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Karri Gillespie Smith

SIPR People

SIPR Category:
SIPR Academic Member

In 2011 I completed a PhD at the University of Stirling on "Eye-tracking explorations of attention to faces for communicative cues in Autism Spectrum Disorders". Following this (2011-2012) I worked at the University of Aberdeen, Self Lab, as a Post-Doctoral Fellow investigating the self-referential effect (SRE) in children and how the SRE impacts on encoding and recall within learning environments. In 2012-2013 I was a researcher in the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh exploring infant's early cognitive processing using eye-tracking methodology. After the completion of my research post I was based at Heriot Watt University as a Teaching Fellow (2013-2014), then University of West of Scotland as a Lecturer (2014-2019) before being appointed as a lecturer in Applied Psychology at the University of Edinburgh.


I am a Developmental Psychologist interested in linking core social and cognitive constructs to real world applications.  These core constructs include, social attention, face perception, and self-concept. My overarching research theme is interested in how core socio-cognitive strengths and weaknesses impact wider areas of functioning (e.g. clinical symptomology, mental health and wellbeing, forensic applications, risk awareness, social relationships, social media use and gaming) in Autism and other vulnerable groups.  To carry out this research I use a variety of methodologies including behavioural paradigms, eye-tracking, survey based methods and (most recently) qualitative.

Current research interests
* Understanding social and cognitive development in typical and atypical groups * Self-concept in typical and atypical groups * Autism, Williams Syndrome, Intellectual Disabilities and Childhood Trauma * Eye-tracking; social attention; visual attention; face perception; processing stimulus complexity, and realism.

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