Cognitive and Developmental Preconference Networking Event

11 September 202312:30pm - 6:00pm
  • Research
Cartoon of figures conducting research
In person
Cognitive Psychology Section
Developmental Psychology Section

An exciting network event taking place directly prior to the Joint Annual Conference of the Cognitive and Developmental Section.

The event will be held at:

  • The Humanities Complex
    University of Bristol
    7 Woodland Rd
    BS8 1TB


12:00 - Registrations opens
12:30 - Part 1: Discussion around striving towards better neurodiversity research

Themes for discussion will include:

  • Improving your chances of publishing neurodiversity research
  • embedding anti-ableist approaches in cognitive and developmental research
  • Challenges and opportunities of participatory research
  • Not just autism
15.00 - Refreshments (tea, coffee, water, and biscuits) available
15.30 - Part 2: Discussion on software and technology solutions, Networking Event on Creating Eye Tracking experiments

In the second part of the event we will be joined by some providers of software and technology solutions (e.g. Tobii, PsychoPy).

There will be time for questions, discussion and to test some of the technologies showcased.

17:00 - Discussion of Productive Assessment: a tool to support scoring and feedback for HE assessments.
18:00 -  Drinks Reception

How to attend

Register to attend the event here

Part 1: Striving towards better neurodiversity research

The neurodiversity framework is a growing social movement that proposes that autism, ADHD and other conditions currently classified as neurodevelopmental disorders are differences and not disorders. In this networking session, our panellists will discuss traditional approaches to research on neurodiversity, why they have been influenced by this movement, and what they are trying to do differently in light of the neurodiversity movement. They will use examples from their own research on autism, ADHD and DLD to highlight how we can change the goals of our research to achieve systemic change, aligning research with community goals, highlight how  publishing is changing, and the opportunities and challenges at the intersection of open science and neurodiversity. This will pave the way to open conversations with attendees to understand how we can strive to do better neurodiversity research.

Chair: Dr. Saloni Krishnan, Royal Holloway, University of London


Dr Hannah Hobson is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of York. She joined York in 2019, having previously lectured at the University of Greenwich, undertaken postdoctoral work at Kings College London, and having completed her DPhil at the University of Oxford. Dr Hobson's interests are in language and communication abilities and groups commonly considered to have communication needs, such as Developmental Language Disorder and Autism. She is especially interested in how language and communication abilities impact mental health and wellbeing. She also has an interest in the application of Open Science methodology to neurodevelopmental research.

Dr Cathy Manning is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Reading. Prior to this, she completed her PhD at the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at the Institute of Education, and then moved to Oxford to take up the Scott Family Junior Research Fellowship at University College, Oxford, followed by a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship. Cathy researches sensory processing and decision-making in typically developing, autistic and dyslexic children. She is also an Editor at the journal, 'Autism'.

Dr Amy Pearson is an autistic Developmental Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Sunderland. Her research focuses on understanding factors that impact on wellbeing among autistic and other neurodivergent people across the lifespan, such as interpersonal relationships and victimisation, social identity and stigma, and increasing accessibility for neurodivergent people in higher education.

Dr Punit Shah is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Bath. After training at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, Punit now leads a diverse team of staff and students in Bath. They are interested in socially relevant psychological processes in neurodevelopmental conditions, like autism and ADHD, mainly in adulthood. Recent neurodiversity research from the group includes studies on psychological strengths and judgement and decision-making in autism (Taylor et al., 2022; 2023), exploring the best ways to measure sex differences in autistic traits (Waldren et al., 2022), and quantifying the relative contributions of autism and ADHD to creativity (Taylor…Shah, under revision) and mental health difficulties (Hargitai et al., 2023). Punit leads the GW4 Neurodevelopmental Neurodiversity Network, spanning Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, and Exeter, and is Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Autism Research at Bath. Punit is also the Editor-in-Chief of Neurodiversity and Associate Editor at Cortex.

Part 2: Software and technology solutions

Creating Eye Tracking experiments with PsychoPy and Tobii

This workshop will give you hands on experience with how to create an eye tracking experiment using PsychoPy and Tobii Pro Eye trackers. We will not assume any existing knowledge of either PsychoPy or Tobii devices – so the session will be suitable for beginners. We will walk through the basic principles of making an experiment in PsychoPy before integrating eye tracking elements to make gaze contingent paradigms that measure basic and advanced looking behaviour. Note that this will be an introductory session focused on paradigm creation, we will not focus on eye tracking data analysis – though we are happy to answer questions!

Please register in advance to access all the materials.

For any questions in advance of the session, please contact [email protected].

Productive Assessment – A tool to support scoring and feedback for HE assessments

Academics face massive assessment loads and generally find it one of the least satisfying and most stressful parts of our job.  Meanwhile, student expectations are growing: they want better, faster feedback, and they regularly score this aspect badly in NSS.  We need help!  In this workshop, we will describe how cognitive principles of task analysis, categorisation and information display can be capitalised upon to develop an environment for curating effective processes of student assessment in Higher Education. We will demonstrate a software tool that embodies best practice in assessment with AI-enabled technology that uses natural language processing methods to extract expected assessment content and match it against student work.  The workshop will also give attendees an opportunity to explore what kinds of features they would most like to see in an assessment support system and to become beta testers of our developing toolset.

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