Natacha Akshoomoff, Ph.D. 

Associate Adjunct Professor


Contact Information

UCSD Office: AP&M 5440
UCSD Campus Mail Code: 0115
T: (858) 822-2757


Dr. Akshoomoff received her B.S. in Psychobiology from UCLA and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Florida and a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental cognitive neuroscience with Dr. Joan Stiles at UCSD. After five years as an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, she returned to UCSD in 2000 to pursue her research interests in autism and pediatric neuropsychology. Dr. Akshoomoff is a faculty member in the UCSD/SDSU JDP Neuropsychology Track, the UCSD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training Program, and the UCSD Center for Human Development. She is also a Clinical Neuropsychologist at the Autism Discovery Institute at Rady Children's Hospital.

Research Interests

Research Focus

Dr. Akshoomoff's current research focuses on various aspects of pediatric neuropsychology, namely identifying normal variations in neural and neuropsychological development and their genetic associations, identifying how those factors are associated with variations in academic skill development in children, and the neural and neuropsychological impact of significant preterm birth. She is also involved in a variety of projects that aim to improve early identification and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders in children, examine the emergence of the behavioral phenotype in autism and the associated genetic risk factors, and examine variations in outcomes of children with autism who participate in intensive early intervention. She is also interested in identifying behavioral phenotypes associated with rare genetic syndromes and proper diagnosis of young children at risk for developmental disorders.

Clinical and Teaching Focus

Dr. Akshoomoff is actively involved in autism services and neuropsychological assessment at Rady Children's Hospital through Developmental Services and Child Psychiatry. She teaches seminars in neuropsychological development and developmental disorders and provides assessment workshops and supervision for graduate students in the Clinical Psychology JDP and the Clinical Psychology internship program, and postdoctoral fellows in Clinical Neuropsychology and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She also supervises undergraduate research at UCSD.


  • Akshoomoff, N. A., Feroleto, C. C., Doyle, R. E., & Stiles, J. (2002). The impact of early unilateral brain injury on perceptual organization and visual memory. Neuropsychologia, 40, 539-561.
  • Akshoomoff, N. A. (2002). Selective attention and active engagement in young children. Developmental Neuropsychology, 22, 625-642.
  • Akshoomoff, N., Lord, C., Lincoln, A. J., Courchesne, R. Y., Carper, R. A., Townsend, J., & Courchesne, E. (2004). Outcome classification of preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders using MRI brain measures. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 43, 349–357.
  • Akshoomoff, N. (2006) Use of the Mullen Scales of Early Learning for the assessment of young children with autism spectrum disorders. Child Neuropsychology, 12, 269-277.
  • McCleery, J.P., Akshoomoff, N., Dobkins, K.R., & Carver, L.J. (2009). Atypical face processing in 10-month-old infants at risk for autism. Biological Psychiatry, 66, 950-957.
  • Schumann, C.M., Bloss, C.S., Barnes, C.C., Wideman, G.M., Carper, R.A., Akshoomoff, N., Pierce, K., Hagler, D., Schork, N., Lord, C., & Courchesne, E. (2010). Longitudinal MRI study of cortical development through early childhood in autism. Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 4419-4427.
  • Akshoomoff, N., Stahmer, A.C., Corsello, C., & Mahrer, N.E. (2010). What happens next? Follow-up from the Children’s Toddler School Program. Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions, 12, 245-253.
  • Stahmer, A.C., Akshoomoff, N. & Cunningham, A. (2011). Inclusion for Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The First Ten Years of a Community Program. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice, 15, 625-641.
  • Cornew, L., Dobkins, K. R., Akshoomoff, N., McCleery, J. P., & Carver, L. (2012). Atypical social referencing in infant siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2012 Mar 29.
  • Brown, T. T., Kuperman, J. M., Chung, Y. H., Erhart, M., McCabe, C., Hagler, D. J., Venkatraman, V. K., Akshoomoff, N., Amaral, D. G., Bloss, C. S., Casey, B. J., Chang, L., Ernst, T. M., Frazier, J. A., Gruen, J. R., Kaufmann, W. E., Kenet, T., Kennedy, D. N., Murray, S., Sowell, E. R., Jernigan, T. L., & Dale, A. M. (2012). Neuroanatomical assessment of biological maturity. Current Biology, Sep 25;22(18):1693-8.
  • Corsello, C. M., Akshoomoff, N., & Stahmer, A. C. (2012) Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders in two year-olds: A study of community practice. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2012 Aug 20.