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Alan Lincoln

alan lincoln

Dr. Alan Lincoln is a past graduate of this program, having graduated with his Ph.D. in 1980. Dr. Lincoln was educated during the early phase of the professional school movement, a time when clinical psychologists were in such short supply and when training models fell short of adequately preparing psychologists for the rigorous demands of clinical work.

Dr. Lincoln's doctoral dissertation examined infant-adult micro interactions. Dr. Lincoln evaluated normal 2-month-old infants during videotaped interactions with parents and strangers. Between 1980 and 1983 Dr. Lincoln completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Neuroscience at UCSD and started NIH programmatic research focused on electrophysiology in persons with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr. Lincoln has continued to work on NIH funded research for the past 34 years involving studies of physiology, pathophysiology, structural and functional brain development, pharmacology, neuropsychology, and behavior intervention for persons with neurodevelopmental disorders and neuropsychiatric disorders. Following Dr. Lincoln's postdoctoral fellowship he also completed advanced coursework through the San Diego Psychoanalytic Institute in a two year training program involving psychoanalytic psychotherapy for children and adolescents.

Dr. Lincoln continued to conduct research, teach classes, supervise students and engaged in a small private practice until about 1998. Dr. Lincoln was appointed as a core faculty member a few years earlier. The autism epidemic caused him to refocus from having his primarily study of the biological and neuropsychological underpinnings of persons with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders to developing programs to help treat such individuals. This ultimately led to the development of a large intervention program covering four counties, employing about 150 individuals and treating about 400 individuals yearly.

Dr. Lincoln served as the President and CEO for 15 years until he sold the agency in 2013. In 2004 Dr. Lincoln completed his postdoctoral MS in clinical psychopharmacology. Dr. Lincoln then became a board certified Behavior Analyst. Dr. Lincoln also served as Interim Program Director for our program, Interim Program Director for our Postdoctoral MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology program, and Chair of our faculty senate. He holds the title of Distinguished Professor.

Professional Interests
  • Early childhood psychopathology
  • Biological and neuropsychological basis of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Neurodevelopmental effects of child abuse
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity and severe language disorders
  • Assessment of children
  • Differential diagnosis and treatment of childhood psychotherapy
Education and Certifications
  • Ph.D. California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego
  • Post-doctoral Master of Science Clinical Psychopharmacology



  • 2010 Fellow: San Diego Psychological Association
  • Clinical Psychopharmacology
  • Assessment of Intelligence
Scholarship and Contributions to the Field
  • Fishman I, Yam A, Bellugi U, Lincoln A, Mills D. "Contrasting patterns of language-associated brain activity in autism and Williams syndrome." Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2010 Aug 27. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 20802091
  • Taylor D, Lincoln AJ, Foster SL. "Impaired behavior regulation under conditions of concurrent variable schedules of reinforcement in children with ADHD." J Atten Disord. 2010 Jan;13(4):358-68. Epub . PubMed PMID: 19520999.
  • Keehn B, Lincoln AJ, Müller RA, Townsend J. "Attentional networks in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder." J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2010 Apr 26. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 20456535.
  • Keehn B, Brenner LA, Ramos AI, Lincoln AJ, Marshall SP, Müller RA. "Brief report: eye-movement patterns during an embedded figures test in children with ASD." J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Feb;39(2):383-7. Epub 2008 Jul 1. PubMed PMID:18592365; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2905648.
  • J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Feb;39(2):299-321. Epub 2008 Aug 13. PubMed PMID: 18704672.
  • Lincoln A, Swift E, Shorteno-Fraser M. "Psychological adjustment and treatment of children and families with parents deployed in military combat." J Clin Psychol. 2008 Aug;64(8):984-92.
  • Keehn B, Brenner L, Palmer E, Lincoln AJ, M#ller RA. "Functional brain organization for visual search in ASD." J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2008 Nov;14(6):990-1003. PubMed PMID: 18954479.
  • Minassian A, Paulus M, Lincoln A, Perry W. "Adults with autism show increased sensitivity to outcomes at low error rates during decision-making." J Autism Dev Disord. 2007 Aug;37(7):1279-88. Epub 2006 Nov 1.
  • Nonland, R., Cason, N., & Lincoln, A.J. (2007) "Building a foundation for successful school transitions and educational placement." In: R. Gabriels & D. Hill (Eds.), Growing Up with Autism: Working with School-age Children and Adolescents. The Guilford Press, New York, 205-227.
  • Rose, F., Lincoln, A.J., Lai, Z., Ene, M., Searcy, Y., & Bellugi. (2007). "Orientation and Affective Expression Effects on Face Recognition in Williams Syndrome and Autism." Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord. Mar;37(3):513-22
  • Lincoln, A.J., Hanzel, E., & Quirmbach, L. (2007). "Assessing intellectual abilities of children and adolescents with autism and related disorders." In: S. Smith (Ed.), The Clinical Assessment of Children and Adolescents: A Practiotioners Guide. MidAtlantic Books and Journal, Baltimore, MD.
  • Lincoln, A.J., Searcy, Y., Jones, W., & Lord, C (2007). "Social interaction behaviors discriminate young children with autism and Williams syndrome." Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Mar;46(3):323-31.
  • Perry, W., Minassian, A, Lopez, B., Maron, L., & Lincoln , A. (2006). "Sensorimotor gating deficits in adults with autism." Biological Psychiatry.
  • Lopez, B., Lincoln, A., Ozonoff, S., & Lai, Z. (2005). "Examining the relationship between executive functions and restricted, repetitive symptoms of autistic disorder." Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Aug;35(4):445-60.
  • Levitin, D., Cole, K., Lincoln, A.J., & Bellugi, U (2005). "Aversion, awareness, and attraction: investigating claims of hyperacuisi in the Williams syndrome phenotype." Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46(5):514-23.
  • Levitin, D., Cole, K., Chiles, M., Lai, Z., Lincoln, A.J., Bellugi, U. (2004). "Characterizing the Musical Phenotype in Individuals with Williams Syndrome." Neuropsychol Dev Cogn C Child Neuropsychol. 2004 Dec;10(4):223-47.
  • Searcy, M.Y., Lincoln, A.J., Rose, F.E., Klima, E.S., Bevar, N. & Korenberg, J.R. (2004). "The relationship between age and IQ in Williams syndrome." American Journal on Mental Retardation, 2004 May;109(3):231-6.
  • Akshoomoff, N., Lord, C., Lincoln, A.J., Courchesne, R., Carper, R., 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, 3, 349-358.
  • Quirmbach LM, Lincoln AJ, Feinberg-Gizzo MJ, Ingersoll BR, Andrews SM. Social stories: mechanisms of effectiveness in increasing game play skills in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder using a pretest posttest repeated measures randomized control group design.