Vanderbilt University
Institute of Imaging Science

Allison Whitten, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Contact Information


I am interested in using MRI methods to characterize large-scale brain networks and their complex interactions, with a focus on networks involved in language processing. My research applies this work to understanding how language breaks down in disorders affecting the brain, including autism spectrum disorder (Ph.D. work) and epilepsy (current work).


As part of Dr. Victoria Morgan's lab, my research projects include 1) investigating the utility of presurgical fMRI language mapping to inform surgical decisions and predict language outcomes in epilepsy, and 2) using structural and functional MRI methods to evaluate how language and cognitive deficits arise from interactions between seizure propagation networks and language regions before and after surgical treatment.


Whitten, A., Unruh, K. E., Shafer, R. L., & Bodfish, J. W. (2018). Subgrouping Autism Based on Symptom Severity Leads to Differences in the Degree of Convergence Between Core Feature Domains. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 48(6), 1908-1919.

Sethi, C., Harrop, C., Zhang, W., Pritchett, J., Whitten, A., & Boyd, B. A. (2018). Parent and professional perspectives on behavioral inflexibility in autism spectrum disorders: A qualitative study. Autism, 1362361318810217.

Unruh, K. E., Sasson, N. J., Shafer, R. L., Whitten, A., Miller, S. J., Turner-Brown, L., & Bodfish, J. W. (2016). Social orienting and attention is influenced by the presence of competing nonsocial information in adolescents with autism. Frontiers in neuroscience, 10, 586.