Janet Parsons

PhD Student

Email: jparso05@mail.bbk.ac.uk


Supervisors

Dr Teodora Gliga (Birkbeck, Department of Psychological Sciences)
Dr Emily Jones (Birkbeck, Department of Psychological Sciences)

Research interests

I’m investigating the development of visual attention, that is where one looks and when, in infants under 18 months old who are at risk for later learning difficulties because they are either at familial risk for autism or have been born pre-term.

To do this, I’m using data collected from eye-tracking technologies collected whilst infants were viewing video or live interactions. Some atypicalities have been found for infants at familial risk for autism but evidence is mixed and much is based on viewing static not dynamic images. I’m exploring whether when viewing dynamic images the two groups of infants at risk for learning difficulties allocate visual attention differently and if and how this differs to low risk infants, who have been born full term with no familial autism risk.  The aim is to determine whether any differences are more closely associated with general development or autism symptoms.

My PhD is funded by a fellowship from the Baily Thomas Charitable Fund.

Education

2015-present
Birkbeck, University of London                                                     
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Psychology (part-time)

2010-2014
The Open University                                                                                                
BSc Hons Psychology, First Class                                                   

1986-1989
Cambridge University                                                                                
MA Hons Natural Science (Chemistry), Upper Second Class

Research experience

Nov 2013-Jul 2015 
Research assistant at the Centre for Brain & Cognitive Development
On the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS) carried out recruitment, data collection with infants, video-coding of parent-child interaction and developed a data dictionary development based on standard questionnaires.  

Conference proceedings

Parsons, J.P., Bedford, R., & Gliga, T. (2016).  Differences in gaze cue reading, visual attention and learning in 14-month-old infants at risk for autism. Poster presented at the 1st Lancaster Conference on Infant and Child Development, 25-27 August Aug 2016, Lancaster University.
Parsons, J.P., Bedford, R., & Gliga, T. (2016).  Differences in gaze cue reading, visual attention and learning in 14-month-old infants at risk for autism. Oral presentation given at the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Annual Seminar, 22-24 June 2016, University College London.