis, R. S., Noy, L., Alony, T., Gotlieb, R., Cohen, R., Golland, Y., Levit-Binnun, N. (2017). Patterns of Joint Improvisation in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. fronties in Psychology. Read the article.
Brezis, R. S., Singhal, N., Daley, T., Barua, M., Piggot, J., Chollera, S., Mark, L. & Weisner, T. (2016). Self-and other-descriptions by individuals with autism spectrum disorder in Los Angeles and New Delhi: Bridging cross-cultural psychology and neurodiversity. Culture and Brain, 1-21. Read the article.
Brezis, R. S., Weisner, T., Daley, T., Singhal, N., Barua, M., Chollera, S. (2015) Parenting a child with autism in India: Narratives before and after a parent-child intervention program. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 39(2): 277-298. Read the article.
Brezis, R. S. (2015) Memory integration in the autobiographical narratives of individuals with autism. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 9:76. Read the article.
Brezis, R. S., Galili, T., Wong, T., Piggot., J. (2014) Impaired social processing in autism and its reflections in memory: A deeper view of encoding and retrieval processes. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(5):1183-1192. Read the Article.
Brezis, R. S. (2012) Autism as a Case for Neuroanthropology: Delineating the Role of Theory of Mind in Religious Development. In: D. Lende and G. Downey (eds.) The Encultured Brain: Neuroanthropology Foundations. MIT Press. pp. 291-314. Read the article.
Daley, T., Brezis, R. S., Singhal, T., Barua, M., Weisner, T. (in review) Evaluation of an Indian Parent-Guided intervention for Children with Autism.
Brezis, R. S., McKay, L., Galili, T., Wong, T., Piggot, J. (in review) Self-Related Processing and its Reflections in Memory: An fMRI Study of Youth with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Gillespie-Lynch, K. and Brezis, R.S. (in review) Parent-implemented Interventions for Children with Autism around the Globe. M. Siller and L. Morgan (eds.) Handbook of Parent-Implemented Interventions for Very Young Children with Autism. Springer Press.