New RCP Faculty Member: Mark Klinger

New RCP Faculty Member: Mark Klinger click to enlarge Mark R. Klinger, PhD

Mark R. Klinger, PhD, is a cognitive psychologist who studies how thinking processes differ in persons with developmental disabilities with a particular focus on autism and Down syndrome. Mark completed his PhD in Psychology at the University of Washington. He comes to the Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology program at UNC from the Department of Psychology at the University of Alabama where he was on faculty for the last 17 years and was Director of the Experimental Psychology PhD program for the last six years.

Mark’s research focuses on studying autism spectrum disorders as a form of learning disability in which persons with autism have difficulty learning using “intuitive” learning processes that are frequently used by persons who do not have autism. Mark conducts research using behavioral, eye-tracking, neuroimaging, and other physiological techniques to study the ways learning may be different in persons with developmental disabilities.

Mark will be teaching research courses, supervising graduate students, and conducting research in developmental disabilities in RCP. Much of his research is collaborative with Dr. Laura Klinger who is the new Director of TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication related handicapped CHildren), the statewide autism center located at UNC Chapel Hill, and Mark will be working to develop the research infrastructure at TEACCH. Additionally, Mark would like to start a transition program for college students with autism at UNC that is similar to the program that he and Dr. Laura Klinger started at the University of Alabama.