Dr Michael Spencer

Interests

I am interested in the scientific investigation of psychiatric disorders, particularly through the integration of clinical research methods together with brain imaging.

I led a team of researchers at the Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge, that recently completed a large brain imaging study funded by the MRC (results of which are presented in the picture below).

I currently work as a Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the Department of Pain Medicine, West Suffolk Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, in addition to practicing in clinics in London and Cambridge. In my clinical practice as a Consultant Psychiatrist, I diagnose and manage conditions including chronic pain disorder and psychological aspects of chronic pain, in addition to depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Hyperactivation in adolescents with autism and their siblings, relative to controls. Activation map indicates areas where activation on the Embedded Figures Task is significantly greater in autism and sibling groups versus controls. Graph indicates means +/- standard error for average contrast estimate.
Hyperactivation in adolescents with autism and their siblings, relative to controls. Activation map indicates areas where activation on the Embedded Figures Task is significantly greater in autism and sibling groups versus controls. Graph indicates means +/- standard error for average contrast estimate.
View image full-size (1136x563 pixels)

Research Focus

Keywords

Psychiatry

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Child Psychiatry

Psychological aspects of Chronic Pain Conditions

Complex causation

Clinical conditions

Anxiety disorders

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Autism

Childhood disorders

Chronic pain conditions

Depressive disorders

Learning disabilities

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Equipment

Cross-sectional and cohort studies

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Neuropsychological testing

Collaborators

Cambridge

Simon Baron-Cohen

Ed Bullmore

Andy Calder

Ian Goodyer

John Suckling

Associated News Items


    Publications

    2014

    Segovia F, Holt R, Spencer M, Górriz JM, Ramírez J, Puntonet CG, Phillips C, Chura L, Baron-Cohen S, Suckling J (2014), “Identifying endophenotypes of autism: a multivariate approach.” Front Comput Neurosci 8:60 Details

    2013

    Floris DL, Chura LR, Holt RJ, Suckling J, Bullmore ET, Baron-Cohen S, Spencer MD (2013), “Psychological correlates of handedness and corpus callosum asymmetry in autism: the left hemisphere dysfunction theory revisited.” J Autism Dev Disord 43(8):1758-72 Details

    in press

    Floris DL, Chura LR, Holt RJ, Suckling J, Bullmore ET, Baron-Cohen S, Spencer MD (in press), “Cognitive and behavioural correlates of handedness and corpus callosum asymmetry in autism” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

    2012

    Robinson L, Spencer MD, Thomson LD, Stanfield AC, Owens DG, Hall J, Johnstone EC (2012), “Evaluation of a screening instrument for autism spectrum disorders in prisoners.” PLoS One 7(5):e36078 Details

    Spencer MD, Chura LR, Holt RJ, Suckling J, Calder AJ, Bullmore ET, Baron-Cohen S (2012), “Failure to deactivate the default mode network indicates a possible endophenotype of autism.” Mol Autism 3(1):15 Details

    Spencer MD, Holt RJ, Chura LR, Calder AJ, Suckling J, Bullmore ET, Baron-Cohen S (2012), “Atypical activation during the Embedded Figures Task as a functional magnetic resonance imaging endophenotype of autism.” Brain Details

    2011

    Robinson L, Spencer MD, Thomson LD, Sprengelmeyer R, Owens DG, Stanfield AC, Hall J, Baig BJ, Macintyre DJ, McKechanie A, Johnstone EC (2011), “Facial emotion recognition in Scottish prisoners.” Int J Law Psychiatry Details

    Spencer MD, Holt RJ, Chura LR, Suckling J, Calder AJ, Bullmore ET, Baron-Cohen S (2011), “A novel functional brain imaging endophenotype of autism: the neural response to facial expression of emotion” Translational Psychiatry 1: e19

    Spencer MD, Holt RJ, Chura LR, Suckling J, Calder AJ, Bullmore ET, Baron-Cohen S (2011), “A novel functional brain imaging endophenotype of autism: the neural response to facial expression of emotion.” Transl Psychiatry 1:e19 Details

    Spencer MD, Stanfield AC, Johnstone EC (2011), “Brain imaging and the neuroanatomical correlates of autism” In: Roth I, Rezaie P (Eds), Researching the Autism Spectrum: Contemporary Perspectives. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

    2009

    Moorhead TW, Stanfield A, Spencer M, Hall J, McIntosh A, Owens DC, Lawrie S, Johnstone E (2009), “Progressive temporal lobe grey matter loss in adolescents with schizotypal traits and mild intellectual impairment.” Psychiatry Res 174(2):105-9 Details

    2008

    Harris JM, Best CS, Moffat VJ, Spencer MD, Philip RC, Power MJ, Johnstone EC (2008), “Autistic traits and cognitive performance in young people with mild intellectual impairment.” J Autism Dev Disord 38(7):1241-9 Details

    Spencer MD, Moorhead TW, Gibson RJ, McIntosh AM, Sussmann JE, Owens DG, Lawrie SM, Johnstone EC (2008), “Low birthweight and preterm birth in young people with special educational needs: a magnetic resonance imaging analysis.” BMC Med 6:1 Details

    Stanfield AC, McIntosh AM, Spencer MD, Philip R, Gaur S, Lawrie SM (2008), “Towards a neuroanatomy of autism: a systematic review and meta-analysis of structural magnetic resonance imaging studies.” Eur Psychiatry 23(4):289-99 Details

    Stanfield AC, Spencer MD (2008), “Understanding Brain Anatomy in Autism – Findings from Structural Neuroimaging” European Psychiatry Review 1(1): 62-65

    2007

    Johnstone EC, Owens DG, Hoare P, Gaur S, Spencer MD, Harris J, Stanfield AW, Moffat V, Brearley N, Miller P, Lawrie SM, Muir WJ (2007), “Schizotypal cognitions as a predictor of psychopathology in adolescents with mild intellectual impairment.” Br J Psychiatry 191:484-92 Details

    Lawrie S, Stanfield A, Spencer M, Moorhead W, Owens DG, Johnstone EC (2007), “Cognitive impairment and schizophrenia – A clinical, imaging and genetic study” Schizophrenia Bulletin 33:342

    Spencer MD, Moorhead TW, McIntosh AM, Stanfield AC, Muir WJ, Hoare P, Owens DG, Lawrie SM, Johnstone EC (2007), “Grey matter correlates of early psychotic symptoms in adolescents at enhanced risk of psychosis: a voxel-based study.” Neuroimage 35(3):1181-91 Details

    2006

    Shankar P, Spencer MD, Owens DGC, Johnstone EC (2006), “Relationship between retrospective standardised assessment of early sensory motor impairment and structural MRI anomalies in adolescents with intellectual disability and inherent schizotypy. Meeting Abstract” Schizophrenia Research 81: 270-270 Suppl.

    Spencer MD, Moorhead TW, Lymer GK, Job DE, Muir WJ, Hoare P, Owens DG, Lawrie SM, Johnstone EC (2006), “Structural correlates of intellectual impairment and autistic features in adolescents.” Neuroimage 33(4):1136-44 Details

    2005

    Moorhead TW, Job DE, Spencer MD, Whalley HC, Johnstone EC, Lawrie SM (2005), “Empirical comparison of maximal voxel and non-isotropic adjusted cluster extent results in a voxel-based morphometry study of comorbid learning disability with schizophrenia.” Neuroimage 28(3):544-52 Details

    Spencer MD, Gibson RJ, Moorhead TW, Keston PM, Hoare P, Best JJ, Lawrie SM, Johnstone EC (2005), “Qualitative assessment of brain anomalies in adolescents with mental retardation.” AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 26(10):2691-7 Details

    2003

    Spencer MD, Knight RSG, Will RG (2003), “The first hundred cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: early psychiatric and neurological features and retrospective diagnostic evaluation. (Proceedings)” Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 74(3): 398

    Will RG, Knight RS, Spencer MD (2003), “Neuropsychiatric aspects of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.” In: Ragaini R, editor. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies: 27th Session. p 674-684

    2002

    Spencer MD, Knight RS, Will RG (2002), “First hundred cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: retrospective case note review of early psychiatric and neurological features.” BMJ 324(7352):1479-82 Details

    1999

    Hill AF, Butterworth RJ, Joiner S, Jackson G, Rossor MN, Thomas DJ, Frosh A, Tolley N, Bell JE, Spencer M, King A, Al-Sarraj S, Ironside JW, Lantos PL, Collinge J (1999), “Investigation of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other human prion diseases with tonsil biopsy samples.” Lancet 353(9148):183-9 Details

    1998

    Spencer MD (1998), “Leukoencephalopathy after CNS prophylaxis for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.” Pediatr Rehabil 2(1):33-9 Details