Dr David Simmons

Dr Simmons spent most of his academic career researching visual perception. After obtaining a first degree in Physics from Imperial College, London, he was inspired by doing my final-year project on visual search with the late Keith Ruddock. His early graduate work (D.Phil. thesis, University Laboratory of Physiology and St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford) was on stereo vision, combined with aspects of basic spatial vision like contrast sensitivity, working mainly with Mike Hawken but also Andrew Parker, and Sir Colin Blakemore. He subsequently worked on visual texture and curvature perception (with David Foster) at Keele University, and then the combination of colour and stereo vision (with Fred Kingdom) at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Since returning to the UK in 1995, his research interests have broadened considerably to include visual aesthetics (especially the link between colour and emotion), visual appearance (in particular how best to characterize post-surgical facial scarring), synaesthesia and, his current main focus, perception in Autism.

This latter interest has resulted in work on “sub-group” committees of the Scottish Government’s Scottish Strategy for Autism, contributing in particular to their Menu of Interventions advisory work for the charity Scottish Autism as part of their Centre for Practice Innovation, previous work on the editorial board of the journals Perception/i-Perception and current work on the editorial board of The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Dr Simmons also frequently gives presentations to a broad range of audiences on sensory and perceptual aspects of autism.

Sarune Savickaite
PhD Candidate

Sarune Savickaite is a PhD candidate at the School of Psychology, University of Glasgow, funded by ESRC/SGSSS. Sarune started her Masters in Research Methods of Psychological Science in September 2018. Sarune previously completed BSc Hons in Psychology at the University of St Andrews.

Sarune’s current research project is titled ‘Using VR technology to understand inner world of autism’. Other research interests include depth perception and stereopsis, art and aesthetics, perception and cognition.

Sarune also has BA HONS Illustration from the university of bedfordshire. She still sometimes works as an illustrator and graphic designer.

Elliot Millington
PhD Candidate

Elliot Millington is a PhD Candidate at the University of Glasgow, having completed his Undergraduate and Master’s degrees there. He started his PhD in September, exploring how sensory processing difficulties and anxiety interact with each other the short and long term.

Elliot is also interested how autistic people deal with long-term anxiety, particularly with video games as a coping mechanism. His other research interests are related to psychometrics, especially modelling the sensory processing within and between cultures, and effectively understanding the sensory experiences of under-served autistic people.

Tammy-Ann Husselman
PhD Candidate

Tammy-Ann Husselman is a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow. She completed a BSc (Hons) in Neuropsychology and an MRes in Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire. The majority of her research interests in the past were more broadly related to cognitive psychology, but have now expanded towards the interaction between visual perception and the philosophy of illusions using virtual reality.

Her research internships, undergraduate and MRes projects focused on optimal performance states during concentration, exergaming, and flow-feeling during  the aesthetic appreciation of street artworks. All of her prior work was based on the measurement of psychophysiological states through Electroencephalogram (EEG) and subjective reports.

Recently, her research interests have extended into visual aesthetics, visual perception, virtual reality, and Neurodivergent perception. She started her PhD in April 2023. Her PhD project will investigate the perceptual experiences of visual illusions and immersive states within virtual environments, particularly in Neurodivergent individuals.



Prof Frank Pollick (School of Psychology, University of Glasgow) Details

Dr Neil McDonnell (School of Philosophy, University of Glasgow) Details

Dr Jonathan Delafield-Butt (University of Strathclyde) Details

Dr Ken Aitken (University of St Andrews) Details




Dr Kirsty Ainsworth (PhD 2017) // Project title: Facial expression recognition and the autism spectrum (thesis online)

Dr Ashley Robertson (PhD 2012) // Project title: Sensory experiences of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and autistic traits: a mixed methods approach (thesis online)

Dr Lisa O’Kane (PhD 2006) 

Dr Rebecca Champion (PhD 2003) 


Associated Alumni

Dr Lawrie McKay(PhD)

Dr Anja Moos (PhD 2013)

Dr Carolyn Salimun (PhD)

Dr Hanan Makki Zakari (PhD 2019)