Dr Alastair Smith
Profiles

Dr Alastair Smith

Associate Professor in Psychology

School of Psychology (Faculty of Health)

Biography

Biography

I am an Associate Professor (Reader) in the School of Psychology. My work concentrates on the cognitive and neural processes by which we use spatial information to interact with the world around us. Much of the current research in my laboratory focuses on the processes that allow us to search, navigate, and represent our location within different environments. This work has concentrated on the typical development of spatial abilities (in adults and children) and atypical development in individuals with Hydrocephalus, Williams Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Conditions, as well as changes associated with typical and pathological ageing. I also conduct research on neuropsychological assessment, with a particular focus on drawing behaviour. This has involved detailed individual case and group studies of neurological patients with acquired disorders of spatial representation in various functional domains (i.e. integrative agnosia, constructional apraxia, hemispatial neglect). I have employed and developed a broad range of methods to study these behaviours, including virtual reality, GPS tracking, and transcranial electrical stimulation.

I currently have the following roles within the University:

  • Associate Head of School of Psychology (Student Experience)
  • Head of the Cognition and Behaviour Lab, Brain Research and Imaging Centre (BRIC)
  • Mind and Brain theme lead, Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research (PIHR)

Qualifications

  • 2015: PGCHE, University of Nottingham
  • 2003: PhD, University of Bristol
  • 1999: BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Birmingham

Positions held
  • 2017-date: Associate Professor (Reader), University of Plymouth
  • 2008-2017: Assistant Professor, University of Nottingham
  • 2005-2008: MRC Research Associate, University of Bristol
  • 2004-2005: ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Bristol
  • 2003-2004: BBSRC Research Associate, University of Bristol
  • 2000-2008: Honorary Neuropsychologist, North Bristol NHS Trust

Professional membership

  • Higher Education Academy (Fellow)
  • Applied Vision Association (Life member)
  • British Neuropsychological Society
  • Experimental Psychology Society (Committee member: 2018-2021)
  • NSF Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC) Spatial Network

Teaching

Teaching

Teaching interests

I currently teach on the following Undergraduate and Masters modules:

  • PSYC412 Psychological Science (Module Lead)
  • PSYC416 Connecting Psychology
  • PSYC514 Individual Differences, Social and Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC605 Research Project
  • PSYC606 Applications of Psychological Theory
  • PSYC704 Individual Differences, Social and Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC707 MSc Research Project

Research

Research

Publications

Publications

Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Journals
Articles
Smith A & De Lillo C (2021) 'Sources of variation in search and foraging: A theoretical perspective' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology , DOI Open access
Smith A, Priestnall G & Cross J (2021) 'Supporting spatial orientation during route following through dynamic maps with off-screen landmark persistence' Spatial Cognition and Computation , DOI Open access
Baxter R & Smith A (2020) 'Searching for individual determinants of probabilistic cueing in large-scale immersive virtual environments' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Publisher Site , DOI Open access
Ahmadpoor N, Smith A & Heath T (2020) 'Rethinking legibility in the era of digital mobile maps: An empirical study' Journal of Urban Design , DOI Open access
Ahmadpoor N & Smith A (2020) 'Spatial knowledge acquisition and mobile maps: The role of environmental legibility' Cities , DOI Open access
Buckley M, Holden L, Spicer S, Smith AD & Haselgrove M (2019) 'Crossing boundaries: Global reorientation following transfer from the inside to the outside of an arena' Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition , DOI Open access
Buckley MG, Smith AD & Haselgrove M (2019) 'Thinking outside of the box II: Disrupting the cognitive map' Cognitive psychology 108, 22-41 , DOI Open access
Thair H, Holloway A, Newport R & Smith AD (2017) 'Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS): A Beginner's Guide for Design and Implementation' Frontiers in Neuroscience , DOI Open access
Alotaibi A, Underwood G & Smith AD (2017) 'Cultural differences in attention: Eye movement evidence from a comparative visual search task' Conscious Cogn 55, 254-265 Author Site , DOI Open access
Smith AD & Milne E (2017) 'Dual Coding of object relations: An alternative framework for understanding perceptual processing in autism?' Visual Cognition 1-11 , DOI Open access
Ropar D, Greenfield K, Smith AD, Carey M & Newport R (2017) 'Body representation difficulties in children and adolescents with autism may be due to delayed development of visuo-tactile temporal binding' Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience , DOI Open access
Smith AD, Kenny L, Rudnicka A, Briscoe J & Pellicano E (2016) 'Drawing Firmer Conclusions: Autistic Children Show No Evidence of a Local Processing Bias in a Controlled Copying Task' Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 46, (11) 3481-3492 , DOI Open access
Buckley MG, Smith AD & Haselgrove M (2016) 'Thinking outside of the box: Transfer of shape-based reorientation across the boundary of an arena' Cognitive Psychology 87, 53-87 , DOI Open access
Buckley MG, Smith AD & Haselgrove M (2015) 'Blocking spatial navigation across environments that have a different shape' Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition 42, (1) 51-66 , DOI Open access
Greenfield K, Ropar D, Smith AD, Carey M & Newport R (2015) 'Visuo-tactile integration in autism: atypical temporal binding may underlie greater reliance on proprioceptive information' Molecular Autism 6, (1) 0-0 , DOI Open access
Buckley MG, Haselgrove M & Smith AD (2015) 'The developmental trajectory of intramaze and extramaze landmark biases in spatial navigation: An unexpected journey' Developmental Psychology 51, (6) 771-791 , DOI Open access
Smith AD (2015) 'Spatial navigation in autism spectrum disorders: a critical review' Frontiers in Psychology 6, , DOI Open access
Buckley MG, Smith AD & Haselgrove M (2014) 'Learned predictiveness training modulates biases towards using boundary or landmark cues during navigation' The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 68, (6) 1183-1202 , DOI Open access
Buckley MG, Smith AD & Haselgrove M (2014) 'Shape shifting: Local landmarks interfere with navigation by, and recognition of, global shape' Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 40, (2) 492-510 , DOI Open access
Carton AM & Smith AD (2013) 'Assessing the relationship between eating disorder psychopathology and autistic traits in a non-clinical adult population' Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity 19, (3) 285-293 , DOI Open access
Smith AD, McKeith L & Howard CJ (2013) 'The development of path integration: Combining estimations of distance and heading' Experimental Brain Research 231, (4) 445-455 , DOI
Buckley MG & Smith AD (2013) 'Evidence for spatial navigational impairments in hydrocephalus patients without spina bifida' Brain and Cognition 83, (1) 132-141 , DOI
Smith AD, Hands P, Brooks J & Siegler I (2013) 'Reviews: From Mental Imagery to Spatial Cognition and Language: Essays in Honour of Michel Denis, Vision and Brain: How We Perceive the World, Understanding Pain: Exploring the Perception of Pain, Sensorimotor Control and Learning: An Introduction to the Behavioral Neuroscience of Action' Perception 42, (6) 685-691 , DOI
Smith AD & Buckley MG (2012) 'Spatial navigational impairments in hydrocephalus' Cognitive Processing 13, (S1) 329-332 , DOI
Pellicano E, Smith AD, Cristino F, Hood B, Briscoe J & Gilchrist ID (2011) 'Reply to Nemeth and Janacsek: Children with autism learn to search differently in a large-scale context' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108, (15) E58-E58 , DOI
Howard CJ, Pharaon RG, Körner C, Smith AD & Gilchrist ID (2011) 'Visual Search in the Real World: Evidence for the Formation of Distractor Representations' Perception 40, (10) 1143-1153 , DOI
Pellicano E, Smith AD, Cristino F, Hood BM, Briscoe J & Gilchrist ID (2010) 'Children with autism are neither systematic nor optimal foragers' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108, (1) 421-426 , DOI
Smith AD, Howard CJ, Alcock N & Cater K (2010) 'Going the distance: spatial scale of athletic experience affects the accuracy of path integration' Experimental Brain Research 206, (1) 93-98 , DOI
Smith AD (2010) 'Drawing and cognition : on the role of mental imagery and spatial coding in graphic production'
Smith AD, Hood BM & Gilchrist ID (2010) 'Probabilistic cuing in large-scale environmental search' Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 36, (3) 605-618 , DOI
Smith AD, Wallace F, Hood B & Gilchrist ID (2009) 'Mechanisms of large-scale environmental search: probability cueing depends on the relationship between landmarks and target distribution' Cognitive Processing 10, (S2) 305-306 , DOI
Smith AD (2009) 'On the use of drawing tasks in neuropsychological assessment' Neuropsychology 23, (2) 231-239 , DOI
Smith AD, Gilchrist ID, Hood B, Tassabehji M & Karmiloff-Smith A (2009) 'Inefficient Search of Large-Scale Space in Williams Syndrome: Further Insights on the Role of LIMK1 Deletion in Deficits of Spatial Cognition' Perception 38, (5) 694-701 , DOI
Smith AD, Gilchrist ID, Cater K, Ikram N, Nott K & Hood BM (2008) 'Reorientation in the real world: The development of landmark use and integration in a natural environment' Cognition 107, (3) 1102-1111 , DOI
Liouta E, Smith AD & Mohr C (2008) 'Schizotypy and pseudoneglect: A critical update on theories of hemispheric asymmetries' Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 13, (2) 112-134 , DOI
Smith AD, Hood BM & Gilchrist ID (2008) 'Visual search and foraging compared in a large-scale search task' Cognitive Processing 9, (2) 121-126 , DOI
Smith AD, Gilchrist ID, Butler SH, Muir K, Bone I, Reeves I & Harvey M (2007) 'Non-lateralised deficits of drawing production in hemispatial neglect' Brain and Cognition 64, (2) 150-157 , DOI
Smith AD, Hood BM & Hector K (2006) 'Eye remember you two: gaze direction modulates face recognition in a developmental study' Developmental Science 9, (5) 465-472 , DOI
Smith AD, Gilchrist ID, Hood BM & Karmiloff-Smith A (2006) 'Developmental components of large-scale search: evidence from children and individuals with partial genetic deletions' Cognitive Processing 7, (S1) 93-94 , DOI
Smith AD, Gilchrist ID & Hood BM (2005) 'Children's Search Behaviour in Large-Scale Space: Developmental Components of Exploration' Perception 34, (10) 1221-1229 , DOI
Smith AD (2005) 'Around the clock surveillance: simple graphic disturbance in patients with hemispatial neglect carries implications for the clock drawing task' Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 77, (3) 407-409 , DOI
Smith AD & Gilchrist ID (2005) 'Within-object and between-object coding deficits in drawing production' Cognitive Neuropsychology 22, (5) 523-537 , DOI
SMITH A & GILCHRIST I (2005) 'Drawing from Childhood Experience: Constructional Apraxia and the Production of Oblique Lines' Cortex 41, (2) 195-204 , DOI
Smith AD & Gilchrist ID (2004) 'Evidence for the online operation of imagery: Visual imagery modulates motor production in drawing' Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27, (3) 416-417 , DOI
Smith AD & Gilchrist ID (2004) 'Evidence for the online operation of imagery: Visual imagery modulates motor production in drawing' BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES 27, (3) 416-+ Author Site , DOI
Riddoch MJ, Humphreys GW, Blott W, Hardy E, Smith AD & Smith AD (2003) 'Visual and Spatial Short-term Memory in Integrative Agnosia' Cognitive Neuropsychology 20, (7) 641-671 , DOI
Chapters
Holloway AL, Chapman P & Smith AD (2019) 'Learning and Modulating Spatial Probabilities in Virtual Environments' Neuroergonomics Elsevier 201-202 , DOI
Smith AD & Dyer L (2018) 'Cognitive Components of Path Integration' Neuroergonomics Elsevier 255-255 , DOI
Humphreys G & Riddoch J (2016) 'A Reader in Visual Agnosia' Routledge , DOI
(2007) 'Memory in the Real World' Psychology Press , DOI
Conference Papers
Smith AD, Holloway AL, Thair H & Newport R (2015) 'Developmental trajectories of path integration: The influence of concurrent task' S78-S79
Holloway AL & Smith AD (2015) 'Probability cueing in virtual environmental search' S70-S70
Smith AD & Buckley MG (2012) 'Spatial navigational impairments in hydrocephalus' S50-S50
Smith AD, Wallace F, Hood B & Gilchrist ID (2009) 'Mechanisms of large-scale environmental search: probability cueing depends on the relationship between landmarks and target distribution' S162-S162
Posters
Smith AD & De Lillo C Smith AD & De Lillo C 'Individual differences in spatial components of search and foraging' Author Site
Smith AD, Scott C & Holloway AL Smith AD, Scott C & Holloway AL 'Inducing difference in search behaviour: Right parietal stimulation modulates efficiency but not learning' Author Site
Baxter R, Jones PM, Hall SD & Smith AD Baxter R, Jones PM, Hall SD & Smith AD 'Using immersive virtual environments to explore the blocking of geometric information during spatial learning' Author Site
Other Publications
Smith AD (2021) Theeuwes, J., & Failing, M. Attentional Selection: Top-Down, Bottom-Up and History-Based Biases. SAGE Publications , DOI
Personal

Personal

Links

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-7335-4083
Scopus Author ID: 55574239834
Loop profile: 163061
ResearcherID: O-3220-2017

Related articles on the University website