Dr Kate Plaisted-Grant

Kate Plaisted

University position

Senior Lecturer

Dr Kate Plaisted-Grant is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Psychology


Laboratory for Research into Autism

Home page

http://www.lara.psychol.cam.ac.uk (personal home page)

Research Theme

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


My research interest in autism was sparked by the fascinating cognitive strengths shown by many individuals with autism. These include exceptional abilities to process fine details, better discrimination abilities compared to typical individuals and an ability to show highly focussed attention. An important question is whether these cognitive strengths provide the key to understanding some of the difficulties for individuals with autism, such as social communication. More specifically, it raises the question of whether the differences in psychological mechanisms which result in exceptional abilities play a causal role in affecting the development of social information processing and language in autism. However, this question can only be tackled by first understanding the mechanisms which cause the cognitive strengths. My research interests currently focus on mechanisms of perception and attention that may be different in autism compared to typical individuals.

Research Focus






social cognition

Clinical conditions


Cognitive impairment


Language disorders


Behavioural analysis

Neuropsychological testing

Visual Psychophysics



José Alcántara

Greg Davis

Emma Weisblatt

United Kingdom

Kate Nation Web: http://psyweb.psy.ox.ac.uk/lcd/Kat...

Courtenay Norbury Web: http://psyweb.psy.ox.ac.uk/lcd/Cou...

Liz Pelicano Web: http://psychology.psy.bris.ac.uk/people/...


Jake Burack Web: http://myst.mcgill.ca/jake.html

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Plaisted KC, Dobler V, Bell S, Davis G (2006), “The microgenesis of global perception in autism” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 36(1):107-116

    Greenaway R, Plaisted KC (2005), “Top down attentional modulation is stimulus specific” Psychological Science 16:987-994

    Plaisted KC, Saksida LM, Alcantara J, Weisblatt E (2003), “Towards an understanding of the mechanisms of weak central coherence effects: Experiments in visual configural learning and auditory perception” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B (Biological Sciences) 358(1430):375-386



    Greenaway R, Davis G, Plaisted-Grant K (2013), “Marked selective impairment in autism on an index of magnocellular function.” Neuropsychologia 51(4):592-600 Details

    Gregory BL, Plaisted-Grant KC (2013), “The Autism-Spectrum Quotient and Visual Search: Shallow and Deep Autistic Endophenotypes.” J Autism Dev Disord Details

    Maister L, Simons JS, Plaisted-Grant K (2013), “Executive functions are employed to process episodic and relational memories in children with autism spectrum disorders.” Neuropsychology 27(6):615-27 Details


    Teufel C, von dem Hagen E, Plaisted-Grant KC, Edmonds JJ, Ayorinde JO, Fletcher PC, Davis G (2012), “What is social about social perception research?” Front Integr Neurosci 6:128 Details


    Maister L, Plaisted-Grant KC (2011), “Time perception and its relationship to memory in Autism Spectrum Conditions.” Dev Sci 14(6):1311-22 Details


    Plaisted Grant K, Davis G (2009), “Perception and apperception in autism: rejecting the inverse assumption.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 364(1522):1393-8 Details


    Falter CM, Plaisted KC, Davis G (2008), “Male brains, androgen, and the cognitive profile in autism: convergent evidence from 2D:4D and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.” J Autism Dev Disord 38(5):997-8 Details

    Falter CM, Plaisted KC, Davis G (2008), “Visuo-spatial processing in autism--testing the predictions of extreme male brain theory.” J Autism Dev Disord 38(3):507-15 Details


    Davis G, Plaisted K (2007), “Autism: not interested or not 'tuned-in'?” Curr Biol 17(19):R851-3 Details


    Plaisted K, Dobler V, Bell S, Davis G (2006), “The microgenesis of global perception in autism.” J Autism Dev Disord 36(1):107-16 Details


    Greenaway R, Plaisted K (2005), “Top-down attentional modulation in autistic spectrum disorders is stimulus-specific.” Psychol Sci 16(12):987-94 Details


    Plaisted K, Saksida L, Alcántara J, Weisblatt E (2003), “Towards an understanding of the mechanisms of weak central coherence effects: experiments in visual configural learning and auditory perception.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 358(1430):375-86 Details


    Milne E, Swettenham J, Hansen P, Campbell R, Jeffries H, Plaisted K (2002), “High motion coherence thresholds in children with autism.” J Child Psychol Psychiatry 43(2):255-63 Details


    O'Riordan M, Plaisted K (2001), “Enhanced discrimination in autism.” Q J Exp Psychol A 54(4):961-79 Details

    O'Riordan MA, Plaisted KC, Driver J, Baron-Cohen S (2001), “Superior visual search in autism.” J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 27(3):719-30 Details


    Baron-Cohen S, O'Riordan M, Stone V, Jones R, Plaisted K (1999), “Recognition of faux pas by normally developing children and children with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism.” J Autism Dev Disord 29(5):407-18 Details

    Plaisted K, Swettenham J, Rees L (1999), “Children with autism show local precedence in a divided attention task and global precedence in a selective attention task.” J Child Psychol Psychiatry 40(5):733-42 Details


    Plaisted K, O'Riordan M, Baron-Cohen S (1998), “Enhanced visual search for a conjunctive target in autism: a research note.” J Child Psychol Psychiatry 39(5):777-83 Details

    Plaisted K, O'Riordan M, Baron-Cohen S (1998), “Enhanced discrimination of novel, highly similar stimuli by adults with autism during a perceptual learning task.” J Child Psychol Psychiatry 39(5):765-75 Details


    McLaren IP, Bennett C, Plaisted K, Aitken M, Mackintosh NJ (1994), “Latent inhibition, context specificity, and context familiarity.” Q J Exp Psychol B 47(4):387-400 Details