Rajesh K. Kana.

Associate ProfessorCo-Director, Undergraduate Neuroscience Program
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(205) 934-3171

Research Interests: Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, neuroimaging, autism spectrum disorders, brain and language

Office Hours: By appointment


  • Ph.D., Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, India, Psycholinguistics

Dr. Kana has several years of experience in research in the field of autism spectrum disorders. After earning PhD from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, India, he completed his postdoctoral training at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2001 he was awarded the William Fulbright pre-doctoral research fellow to do research at University of California Los Angeles. He joined UAB in 2007.

Dr. Kana is the director of the Cognition, Brain and Autism Laboratory at UAB, and the co-director of the UAB Undergraduate Neuroscience Program.

Research Interests

Dr. Kana’s research interests are in the area of cognitive and affective neuroscience, and autism spectrum disorders. In addition to investigating the neurobiological mechanisms underlying autism using multimodal neuroimaging techniques — such as functional MRI (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), cortical morphometry, and MR spectroscopy (MRS) — his lab examines the neural bases of social cognition and language comprehension. Brain connectivity is another area of focus in Dr. Kana’s neuroimaging research in autism as well as in neurotypical individuals.

Graduate Students


  • Abbey Herringshaw
  • Carla Ammons
  • Carl Stevens Jr.
  • Jose Omar Maximo
  • Thomas DeRamus


  • Kelly Ross Wolfe
  • Lauren Libero
  • Donna Murdaugh
  • Heather Wadsworth

Recent Courses

  • PY 253: Brain, Mind, and Behavior-Honors
  • PY 354: Autism: Brain and Cognition
  • PY 743/PY420: Methods in Neuroimaging

Select Publications

  • Libero, L.E., Maximo, J.O., Deshpande, H.D., Klinger, L.G., Klinger, M.R., & Kana, R.K. (2014). Recruitment of the Mirror Neuron System in processing Action Intentions in Autism. Molecular Autism, 5(1), 50.
  • DeRamus, T.P., Black, B.C., Pennick, M.R., & Kana, R.K. (2014). Enhanced Functional Connectivity in Dorsal-Ventral Visual Streams in Children with Autism. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 6(1):37. doi: 10.1186/1866-1955-6-37.
  • Libero, L.E., DeRamus, T.P., Deshpande, H.D., & Kana, R.K. (2014). Surface-based morphometry of the cortical architecture of autism spectrum disorders: volume, thickness, area, and gyrification. Neuropsychologia, 62, 1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.07.001
  • Travers, B.G., Klinger, M.R., Klinger, L.G., Klein, C.K., & Kana, R.K. (2015). Motor Learning in Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Group Differences in Superior Parietal Lobule Related to Learning and Repetitive Behaviors. Autism Research, 8(1), 38-51. doi: 10.1002/aur.1403.
  • Kana, R.K., Uddin, L.Q., Kenet, T., Chugani, D., & Muller, R.A. (2014). Brain connectivity in autism. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 349.
  • Libero, L.E., Stevens, C.E Jr., & Kana, R.K. (2014). Attribution of emotions to body postures: an independent component analysis study of functional connectivity in autism. Human Brain Mapping, 35(10), 5204-18. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22544.
  • Murdaugh, D.L., Nadendla, K., & Kana, R.K. (2014). Differential Role of Temporoparietal Junction and Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Causal Inference in Autism: an Independent Components Analysis. Neuroscience Letters, 568, 50-5.
  • Maximo, O.J., Cadena, E., & Kana, R.K. (2014). The Implications of Brain Connectivity in the Neuropsychology of Autism. Neuropsychology Review, 24(1), 16-31.
  • Murdaugh, D.L., Ver Hoef, L.W., & Kana, R.K. (2014). Functional brain connectivity in a child with autism with an enlarged cavum septum pellucidum. Neuropsychiatry, 4(1), 23-25.
  • Kana, R.K., Libero, L., Hu, C.P., Deshpande, H.D., & Colburn, J. (2014). Functional Brain Networks and White Matter Underlying Theory-of-Mind in Autism. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9(1), 98-105.

Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies

  • William Fulbright Pre-doctoral Fellow, 2001
  • Cure Autism Now Young Investigator Award, 2004
  • McNulty-Civitan Scientist Award, 2008
  • International Society for Autism Research (INSAR)
  • Social and Affective Neuroscience Society (SANS)
  • Society for Neuroscience (SfN)