Professor Megan Freeth

BSc, MSc, PhD.

Department of Psychology

Professor

Departmental Director of Research and Innovation

Photo of Megan Freeth
Profile picture of Photo of Megan Freeth
m.freeth@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 6652

Full contact details

Professor Megan Freeth
Department of Psychology
Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences (ICOSS)
219 Portobello
Sheffield
S1 4DP
Qualifications
  • PhD (University of Nottingham)
  • MSc (University of Nottingham)
  • BSc (University of Birmingham)
Research interests

Title: Reducing the societal barriers experienced by autistic people

Autistic people experience a broad range of challenges in their day to day lives. Via co-produced research, I aim to improve understanding of the lived experience of being autistic and to conduct research that tackles the barriers that stand in the way of optimal outcomes. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis I aim to facilitate understanding of the lived experiences of being autistic. Via research with a focus on health services I aim to improve provision for autistic people. Via research on employment, I aim to reduce employment challenges faced by autistic people.

Title: The expression of autism in rare genetic syndromes

Autism is an extremely heterogeneous condition. Some of this variability results from genetic heterogeneity. Some rare genetic conditions appear to have an increased prevalence of autism. I am currently investigating the phenotype of growth disorders with a known genetic cause, such as Sotos syndrome, Russell-Silver syndrome, Tatton-Brown Rahman syndrome, 16p11.2 duplication and deletion, SOX11 syndrome and MYT1L syndrome with the aim of improving understanding of both rare genetic conditions and autism.

Title: Social attention in the real world

I am interested in how people attend to the world around them. What grabs attention, and what impact does this have on other aspects of cognition? If we miss key information from our visual environments then our internal construct of the world will be less than optimal. My main interest lies in how people attend to others and use the verbal and non-verbal social cues they generate. I am interested in both how typically developing people attend to this information and how individuals with clinical and sub-clinical traits, such as autism and social anxiety, attend to this information. I use mobile and laboratory based eye-tracking technology to try to understand what guides attention.

Publications

Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

Chapters

  • Lane C & Freeth M (2019) Sotos syndrome, Chromatin Signaling and Neurological Disorders (pp. 219-234). Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers

  • Freeth M & Vablas A (2015) Temporal dynamics of social attention in face-to-face situations. PERCEPTION, Vol. 44 (pp 78-79) View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Dunn S, Freeth M & Milne E (2015) ERP evidence of reduced spatial selectivity in those with high levels of self-reported autistic traits. PERCEPTION, Vol. 44 (pp 294-295) RIS download Bibtex download

All publications

Journal articles

Chapters

Conference proceedings papers

  • Mcneill A & Freeth M (2020) Views of adults with 22q11 deletion syndrome on reproductive medicine options. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN GENETICS, Vol. 28(SUPPL 1) (pp 1009-1009) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Freeth M & Vablas A (2015) Temporal dynamics of social attention in face-to-face situations. PERCEPTION, Vol. 44 (pp 78-79) View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Dunn S, Freeth M & Milne E (2015) ERP evidence of reduced spatial selectivity in those with high levels of self-reported autistic traits. PERCEPTION, Vol. 44 (pp 294-295) RIS download Bibtex download

Preprints

Research group

Learning and Development

 

Current postdoctoral researchers

  • Dr Chloe Lane - Sensory profiles in genetic conditions associated with autism

Current research supervision

  • PhD primary supervisor - Nazli Altin
  • PhD co-supervisor - Aikaterini Giannadou; Louise Stokes; Jiayi Chen
  • DClin supervisor - Rosie Wilson

Previous research supervision

  • PhD primary supervisor - Chloe Lane; Caroline Treweek; Emma Morgan
  • PhD co-supervisor - James Simpson; Ciara Kelly; Keelan Meade; Tom Hostler; Stephanie Dunn
  • DClin supervisor - Alex Leedham; Amber-Sophie Dugdale
Grants
  • Colt Foundation (May 2023 - November 2024) Understanding and Tackling the Barriers to Employment Experienced by Autistic Adults (PI) £80,953
  • SBRI Healthcare (November 2022 - May 2023) Co-development of Personalised Support Profiles for Autistic Adults using ICF CoreSets for Autism (PI) £99,972
  • Baily Thomas (August 2022 - February 2024) Communication Profile of Genomic Disorders (co-I) £58,423
  • Screen Industries Growth Network (June 2021 - September 2023) A3i Accessible Audio for Autism (co-I) £75,000
  • Baily Thomas research grant (January 2021 – July 2022) The impact of impaired neurogenesis on cognition, behaviour and brain activity £55,574.00
  • The Children's Hospital Charity (Sheffield Children's Hospital) and The University of Sheffield (May 2019 - October 2020). Sensory profiles in genetic syndromes associated with autism £32,112
  • Baily Thomas research grant (July 2017 - April 2019). Cognition and Behaviour in Weaver syndrome and Tatton-Brown Rahman syndrome £53,718
  • Child Growth Foundation (September 2017 - August 2018). Characteristics of Autism in Russell-Silver Syndrome £8,370
  • Baily Thomas research grant (Dec 2016 - Nov 2017). Why do individuals with Sotos syndrome struggle with maths? £4,707
  • Experimental Psychology Society Small Grant (April 2015- April 2016). Face to Face Social Attention in Autism. £2,500
  • Experimental Psychology Society Small Grant (Jan 2013-Jan2014). Gaze following and the broad autism phenotype. £2,500
  • Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (Mar 2011-Mar 2013). Social Attention in Autism. £177,351
  • NCRM Training bursary – to attend EEGlab workshop, San Diego (Nov 2010). £985
  • Wellcome Trust Value in People award (Oct 2010-Mar 2011). £15,000
  • ESRC Post Doctoral Fellowship (Sept 2009-Sept 2010). Social Cognition in Typically Developing Individuals and those with Autism Spectrum Disorders using EEG and Eye-tracking Techniques. £72,426
Teaching activities
  • PSY345 Atypical Brain Development and Degeneration (Module Organiser)
  • PSY1002 Cognitive Psychology I
  • PSY2002 Cognitive Psychology II
  • PSY331 Extended essay supervisor
  • PSY346 Project supervisor
  • DClin supervision
  • MSc supervision
Professional activities and memberships

Media Engagement:

  • The Eyes Have it All Elements (science) article featuring my work
  • Improving public perceptions of autism - Your Autism Magazine Spring 2016 (National Autistic Society)
PhD Opportunities

I am happy to receive applications for PhD study in my area of research.

We advertise PhD opportunities (Funded or Self-Funded) on FindAPhD.com

For further information, please see the department PhD Opportunities page.