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Rajesh K. Kana.

Associate Dean for Graduate & Continuing Education
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HHB 560L; CH 452C
(205) 996-8871

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.

Visit Laboratory Website

  • 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


    • McKayla Kurtz
    • Meagan Beckerson


    • 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
    • Smitha, K.A., Stavrinos, D., Argueta, P., Vanderburgh, C., Holm, H.B., Kana, R.K. (2024). Thalamic functional connectivity and sensorimotor processing in neurodevelopmental disorders. Frontiers in Neuroscience.
    • McManus, B., Kana, R. K., Rajpari, I., Holm, H. B., & Stavrinos, D. (2024). Risky driving behavior among individuals with autism, ADHD, and typically developing persons. Accident Analysis & Prevention.
    • Coburn, K. L., Miller, G. N., Martin, L. A., Kana, R. K. (2023). A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Deception Detection by Neurodiverse Young Adults. Topics in Language Disorders.
    • Smitha, K.A., Stavrinos, D., Holm, H.B., Anteraper, S.A., Kana, R.K. (2023). Alterations of Functional Connectivity in Autism and ADHD revealed by Multi-voxel Pattern Analysis. Brain Connectivity.
    • Soylu, F., May, K.E., Kana, R.K. (2023). White and Gray Matter Correlates of Theory of Mind in Autism: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study. Brain Structure and Function.
    • Beckerson, M.E., Remmel, R.J., Glenn, A.L., Kana, R.K. (2023). Psychopathic Traits and Social Brain Responses during Moral Evaluation in Adolescence. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.
    • Kurtz, M.R., Kana, R.K., Rivera, D.L., Newman, S.D. (2023). The Role of the Broader Autism Phenotype in Anxiety and Depression in College-Aged Adults. Frontiers in Psychiatry.
    • White, S.W., Siegle, G.J., Kana, R.K., Rothman, E.F. (2023). Pathways to Psychopathology among Autistic Adults. Current Psychiatry Reports.
    • Watkins, L., White, S.W., McDaniel, S., Fedewa, M., Cohen, D., & Kana, R. K. (2023). Including students with autism within the PBIS framework: Recommendations for research and research-informed practice. Preventing School Failure.

    See full publications list Opens an external link.

  • 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)
    • Associate Editor, Autism Research Journal
    • Associate Editor, Frontiers of Neuroscience Journal