GRAY ATHERTON

    20172022

    Research activity per year

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    Personal profile

    Biography

    I am interested in understanding how neurodiverse people see the social world. Specifically, I explore individual differences in social processing and how these differences often found in autistic people also exist in the general population. I am particularly interested in understanding the strengths inherent to neurodiversity and how these strengths can be used to challenge stigma and misunderstandings about developmental conditions such as autism.

    I also investigate anthropomorphism, or seeing the human in the non-human, and how this relates to social processing in autism. To investigate this, I am developing virtual and augmented reality techniques that allow for anthropomorphic experiences. I am also interested in human-animal contact and how to understand its benefits in neurodiverse populations.

    My other research interest lies more broadly in embodied social processing. I am particularly interested in how movement can affect how we see ourselves and our social partners and how this can be used to understand special populations. Some of my work in this area relates to modern board games and how joint action and attention during gaming can improve mental health.

    BSc Child Development – Vanderbilt University (2010)

    MEd Counselling Psychology – University of Houston (2014)

    PhD – Educational Psychology and Individual Differences (Special Populations) – University of Houston (2017)

    Teaching

    I currently serve as the Programme Leader for the BSc Honor’s Psychology program.

    EDP1001: Introduction to Educational Psychology (Module Leader)

    EDP3104: Special Educational Needs (Module leader)

    PSY1111: Introduction to Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology

    PSY3135: Psychology Dissertation

    MRes Supervision

    PhD Supervision

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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