Fiona N Newell

Fiona N Newell
Trinity College Dublin | TCD · School of Psychology

PhD (Dunelm)

About

165
Publications
29,932
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
5,102
Citations
Citations since 2016
44 Research Items
2266 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300
20162017201820192020202120220100200300
20162017201820192020202120220100200300
20162017201820192020202120220100200300
Additional affiliations
January 2004 - present
Trinity College Dublin
Position
  • Professor
January 2000 - present
Trinity College Dublin
Position
  • Professor
January 1997 - February 1998
Education
January 1990 - July 1993
Durham University
Field of study
  • Experimental Psychology
October 1984 - July 1988
Trinity College Dublin
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (165)
Article
Full-text available
Background and Objectives Self-reported sensory data provide important insight into an individual’s perception of sensory ability. It remains unclear what factors predict longitudinal change in self-reported sensory ability across multiple modalities during healthy ageing. This study examined these associations in a cohort of older adults for visio...
Article
Background Multisensory integration is the ability to appropriately merge information from several senses for the purpose of perceiving and acting in the environment. Its importance for higher level cognition and function has emerged in recent years. Walking requires to combine information from multiple senses to coordinate effective movements. In...
Article
Background The ability to precisely integrate sensory information is critical to everyday functions, including balance/postural control and navigation. Older adults typically integrate sensory information over longer time delays than younger adults, which can reduce the precision of their perceptual judgments. This is particularly evident in older...
Article
Background To assess whether concussion history adversely affects multisensory integration, we compared susceptibility to the Sound-Induced Flash Illusion (SIFI) in retired professional rugby players compared to controls. Methods Retired professional rugby players ((N = 58) and retired international rowers (N = 26) completed a self-report concussi...
Article
Full-text available
Mental imagery ability has been examined principally in the visual domain. Despite evidence for tactile mental representations in the absence of direct stimulation, this ability is poorly understood. We investigated tactile imagery for both active and passive tasks in a large sample (N = 118). Vividness of imagery was tested across two different ta...
Article
Full-text available
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that multisensory processing changes with advancing age-usually in the form of an enlarged temporal binding window-with some studies linking these multisensory changes to negative clinical outcomes. Perceptual training regimes represent a promising means for enhancing the precision of multisensory inte...
Article
Age-related sensory decline impacts cognitive performance and exposes individuals to a greater risk of cognitive decline. Integration across the senses also changes with age, yet the link between multisensory perception and cognitive ageing is poorly understood. We explored the relationship between multisensory integration and cognitive function in...
Article
In this review, we discuss how specific sensory channels can mediate the learning of properties of the environment. In recent years, schools have increasingly been using multisensory technology for teaching. However, it still needs to be sufficiently grounded in neuroscientific and pedagogical evidence. Researchers have recently renewed understandi...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial cognition is known to decline with aging. However, little is known about whether training can reduce or eliminate age-related deficits in spatial memory. We investigated whether a custom-designed video game involving spatial navigation, obstacle avoidance, and balance control would improve spatial memory in older adults. Specifically, 56 he...
Article
Full-text available
We compared the performance of dyslexic and typical readers on two perceptual tasks, the Vanderbilt Holistic Face Processing Task and the Holistic Word Processing Task. Both yield a metric of holistic processing that captures the extent to which participants automatically attend to information that is spatially nearby but irrelevant to the task at...
Article
Full-text available
There is substantial evidence linking numerical magnitude to the physical properties of space. The most influential support for this connection comes from the SNARC effect (spatial–numerical association of response codes), in which responses to small/large numbers are faster on the left/right side of space, respectively. The SNARC effect has been e...
Article
Full-text available
Laterality effects generally refer to an advantage for verbal processing in the left hemisphere and for non-verbal processing in the right hemisphere, and are often demonstrated in memory tasks in vision and audition. In contrast, their role in haptic memory is less understood. In this study, we examined haptic recognition memory and laterality for...
Article
Full-text available
Sensitivity to the temporal coherence of visual and tactile signals increases perceptual reliability and is evident during infancy. However, it is not clear how, or whether, bidirectional visuotactile interactions change across childhood. Furthermore, no study has explored whether viewing a body modulates how children perceive visuotactile sequence...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies suggest that the lived environment can affect cognition across the lifespan. We examined, in a large cohort of older adults (n = 3447), whether susceptibility to a multisensory illusion, the Sound-Induced Flash Illusion (SIFI), was influenced by the reported urbanity of current and childhood (at age 14 years) residence. If urban envi...
Article
Full-text available
Multisensory perception might provide an important marker of brain function in ageing. However, the cortical structures supporting multisensory perception in ageing are poorly understood. In this study, we compared regional grey matter volume in a group of middle-aged (n = 101; 49 – 64 years) and older (n = 116; 71 – 87 years) adults from The Irish...
Article
Serial dependence refers to the assimilative pull on a judgement response to a current stimulus from that given to the preceding stimulus and has been demonstrated in low- and higher-level perceptual judgements. We tested whether serial dependence in attractiveness judgements is limited by perceptual categorization by measuring serial dependence in...
Article
Full-text available
Sensory impairment is common in ageing, as are approaches to treat it. However, the impact of age-related sensory impairment upon multisensory perception remains unex-plored, despite the multisensory nature of our environment. Here, we used data from The Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing (TILDA) to investigate whether common, age-related eye disea...
Article
Full-text available
In the Sound-Induced Flash Illusion (SIFI) sound dramatically alters visual perception, as presenting a single flash with two beeps results in the perception of two flashes. In this comprehensive review, we synthesise 20 years of research using the SIFI, from over 100 studies. We discuss the neural and computational principles governing this illusi...
Article
Full-text available
The left hemisphere is known to be generally predominant in verbal processing and the right hemisphere in non-verbal processing. We studied whether verbal and non-verbal lateralization is present in haptics by comparing discrimination performance between letters and nonsense shapes. We addressed stimulus complexity by introducing lower case letters...
Article
The crossmodal congruency effect (CCE) is augmented when viewing an image of a hand compared to an object. It is unclear if this contextual effect extends to a non-spatial CCE. Here, participants discriminated the number of tactile vibrations delivered to the hand whilst ignoring visual distractors on images of their own or another’s hand or an obj...
Preprint
Full-text available
We compared the performance of dyslexic and typical readers on two perceptual tasks, the Vanderbilt Holistic Face Processing Task and the Holistic Word Processing Task. Both yield a metric of holistic processing that captures the extent to which participants automatically attend to information that is spatially nearby but irrelevant to the task at...
Article
We investigated whether the perceived attractiveness of expressive faces was influenced by head turn and eye gaze towards or away from the observer. In all experiments, happy faces were consistently rated as more attractive than angry faces. A head turn towards the observer, whereby a full-face view was shown, was associated with relatively higher...
Preprint
In the Sound-Induced Flash Illusion (SIFI) sound dramatically alters visual perception, as presenting a single flash with two beeps results in the perception of two flashes. In this timely review, we synthesise 20 years of research using the SIFI, from over 100 studies. We discuss the neural and computational principles governing this illusion and...
Article
Susceptibility to the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) demonstrates that body ownership can be modulated by visuotactile inputs. In contrast to body-like images, other objects cannot be embodied suggesting that crossmodal interactions on body ownership are based on a 'goodness-of-fit' mechanism relative to one's own body. However, it is not clear whether...
Article
Full-text available
Perception of our world is proposed to arise from combining multiple sensory inputs according to their relative reliability. We tested multisensory processes in a large sample of 2920 older adults to assess whether sensory ability mediates age-related changes in perception. Participants completed a test of audio-visual integration, the Sound Induce...
Article
Synaesthesia has previously been linked with imagery abilities, although an understanding of a causal role for mental imagery in broader synaesthetic experiences remains elusive. This can be partly attributed to our relatively poor understanding of imagery in sensory domains beyond vision. Investigations into the neural and behavioural underpinning...
Article
One contribution of 16 to a discussion meeting issue 'Bridging senses: novel insights from synaesthesia'. Synaesthesia has previously been linked with imagery abilities, although an understanding of a causal role for mental imagery in broader synaesthetic experiences remains elusive. This can be partly attributed to our relatively poor understandin...
Article
Although there is some evidence suggesting that audiovisual integration is inefficient in older adults, and that such inefficiency is associated with age-related functions such as mild cognitive impairment, falls, and balance maintenance, these associations have yet to be demonstrated in a population-representative study of ageing. Based on a sampl...
Article
Background In ageing, multisensory integration, i.e. the ability to combine efficiently information from different sensory modalities, is emerging as a stand-alone contributor to explaining cognitive and functional deficits. Experimental evidence shows that inefficient multisensory integration is associated with cognitive impairment, falls and bala...
Article
We investigated whether attractiveness ratings of expressive faces would be affected by gaze shifts towards or away from the observer. In all experiments, effects of facial expression were found, with higher attractiveness ratings to positive over negative expressions, irrespective of effects of gaze-shifts. In the first experiment faces with gaze...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the neural underpinnings of texture categorisation using exemplars that were previously learned either within modalities (visual training and visual test) or across modalities (tactile training and visual test). Previous models of learning suggest a decrease in activation in brain regions that are typically involved in cognitive con...
Article
Full-text available
Virtual reality or video games show great potential as low-cost and effective interventions for improving balance and cognitive function in older adults. This research describes the design and acceptability of a serious game (CityQuest) aimed at improving balance confidence, spatial navigation, and perceptual function in older adults with the use o...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have reported an age-related decline in spatial abilities. However, little is known about whether the presence of other, task-irrelevant stimuli during learning further affects spatial cognition in older adults. Here we embedded virtual environments with moving crowds of virtual human pedestrians (Experiment 1) or objects (Experime...
Article
Full-text available
We present a tactile telepresence system for real-time transmission of information about object stiffness to the human fingertips. Experimental tests were performed across two laboratories (Italy and Ireland). In the Italian laboratory, a mechatronic sensing platform indented different rubber samples. Information about rubber stiffness was converte...
Article
Previous studies have suggested that discrete cross-sensory events could be incorrectly combined in the brain of older adults with a history of falls, possibly undermining motor and balance control. Based on previous findings that multisensory integration is modifiable with practice, even in an ageing population, we designed a serious game, named C...
Article
Full-text available
The presence of a moving sound has been shown to facilitate the detection of an independently moving visual target embedded among an array of identical moving objects simulating forward self-motion (Calabro et al. , Proc. R. Soc. B , 2011). Given that the perception of object motion within self-motion declines with aging, we investigated whether ol...
Article
Full-text available
Although faces and voices are important sources of information for person recognition, it is unclear whether these cues interact at a late stage to act as complementary, unimodal sources for person perception or whether they are integrated early on to provide a multisensory representation of a person in memory. Here we used a crossmodal associative...
Poster
Full-text available
Contrary to order, randomness is the lack of predictability in events where there is no intelligible pattern to follow. In two current studies, we tested tactile randomness using local and global disturbances of a grid of 49 dots printed on PVC tiles. On the local scale, only one small portion of the grid was moved. On the global scale, every dot o...
Article
Our perception of visual stimuli is affected by their spatial and temporal context. For instance, the perceived direction of a moving stimulus can be biased by the presence of nearby moving stimuli, as well as by recently viewed motion. Due to similarities in the spatial tuning properties of these spatial and temporal context-dependent effects, it...
Article
Full-text available
Although aesthetic preferences are known to be important in person perception and can play a significant role in everyday social decisions, the effect of the age of the observer on aesthetic preferences for faces of different ages has not yet been fully investigated. In the present study we investigated whether aesthetic preferences change with age...
Article
Full-text available
To accurately represent the environment, our brains must integrate sensory signals from a common source while segregating those from independent sources. A reasonable strategy for performing this task is to restrict integration to cues that coincide in space and time. However, because multisensory signals are subject to differential transmission an...
Article
It is now widely accepted that primary cortical areas of the brain that were once thought to be sensory-specific undergo significant functional reorganisation following sensory deprivation. For instance, loss of vision or audition leads to the brain areas normally associated with these senses being recruited by the remaining sensory modalities [1...
Poster
Full-text available
The good form principle is the simplest but also the most ambiguous principle of Gestalt laws. Any stimulus that is simple, symmetrical, ordered, or regular can fall under the good form principle. To our knowledge, the present study is the first empirical attempt to explore this principle within the tactile modality. We asked 27 psychology students...
Article
Full-text available
A better understanding of how intentions and traits are perceived from body movements is required for the design of more effective virtual characters that behave in a socially realistic manner. For this purpose, realistic body motion, captured from human movements, is being used more frequently for creating characters with natural animations in gam...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Falls and fall-related injuries are symptomatic of an aging population. This study aimed to design, develop, and deliver a novel method of balance training, using an interactive game-based system to promote engagement, with the inclusion of older adults at both high and low risk of experiencing a fall. Study design: Eighty-two older...
Article
Recent research into synaesthesia has highlighted the role of learning, yet synaesthesia is clearly a genetic condition. Here we ask how can the idea that synaesthesia reflects innate, genetic differences be reconciled with models that suggest it is driven by learning. A number of lines of evidence suggest that synaesthesia relies on, or at least i...
Article
We investigated age-related effects in cross-modal interactions using tasks assessing spatial perception and object perception. Specifically, an audio-visual object identification task and an audio-visual object localisation task were used to assess putatively distinct perceptual functions in four age groups: children (8-11 years), adolescents (12-...
Article
Full-text available
Balance maintenance relies on a complex interplay between many different sensory modalities. Although optimal multisensory processing is thought to decline with ageing, inefficient integration is particularly associated with falls in older adults. We investigated whether improved balance control, following a novel balance training intervention, was...
Article
There is growing evidence to suggest that facial motion is an important cue for face recognition. However, it is poorly understood whether motion is integrated with facial form information or whether it provides an independent cue to identity. To provide further insight into this issue, we compared the effect of motion on face perception in two dev...
Article
Full-text available
To download full text until March 3, 2015: http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1QMIZ2Hx2LB~q Several studies have provided evidence in favour of a norm-based representation of faces in memory. However, such models have hitherto failed to take account of how other person-relevant information affects face recognition performance. Here we investigated whet...
Article
Faces are inherently dynamic stimuli. However, face perception in younger adults appears to be mediated by the ability to extract structural cues from static images and a benefit of motion is inconsistent. In contrast, static face processing is poorer and more image-dependent in older adults. We therefore compared the role of facial motion in young...
Article
Full-text available
While aging can lead to significant declines in perceptual and cognitive function, the effects of age on multisensory integration, the process in which the brain combines information across the senses, are less clear. Recent reports suggest that older adults are susceptible to the sound-induced flash illusion (Shams et al., 2000) across a much wide...
Article
From language to motor control, efficient integration of information from different sensory modalities is necessary for maintaining a coherent interaction with the environment. While a number of training studies have focused on training perceptual and cognitive function, only very few are specifically targeted at improving multisensory processing....
Chapter
Full-text available
Humans are social and we have evolved in close proximity with one another, surrounded by different identities almost everywhere we turn. The accurate perception of others is a fundamental aspect of social cognition, allowing us to detect the intention, attention and identity of an individual (among other attributes) (Bruce & Young, 1986). Indeed hu...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has provided evidence suggesting a link between inefficient processing of multisensory information and incidence of falling in older adults. Specifically, Setti et al. (Exp Brain Res 209:375-384, 2011) reported that older adults with a history of falling were more susceptible than their healthy, age-matched counterparts to the sound...
Article
Full-text available
Synaesthesia is a heritable condition in which particular stimuli generate specific and consistent sensory percepts or associations in another modality or processing stream. Functional neuroimaging studies have identified potential correlates of these experiences, including, in some but not all cases, the hyperactivation of visuotemporal areas and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background / Purpose: We are interested in establishing (a) whether this age-related susceptibility extends to sound-induced fusion and (b) whether we could identify the neural correlates of theses effects using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Main conclusion: Older adults demonstrate an increased susceptibility to the sound-indu...