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Rachel Chen

University of California Berkeley |
San Francisco State University 
rachel.chen at berkeley dot edu

Research interests: 

I am interested in the embodied and interactional practices of individuals on the autism spectrum as they navigate their material and social world. Specifically, I study autistic phenomena (such as stimming, routines, displays of affect), and investigate how these are organized in everyday circumstances. My work is informed by conversation analysis and ethnomethodology. 

My recent research addresses the role of rhythm and repetition as a mode of experience, and as modality for joint engagement. I am also pursuing a Designated emphasis in New Media, designing interactive technologies for Special Education. Currently, I am developing “Magic Mat,” an interactive musical mat that amplifies physical touch between people through sound.


Hoey, E. M., DeLiema, D., Chen, R. S. Y., & Flood, V. J. (2018). Imitation in children’s locomotor playResearch on Children and Social Interaction, 2(1).