University Events

Event items

Eyes: windows to the soul and mind control

Professor Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon, Head of the School of Psychology, Newcastle University

Date/Time: 18th October 2016, 17.30 - 18:45

Venue: Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building, Newcastle University

Free admission, all seats allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

This event was rescheduled from 12 May 2016.

This talk will consider the role and impact of visual communication cues, such as hand gestures and facial expressions in human communication, from informational value as well as why we sometimes have to switch off from them to think and concentrate.

Professor Doherty-Sneddon will look at how children adapt to different communication media, for example face-to-face versus live video links. She will consider the implications for people with neurodevelopmental disorders including autism and Williams syndrome, and discuss forensic and educational practice with children.

Speaker biography

Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon studied Psychology at University of Glasgow (1985-89) where she stayed to complete a PhD on the development of children’s visual and verbal conversational skills.

She worked at University of Stirling as lecturer then Professor from 1994-2009. She was Associate Dean for Research at Northumbria from 2010 until her appointment as Head of School of Psychology at Newcastle University in 2015.

Gwyneth has researched:

  • the visuo-spatial processing links between visual social cues and visual non-social information (as in mental imaging)
  • how children adapt to different communication media (eg face-to-face versus live video links)
  • children's patterns of gaze as indicators of internal cognitive states like thinking and concentration

Her most recent work has investigated gaze aversion as cognitive load management in people with neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and Williams syndrome.

Her work has impacted on:

  • police and social workers
  • teachers and education services
  • primary health care workers and counsellors

It is cited in the Home Office guidelines Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings. She is currently working on a project evaluating Remote Evidence Sites for Vulnerable Witnesses.