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Birkbeck graduate wins British Psychological Society prize

Matthew Danvers won the prestigious award for his project looking at the putative biomarkers of social attention in infants at high risk of ADHD and autism.

Recent Birkbeck graduate Matthew Danvers has won the British Psychological Society Undergraduate Project Prize. The prize recognises outstanding research conducted by undergraduate students in the area of Cognitive Psychology.

Danvers’ winning project used electroencephalography, an electrophysiological monitoring method to record the electrical activity of the brain, in order to measure putative biomarkers of social attention in 10-month olds at high risk for either ADHD or Autism.

The aim of the project was to identify early indicators of social attention deficits, which may be causal in the development of these conditions later in life. It also investigated how autism and ADHD differ on this measure, as they have a high genetic overlap, yet are presented very differently.

Matthew said: “I am delighted to win the award, and very grateful to my supervisor Emma Meaburn for all her assistance, to Emily Jones who allowed me to use her data and assisted in its preparation, and to Jannath Begum Ali, Laurel Fish and Amy Goodwin who helped instruct me in the cleaning and preparation of EEG data.

“I now intend to spend a year working in and around Birkbeck, where I am currently a research assistant on the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings, whilst applying for PhDs to start in October 2019.”

The Birkbeck Department of Psychological Sciences has a strong reputation for its research, having been ranked 5th in the UK in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF). 

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