Nuala Brady

Nuala Brady
University College Dublin | UCD · School of Psychology

Ph.D. Experimental Psychology

About

57
Publications
19,367
Reads
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1,447
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2000 - present
University College Dublin
Description
  • College Lecturer, University College Dublin
January 1997 - December 1998
McGill University
September 1996 - August 2000
The University of Manchester
Description
  • College Lecturer, University of Manchester

Publications

Publications (57)
Article
Full-text available
Across three experiments, we examined the efficacy of three cues from the human body—body orientation, head turning, and eye-gaze direction—to shift an observer’s attention in space. Using a modified Posner cueing paradigm, we replicate the previous findings of gender differences in the gaze-cueing effect whereby female but not male participants re...
Article
Full-text available
People with dyslexia have difficulty learning to read and many lack fluent word recognition as adults. In a novel task that borrows elements of the 'word superiority' and 'word inversion' paradigms, we investigate whether holistic word recognition is impaired in dyslexia. In Experiment 1 students with dyslexia and controls judged the similarity of...
Article
Full-text available
The spontaneity and ease with which we point understates the gesture’s significance to understanding cognition. Onset of pointing in infancy predicts early word acquisition and signals a capacity for shared intentionality. Yet, notwithstanding its importance, there is little research on the perception of pointing and its referents. Here we show tha...
Article
We use pupillometry to measure sex differences in mental rotation (MR) and to investigate the contentious claim that it is a unique spatial ability marked by male advantage in performance. Across two MR tasks - using Shepard-Metzler style cube figures and images of human hands - we measure reaction time (RT) and sensitivity, d', and supplement thes...
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
Full-text available
Motor imagery supports motor learning and performance and has the potential to be a useful strategy for neurorehabilitation. However, motor imagery ability may be impacted by ageing and neurodegeneration, which could limit its therapeutic effectiveness. Motor imagery can be assessed implicitly using a hand laterality task (HLT), whereby laterality...
Preprint
Full-text available
Motor imagery supports motor learning and performance, having the potential to be a useful tool for neurorehabilitation. However, motor imagery ability may be impacted by ageing and neurodegeneration, which could limit its therapeutic effectiveness. Motor imagery can be assessed implicitly using a hand laterality task (HLT), whereby laterality judg...
Preprint
Full-text available
Motor imagery supports motor learning and performance, having the potential to be a useful tool for neurorehabilitation. However, motor imagery ability may be impacted by ageing and neurodegeneration, which could limit its therapeutic effectiveness. Motor imagery can be assessed implicitly using a hand laterality task (HLT), whereby laterality judg...
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
Primary Objective To describe the clinical characteristics, self-reported outcomes in domains relating to activities of daily living and patterns of service engagement in the survivors of a moderate-to-severe acquired brain injury over seven years. Research Design A longitudinal research design was used. Methods and Procedures Thirty-two individu...
Poster
Full-text available
Abstract Triadic eye-gaze is a highly sensitive social cue signalling where a person is attending to, what they are interested in and their intentions. But what about its accomplice; the pointing gesture? We designed an experiment which compared visual acuity for the perception of triadic eye gaze and pointing with the index finger. Twenty-one par...
Article
Full-text available
Since the 1990s, eye-tracking researchers have investigated expert–novice differences in visual attentional processes among athletes. One such difference concerns the quiet eye (QE) phenomenon, or the time that elapses between a skilled performer’s last fixation on a specific target and the subsequent initiation of a relevant motor response. Despit...
Article
Full-text available
Of the many hand gestures that we use in communication pointing is one of the most common and powerful in its role as a visual referent that directs joint attention. While numerous studies have examined the developmental trajectory of pointing production and comprehension , very little consideration has been given to adult visual perception of hand...
Article
Full-text available
Determining where another person is attending is an important skill for social interaction that relies on various visual cues, including the turning direction of the head and body. This study reports a novel high-level visual aftereffect that addresses the important question of how these sources of information are combined in gauging social attenti...
Article
Full-text available
Impaired face perception in autism spectrum disorders is thought to reflect a perceptual style characterized by componential rather than configural processing of faces. This study investigated face processing in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders using the Thatcher illusion, a perceptual phenomenon exhibiting 'inversion effects' that charac...
Article
Full-text available
The "body inversion effect" refers to superior recognition of upright than inverted images of the human body and indicates typical configural processing. Previous research by Reed et al. using static images of the human body shows that people with autism fail to demonstrate this effect. Using a novel task in which adults, adolescents with autism, a...
Article
This research examined the needs and experiences of people with sight loss regarding access to bus and rail services in a large urban area in Ireland. A broad qualitative approach was used, so as to investigate people’s lived experiences both as passengers and as providers of public transport. Participants included 13 people with differing levels o...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence that self-face recognition is dissociable from general face recognition has important implications both for models of social cognition and for our understanding of face recognition. In two studies, we examine how adaptation affects the perception of personally familiar faces, and we use a visual adaptation paradigm to investigate whether t...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper considers a curious spatial bias in the perception of faces, our tendency to see the left half of a face as ‘looking more like’ or as ‘being more representative of’ the whole face than is the right half of the face. Although subtle, the phenomenon is robust and a left side bias has also been demonstrated for the perception of emotional e...
Article
Full-text available
In the hand laterality task participants judge the handedness of visually presented stimuli--images of hands shown in a variety of postures and views--and indicate whether they perceive a right or left hand. The task engages kinaesthetic and sensorimotor processes and is considered a standard example of motor imagery. However, in this study we find...
Article
Full-text available
Determining the handedness of visually presented stimuli is thought to involve two separate stages--a rapid, implicit recognition of laterality followed by a confirmatory mental rotation of the matching hand. In two studies, we explore the role of the dominant and non-dominant hands in this process. In Experiment 1, participants judged stimulus lat...
Article
Full-text available
The present commentary addresses two issues arising from Memmert's (2010) paper. First, can the 'misdirection' and 'inattentional blindness' paradigms provide important insights into the relationship between 'overt' and 'covert' attentional processes? Second, what are the most fruitful directions for research that seeks to combine these attentional...
Article
Full-text available
We examine interhemispheric cooperation in the recognition of personally known faces whose long-term familiarity ensures frequent co-activation of face-sensitive areas in the right and left brain. Images of self, friend, and stranger faces were presented for 150 ms in upright and inverted orientations both unilaterally, in the right or left visual...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the idea that our memory for familiar faces involves an accurate representation of their unique spatial configuration and, further, whether this configuration may be caricatured in memory. In separate experimental blocks, thirty-five Irish participants were presented with a series of photographic images of their own face and of the...
Article
Full-text available
The neural basis of self-recognition is mainly studied using brain-imaging techniques which reveal much about the localization of self-processing in the brain. There are comparatively few studies using EEG which allow us to study the time course of self-recognition. In this study, participants monitored a sequence of images, including 20 distinct i...
Article
Full-text available
A central feature of autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) is a difficulty in identifying and reading human expressions, including those present in the moving human form. One previous study, by Blake et al. (2003), reports decreased sensitivity for perceiving biological motion in children with autism, suggesting that perceptual anomalies underlie prob...
Data
An ambiguous, rotating, biological figure (0.02 MB MOV)
Article
Full-text available
Certain visual stimuli can give rise to contradictory perceptions. In this paper we examine the temporal dynamics of perceptual reversals experienced with biological motion, comparing these dynamics to those observed with other ambiguous structure from motion (SFM) stimuli. In our first experiment, naïve observers monitored perceptual alternations...
Article
Full-text available
Recent findings in neuroscience suggest an overlap between those brain regions involved in the control and execution of movement and those activated during the perception of another’s movement. This so called ‘mirror neuron’ system is thought to underlie our ability to automatically infer the goals and intentions of others by observing their action...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the effect of familiarity on people's perception of facial likeness by asking participants to choose which of two mirror-symmetric chimeric images (made from the left or right half of a photograph of a face) looked more like an original image. In separate trials the participants made this judgment for their own face and for the face...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated hemispheric asymmetries in face processing using a task in which participants judged the likeness of chimeric faces to their own face and to the face of a close friend based on their memory for those faces. When asked to choose which of two mirror-symmetric images (one made from the left half and one from the right half of a photogr...
Article
We investigated event-related brain potential (ERP) modulations of human face perception and recognition using a task where 9 participants monitored a sequence of images for repetitions. The stimuli included images of unfamiliar faces, highly familiar faces (participants' own faces and the faces of friends), and non-face images (flowers). The ERPs...
Article
Full-text available
The visual system employs a gain control mechanism in the cortical coding of contrast whereby the response of each cell is normalised by the integrated activity of neighbouring cells. While restricted in space, the normalisation pool is broadly tuned for spatial frequency and orientation, so that a cell's response is adapted by stimuli which fall o...
Article
Two recent versions of a single channel model of motion perception have had impressive success in explaining direction discrimination by human observers for spatially filtered noise images in two-flash apparent motion. It has been argued that the dramatic breakdown in motion perception which occurs when one image in the two-flash sequence is low-pa...
Article
A number of researchers have suggested that in order to understand the response properties of cells in the visual pathway, we must consider the statistical structure of the natural environment. In this paper, we focus on one aspect of that structure, namely, the correlational structure which is described by the amplitude or power spectra of natural...
Article
We compared observers' ability to discriminate the direction of apparent motion using images which varied in their spatial characteristic; white or flat spectrum noise, and 1/f noise which has an amplitude spectrum characteristic of natural scenes. The upper spatial limit for discrimination (dmax) was measured using a two-flash random dot kinematog...
Article
In natural scenes and other broadband images, spatial variations in luminance occur at a range of scales or frequencies. It is generally agreed that the visual image is initially represented by the activity of separate frequency-tuned channels, and this notion is supported by physiological evidence for a stage of multi-resolution filtering in early...
Article
Purpose Fractal-based descriptions of natural scenes capture a number of image characteristics, most notably scale invariance or self-similarity. However, a simple fractal model fails to capture other forms of statistical regularity, which relate primarily to reflectance and illumina don in natural scenes. Here we assume a model in which reflectanc...
Article
A number of recent efforts have been made to account for the response properties of the cells in the visual pathway by considering the statistical structure of the natural environment. Previously, it has been suggested that the wavelet-like properties of cells in primary visual cortex have been proposed to provide an efficient representation of the...
Article
Purpose. Two classes of model have been proposed to account for motion observed between a random dot image and its displaced counterpart. Energy-based models argue that low-level motion sensors detect motion energy at a range of different spatial scales and that their directional outputs are later combined to indicate the overall direction of motio...
Article
"Contrast constancy" refers to the ability to perceive objects as maintaining a constant contrast independent of size or distance. When tested with high contrast sinusoidal gratings, contrast constancy has been shown to hold for a wide range of spatial frequencies, suggesting that sensitivity is constant across the spectrum at suprathreshold. In th...
Article
Full-text available
When comparing psychological models a researcher should assess their relative selectivity, scope, and simplicity. The third of these considerations can be measured by the models' parameter counts or equation length, the second by their ability to fit random data, and the first by their differential ability to fit patterned data over random data. Th...
Article
Full-text available
In four experiments, we explored the perception of facial distortions seen in pictures viewed from the side or from above or below. In all four, however, we disguised the slant of the picture surface by using a double-projection technique that removed binocular and monocular cues: Faces were digitized, distorted to mimic a particular slant behind t...
Article
pThe question of whether individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are impaired in the perception of biological motion is as yet unresolved. Here adults with high-functioning autism and neurotypical controls judged the direction of motion of a normal or spatially scrambled point-light walker which, on each trial, walked from the centre of the...

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Project (1)
Project
My research aims to measure, using psychophysics methods, how accurately humans perceive the direction of where another person is looking or pointing. We are curious to see if one social cue is advantageous for certain regions of space, for example, will pointing gestures be easier to read in peripheral regions of space compared to eye gaze? I am also interested in enhancing ecological validity in social perception and cognitive experiments which is why I serve as a live model in my current research. However, I am conscious of my own biases (handedness, eye dominance) and am motivated to explore these as to not wrongly attribute such biases to participants. To this end, I am also recording my own eye movements using the Tobii pro X3 120 eye tracker and my own movements when I point at targets by collecting data from the CODA motion analysis lab.