Speaker: A/P Murray Maybery

Title: Continuity along the Autism Spectrum in Perceptual and Biological Markers

Date: Thursday 19 November, 12-1 pm

Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room)


Substantial research effort has been invested in identifying a unique cognitive or perceptual profile for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A potential application of this work is in identifying early neurocognitive markers for the disorder, with potential biological markers also under intense investigation. Our research at UWA has combined investigations of children with ASD with investigations that compare groups of young adults screened for high versus low levels of mild autistic-like traits. These two lines of research provide evidence that children with ASD and adults with high levels of autistic-like traits share a profile characterized by an advantage in low-level visual search processes but a disadvantage in visual integration. Other work from our group provides preliminary evidence that physical features may also provide subtle markers for autism.  In particular, evidence from studies of clinical groups and from groups on the broader spectrum converge in suggesting that autism is characterized by the masculinization of facial features.

About the Speaker:

Murray Maybery (PhD, University of Queensland) is Head of the School of Psychology at the University of Western Australia, ranked 27th in the world for Psychology in the QS University Rankings.  A/Prof Maybery has published 140 peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters, which have been cited more than 4,200 times. His research spans work on typical cognition in adults and children to research on atypical cognition and perception in special populations such as individuals affected by schizophrenia or autism. The influence of hormones on the development of autistic traits is also under investigation. Current work by A/Prof Maybery’s research team is funded by the Australian Research Council, the National Health and Medical Research Council, and the Autism Cooperative Research Centre.

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