MRI development and applications in autism research

MRI development and applications in autism research

Website Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience / Spinoza Centre

Autism is a common neurodevelopmental disorder, characterised by difficulties in social functioning and communication, and repetitive and inflexible behaviour. Autism is diagnosed far more frequently in males than in females. Currently, we do not know to what extent this is due to different biological mechanisms , or to bias in the diagnostic process.

SCANNER is a large multidisciplinary study that aims to close the knowledge gap underlying sex differences in autistic traits occurrence and diagnosis, and ultimately translate this knowledge into sex-sensitive diagnostic eHealth tools. SCANNER strives to answer the question: “Why are there more men than women with autism?” from both the biological and diagnostic pathway perspectives. The NIN will contribute with an MRI project to the aims of SCANNER, for which we seek an excellent PhD candidate.

The PhD project will focus on brain structure and function in females and males with autism, specifically the correlation between structural brain changes over development, autistic traits and sensorimotor difficulties. One part of the PhD project will involve MRI sequence development, whereas the other part involves data acquisition and analysis of different cohorts within the SCANNER consortium.

General information about the group, the centre and the SCANNER project can be found on our websites:, and For more information about the vacancy, you can also contact Dr. Wietske van der Zwaag (

Applications can be submitted at:

To apply for this job please visit