Jana Iverson, Ph.D.


3415 Sennott Square






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Research Interests

Communicative development; motor development; typical development; infants with or at risk for developmental disorders


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Research Interests: Motor and communicative development in typical development and in infants at increased biological risk for autism spectrum disorder; nature and development of the relationship between gesture and language; early identification of developmental delay and autism spectrum disorders.

Accepting Graduate Students: Yes


Infant Communication Lab

The Infant Communication Lab studies the nature and development of the relationship between motor activity, postural stability, communication, and language in infants at risk for autism and infants with no such risk. Current projects focus on four major topics: a) how changes in motor activity and postural stability relate to advances in other developmental domains; b) how motor planning develops over time; c) how communication, gesture, and language develop over time in infants; and d) how caregivers’ communication with infants changes over time and in relation to advances in moor development.

Director:   Jana Iverson, PhD

Location:  3311 Sennott Square

Contact:  412-624-9355

Pittsburgh Early Autism Study

We are studying infants who have an older sibling diagnosed with an austism spectrum disorder (ASD) to look for infant behaviors that may predict a later ASD diagnosis. Family home videos of children later diagnosed with ASD suggest that diagnostic signs of ASD may emerge within the first year of life.

Our Team:

Jana Iverson, PhD

Mark Strauss, PhD

Susan Campbell, PhD

Contact: 1-866-647-3436 or autismrecruiter@pitt.edu

Graduate Student Advisees

  • Northrup, Jessie
  • West, Kelsey
  • Emily Roemer


  • PhD, University of Chicago


  • Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award (2007)


  • Pub 1

    LeBarton, E.S. & Iverson, J.M. (2016).Gesture development in toddlers with an older sibling with autism.International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 51, 18-30.

  • pub 2

    Northrup, J.B. & Iverson, J.M. (2015).  Vocal coordination during early parent-infant interaction predicts language outcome in high-risk infants.  Infancy, 20, 523-547

  • pub 3

    Parladé, M.V. & Iverson, J.M. (2015).  The development of coordinated communication in infants at high risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45, 2218-2234

  • pub 4

    Koterba, E.A., Leezenbaum, N.B., & Iverson, J.M. (2014).Object exploration in infants with and without risk for autism.Autism, 18, 97-105.

  • pub 5

    Leezenbaum, N.B., Campbell, S.B., Butler, D.M., & Iverson, J.M. (2014).Maternal verbal responses to communication of infants at low and heightened risk for autism.Autism, 18, 694-703.

  • pub 6

    LeBarton, E.S. & Iverson, J.M. (2013).Fine motor skill predicts expressive language in infant siblings of children with autism.Developmental Science, 16, 815-827.

  • pub 7

    Nickel, L.R., ^Thatcher. A.R., Keller, F., Wozniak, R.H., & Iverson, J.M. (2013).Postural development in infants at heightened vs. low risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder.Infancy, 18, 639-661.

  • pub 8

    Winder, B.M., Wozniak, R.H., *Parladé, M.V., & Iverson, J.M. (2013).Spontaneous initiation of communication in infants at low and heightened risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders.Developmental Psychology, 49, 1931-1942.

  • Publication 749

    Iverson, J.M. (2010). Developing language in a developing body: The relationship between motor development and language development. Journal of Child Language, 37, 229-261.