Dr Gray Atherton

Dr Gray Atherton portrait photo


Research Qualifications
I am interested in understanding how people with autism spectrum condition see the social world. Specifically, I explore individual differences in social processing and how these differences often found in people with autism also exist in the general population.
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 reality techniques that allow for anthropomorphic experiences.
My other research interest lies more broadly in embodied social processing. I am particularly interested in how movement can affect the way we see ourselves and our social partners, and how this can be used to understand special populations.
BSc Child Development – Vanderbilt University
MEd Counselling Psychology – University of Houston
PhD – Educational Psychology and Individual Differences (Special Populations) – University of Houston
Teaching Contact
EDP1001: Introduction to Educational Psychology (Module Leader)
EDP3104: Special Educational Needs (Module leader)
PSY1111: Introduction to Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology
PSY3135: Psychology Dissertation
PhD Supervision
Dr Gray Atherton
Department of Psychology
Edge Hill University
St Helen’s Road
L39 4QP
Phone: 01695 657498
Email:  Gray Atherton
Office: LP 2.59


Full-text links of these publications are available on the Edge Hill University Research Information Repository

Atherton, G & Cross, L. (2020). Walking in My Shoes: Imagined Synchrony Improves Attitudes Towards Out-groups. Psychological Studies. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12646-020-00568-6

Cross, L., Wilsdon, L., Henson, H., Michael, J., & Atherton G., (in press) Still want to help: Entrainments effects on helping behaviour after a 24-hour delay. Acta Psychologica

Cross, L., & Atherton, G. (2019). Beyond Neurodiversity. The Psychologist, 32, 2-3

Cross, L. Faraha, M., & Atherton, G. (2019).The animal in me: Enhancing emotion recognition in adolescents with autism using animal filters. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Doi:10.1007/s10803-019-04179-7

Cross, L. Faraha, M., & Atherton, G., (in press). The animal in me: Enhancing emotion recognition in adolescents with autism using animal filters. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Atherton, G., Sebanz, N., Cross, L. (2019). Imagine all the synchrony: Actual and imagined synchronous walking’s effects on attitudes towards marginalised groups. PlosOne, 14(5) e0216585. doi.10.1371/.02220264

Atherton G., Cross, L. (2019) Animal faux pas: Two legs good four legs bad for ToM, but not in the BAP. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 1-15. doi.10.1080/00221325.2019.1593100

Cross, L., Turgeon, M., Atherton, G. (2019). How moving together binds us together: A Review of the socio-emotional effects of interpersonal entrainment. Open Psychology 1: 273-302. doi.10.1515-2018-0018

Cross, L., Turgeon, M., Atherton, G., (2019). Moving with the in-crowd: Interpersonal entrainment and cooperation in in vs. out -groups. Current Psychology. 10. doi.10.1007/s12144-019-00283-0

Atherton, G., Cross, L. (2018). Seeing more than human: Anthropomorphic theory of mind and autism. Frontiers in Psychology. 9:528. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00528.

Atherton, G., Lummis, B., Day, S. X., & Cross, L. (2018). What am I thinking? Perspective-taking from the perspective of adolescents with autism. Autism, 23(5), 1186-1200. Doi.1362361318793409.

Cross, L., Atherton, G., Wilson, A. D., Golonka, S. (2017). Imagined steps: Can mental simulation of coordinated rhythmic movement affect pro-sociality? Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1798. 10.3389, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01798.


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