Projects

Social cognitive strengths and difficulties in Down syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome

We are interested in how children and young people with Down syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome process and understand social information. We are particularly interested in whether social information processing relates to observable social behaviour skills that are central to navigating day-to-day interactions. Our research involves tasks and activities that demonstrate a person’s social skills, verbal, and non-verbal abilities. We also use eye-tracking tasks, which involve looking at social information. Parents/carers will be asked to fill out some questionnaires and complete an interview over the phone. Overall, the whole study takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete and can be conducted over multiple sessions. We are looking for children and young people with Prader-Willi syndrome or Down syndrome aged 4-17-years-old to take part. It is hoped that this research will lead to improved understanding of the social-cognitive strengths and difficulties that are characteristic of these syndromes, and possibly associated with co-occurring autism traits.

 

If you are interested, have any questions or would like to discuss the study in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact Lauren at l.jenner@surrey.ac.uk. This research is funded by Cerebra and The Faculty of Health and Medical Science, University of Surrey.

Visiting us on campus?

If you are visiting the University of Surrey campus to take part, then this video may help you find where to meet us, and can be used to prepare your child of what to expect:

Cognitive strengths and weaknesses in Fragile X syndrome and Cornelia de Lange syndrome

This project focuses on the social differences experienced by children with Fragile X syndrome and Cornelia de Lange syndrome. We are recruiting children 4 years and above who have Cornelia de Lange syndrome, or Fragile X syndrome  as well as autistic children and typically developing children. We run sessions for children (4 years and above) filled with fun activities, tasks and eye-tracking assessments, that investigate a range of abilities including social and communication skills. If you would like to take part in this project, have any questions or would like to discuss the study in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Katherine Ellis: k.ellis@surrey.ac.ukThis research is funded by the Baily Thomas Charitable Fund.

Information processing in mothers with and without the Fragile X premutation

This project is being run in collaboration with Dr Sarah White, UCL. The project evaluates how mothers with the Fragile X premutation understand other people, process detailed information and organise their daily lives. We further investigate how these processes may differ to mothers without the premutation. We ask mothers (under the age of 50, with or without the Fragile X premutation) complete some questionnaires, watch short videos, complete computer tasks and some paper and pencil tasks.If you would like to take part in this project, have any questions or would like to discuss the study in more detail, please contact Dr Jo Moss: j.moss@surrey.ac.uk. This project is funded by the Experimental Psychology Society.

Validity of the SCQ and ADOS in individuals with genetic disorders associated with ID

This project is being conducted in collaboration with Professor Pat Howlin, King's College London and Dr Alice Welham, University of Leicester. The study evaluates the sensitivity and specificity of the SCQ and ADOS in individuals with genetic syndromes associated with intellectual disability. This project is funded by Cerebra. 

Genotype-phenotype correlations in rare genetic syndromes associated with ID

This pilot study is being conducted in collaboration with Professor Andrew Beggs, University of Birmingham and will investigate the impact of normal genetic variation on behaviours that are common but highly heterogeneous within and between syndrome groups. 

If you are interested in taking part in any of our research projects, please let us know.