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Sensory processing, perception, attention and decision-making in autism and dyslexia

   School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences

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  Dr Catherine Manning  Applications accepted all year round

About the Project

Atypical responses to sensory information have been reported in almost all developmental conditions, including autism and dyslexia. These sensory processing differences can have a huge impact on people's everyday lives. For example, autistic children may struggle to learn effectively if they are very sensitive to the fluorescent lights or the background noises in a typical classroom environment. My research has aimed to uncover the reasons for atypical responses to sensory information in both autism and dyslexia, considering different processing stages from early sensory processing to later decision-making processes. I primarily use a combination of psychophysics, EEG and computational modelling. Cross-syndrome comparisons are particularly informative for understanding how different developmental conditions overlap or diverge. I am interested in supervising projects related to sensory, attentional, perceptual and/or decisional processes in autism, dyslexia, and/or other neurodevelopmental conditions. This could include research into how to make public spaces more accessible for autistic people. I am also interested in supervising projects relating to how these processes develop in typically developing children. Please get in touch ([Email Address Removed]) to discuss potential projects which fit with your interests. To give you an idea, example projects include: a) investigating links between sensory processing assessed in the laboratory and everyday sensory processing, b) investigating links between decision-making parameters and symptom dimensions relevant to neurodevelopmental conditions (e.g., reading abilities, attention), c) comparing performance between autistic and dyslexic children in a range of tasks, d) investigating links between motion perception and movements in typically and atypically developing children, e) investigating EEG markers of atypical sensory processing and/or decision-making in developmental conditions, and f) considering the effect of sensory environments on autistic people and testing the impact of adaptations to these environments.

Funding Notes

See University of Reading funding competitions including the Magdalen Vernon and SeNSS studentships I am happy to support applications to external funding schemes e.g., the Baily Thomas Charitable Fund Doctoral Fellowship

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