Helen Tager-Flusberg

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Helen Tager-Flusberg, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Science at Boston University and the Departments of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).[1] She is the Director of the Center for Autism Research Excellence at Boston University.[2]

Personal life and education[edit]

Dr. Tager-Flusberg was born in England.[3] She received her bachelor's degree from the University College London in psychology.[4] She moved to the US in the 1970s[3] and obtained her PhD in Experimental Psychology from Harvard University in 1978.[1] Her dissertation compared children with autism to children with severe developmental language disorders in studies on syntax, semantics and object play.[3]

She was a professor in the psychology department at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) until 2001, and between 1996 and 2001, she was a Senior Scientist at the UMass Medical Center.[4] She has been at Boston University since 2001.[4] initially at the School of Medicine and since 2009 in the College of Arts & Sciences.


Her research interests are in autism, Williams syndrome,[1] Down syndrome, and specific language impairment, which she has researched since the late 70s.[4]


Tager-Flusberg was President of the International Society for Autism Research (2011-2013),[3] and served on the National Deafness and Communication Disorders Advisory Council from 2012-2016.

She is on the editorial boards of Autism and Autism Research;[5] and an Associate Editor of the British Journal of Psychology[5] and is Associate Editor for the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders.[4]

Recognition and other achievements[edit]

Ken Wexler, a professor of cognitive science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said: "If you asked somebody, 'Who are the famous people studying language in autism?' she's the first name to come to mind."[3]

Selected publications[edit]

As of 2012, Tager-Flusberg had edited four books and published more than 200 journal articles and individual chapters in books;[4] some of her books are:

  • Tager-Flusberg, Helen (2005). Autism And Williams Syndrome. Essays in Developmental Psychology. UK: Psychology Press. ISBN 978-1841690087. 
  • Tager-Flusberg, Helen (1993). Constraints on Language Acquisition: Studies of Atypical Children. L. Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 978-0805806670. 
  • Tager-Flusberg, Helen (1999). Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. A Bradford Book. ISBN 978-0262201162. 
  • Baron-Cohen, Simon; Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Cohen, Donald J., eds. (2000). Understanding Other Minds: Perspectives from Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198524465. 
  • Cohen, Donald J.; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Tager-Flusberg, Helen, eds. (1994). Understanding Other Minds: Perspectives from Autism. Oxford Medical Publications. ISBN 978-0192620569. 


  1. ^ a b c "Lab Director, Research on Autism and Developmental Disorders". Boston University. Archived from the original on December 29, 2013. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Helen Tager-Flusberg, PhD". Boston University. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Hughes, Virginia (November 24, 2011). "Helen Tager-Flusberg: Decoding the language of autism". SFARI: Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Helen Tager-Flusberg, Ph.D., M.I.N.D. Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series" (PDF). MIND Institute. December 12, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Scientific Advisory Board Biographies". Autism Speaks. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014.