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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Natalie Butcher is a Lecturer in Psychology in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law. She studied her first degree in Psychology at the University of Manchester where she stayed on to complete an EPSRC funded PhD within the Cognitive and Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group. Her PhD, completed in 2009, investigated the effect of facial motion information on the recognition of same and other race faces.

Prior to commencing her current post in 2014, Natalie worked as a post-doctoral research associate here at Teesside University funded by the ESRC and then as a Lecturer in Psychology at York St John University. Natalie has experience in teaching a variety of modules at undergraduate level and has experience of PhD supervision. Currently she is module leader for 'Critical Thinking about Psychology' and 'Current Issues in Neurodevelopmental Disorders' whilst also teaching on 'Cognitive Psychology' and 'Psychological Research Design and Analysis' modules. Finally, she is regularly involved in outreach activity at local schools and colleges and is the psychology representative on the Undergraduate Marketing and Recruitment Committee.

Natalie is also an elected committee member of the Cognitive Psychology Section of the British Psychology Society. She is currently the section's Honorary Treasurer, Social Media Officer and Assistant Editor of the section's annual publication The Cognitive Psychology Bulletin.

Summary of Research Interests

Natalie is a researcher within the Social Futures Institute at Teesside University and a member of the Cognitive Section of the British Psychological Society.

Natalie's research interests focus on understanding the various factors that impact on our ability to recognise a face. Her research has a strong focus on the importance of dynamic (motion) information and race in the recognition of familiar and unfamiliar faces. Her research investigates the effect of these factors in both typical and developmental prosopagnosia (faceblind) populations, often using eye-tracking methods.

Natalie is currently working on several research projects. The first is a project looking at eye-movement differences when processing static and moving faces. This is in collaboration with Dr Karen Lander from the University of Manchester and Dr Rachel Bennetts from Queen Mary University of London. A second project in collaboration with PhD Student, Laura Sexton, is looking at individual differences when processing static and moving faces. This project involves setting up a North East Prosopagnosia Screening Centre to identify people who have this rare developmental disorder.

Natalie has been invited to deliver talks on her research at several public engagement events: Pint of Science at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (May, 2016), In Your Face at the National Media Museum (September, 2016), Spoonful of Knowledge (February, 2017) as well as a TEDx Talk at Oldham Library which can be viewed online: 'What's in a Face?' (February, 2016).

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Research Output

Recognising genuine from posed facial expressions: Exploring the role of dynamic information and face familiarity

Lander, K. & Butcher, N., 22 May 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Frontiers in Psychology.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
  • 43 Downloads (Pure)

    The Many Smiles Collaboration: A Multi-Lab Foundational Test of the Facial Feedback Hypothesis

    Coles, N. A., March, D. S., Marmolejo-Ramos, F., Banaruee, H., Butcher, N., Cavallet, M., Dagaev, N., Eaves, D., Foroni, F., Gorbunova, E., Gygax, P., Poveda, J. A. H., Ayumi Ikeda, A., Kathin-Zadeh, O., Özdoğru, A. A., Parzuchowski, M., Ruiz-Fernández, S., Som, B., Suarez, I., Trujillo, N. & 10 others, Trujillo, S., van der Zee, T., Villalba-García, C., Willis, M., Yamada, Y., Ellsworth, P., Gaertner, L., Strack, F., Liuzza, M. T. & Marozzi, M., 7 Apr 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Nature Human Behaviour.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 256 Downloads (Pure)

    Eye-movement differences when learning static and dynamic faces

    Butcher, N., Lander, K. & Sexton, L., 2019.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Eye-movement differences when learning static and dynamic faces.

    Butcher, N., Bennetts, R. J., Lander, K. & Sexton, L., 2019.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Open Access
  • 214 Downloads (Pure)