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Neag School of Education Directory


Anjana N Bhat
Assistant Professor


Dr. Bhat completed her BS and MS in Physical Therapy at the University of Mumbai in India. She received a PhD in Biomechanics and Movement Science at the University of Delaware with primary advisor, Dr. James C. Galloway. She went onto complete a two year post-doctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University and the Kennedy Krieger Institute with Dr. Rebecca Landa and Dr. Amy Bastian. Her research focuses on the developmental changes in motor coordination of infants at risk for developmental disorders, for example, infants born preterm and infant siblings of children with autism. She also assesses how motor coordination deficits contribute to a child's cognitive and social communication impairments. Infants are observed during different play contexts such as spontaenous play, object play, and social play within the first year of life and follow-up outcomes are obtained in the second year. Infants' patterns of motor coordination are assessed using behavioral coding and quantitative tools such as kinematic and dynamic analyses. Specifically, she examines upper-limb and lower-limb coordination of infants' spontaneous limb movements as well as purposeful movements during associative learning, reaching and object exploration, and ambulation. The two overall goals of this work are: a) to provide research evidence to the current practices in the field of early intervention and pediatric rehabilitation, and b) to develop novel techniques for early detection and treatment of at-risk infants. This project is funded by the National Instittues of Child Health and Human Development. Another focus of her research is to study the motor coordination of young and older children with developmental disorders such as children born preterm or children with autism. This work will help understand the underlying perceptuo-motor processes that lead to fine-motor and gross-motor coordination problems in young and older children. This work would ultimately inform and influence a clinician's assessment and treatment approach to solving motor coordination problems. Recently, she has begun to understand the effects of motor interventions on joint attention, complex motor coordination, praxis, and imitation behaviors of children with autism. Specifically, she is assessing the effects of novel robotic and traditional motor interventions for children with autism. This project is funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health.

•PhD, Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware, 2005

•MSPT, Physical Therapy, University of Mumbai, 1999

•BSPT, Physical Therapy, University of Mumbai, 1996

« Full C.V. »


Contact Information: 

Koons - 106

Phone: (860) 486-0019

Email: anjana.bhat@uconn.edu

Mailing Address:
358 Mansfield Road
Koons Hall, Physical Therapy


Current Courses Taught:

PT 5430 - Biomechanics and its Applications

PT 5432 - Motor Control and its Applications


Honors/Awards:

Dissertation Fellowship 2004-2005, University of Delaware

Young Investigator Award 2006-2008, Cure Autism Now Foundation


Associations/Committees/Outreach:

American Physical Therapy Association

International Society on Infant Studies

International Society for Autism Research

North American Society of Sport Psychology and Physical Activity


In the News:

Our research in Psychiatric News as "Autism Treatments on the Horizon"

Our research in New York Times as "Robot based synchrony interventions for children with autism"

"Our research in UConn Today and phys.org website"


Funded Research:

Effects of novel embodied interventions in children with autism: robot-child interactions

Effects of perceptuo-motor intervewntions in children with autism: music-based therapies

Effects of movement training on interlimb coordination of young at-risk infants

Examination of early links between the motor and social communication development of infants at risk for autism


Selected Publications/Presentations:

Srinivasan, S. & Bhat, A. (2013) Music and movement interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Embodied interventions for multisystem development. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 7: 1-15.

Kaur, M., Gifford, T., Marsh, K., Bhat, A. (2013) The effects of robot-child interactions on bilateral coordination skills of typically developing children and a child with autism between 4 to 7 years of age. Journal of Motor Learning and Development, 1, 31-37.

Srinivasan, S., Lynch, K., Gifford, T. Bubela, D., Bhat, A. (2013) The effects of robot-child interactions on imitation and praxis skills of children with and without autism between 4 to 7 years of age. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 116 (3), 889-906.

Bhat, A., Galloway, J., Landa, R. (2012) Relationship between early motor delay and later communication delay in infants at risk for autism. Infant Behavior and Development, 35, 838-846.

Bhat, A., Galloway, J. C., Landa, R. (2011) Perspectives on motor problems in infants, children, and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Physical Therapy, 91(7): 1116-1129.

Bhat, A. N., Galloway, J. C., Landa, R. J. (2010) Social and Non-social Visual Attention Patterns and Associative Learning in Infants at risk for Autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(9): 989-997.

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