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Dr Gray Atherton

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Psychology

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