About Lawrie

I completed my PhD at the University of Glasgow in 2010 on the topic of the neural correlates of biological motion processing in people with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Since then, I have been working here at the NIN on the lab goal of understanding the neural basis of empathy.  My focus to date has been on developing new methodologies for the analysis of directional influence between two brains and also on how the brain processes and distinguishes between different emotions in others across sensory modalities.

Articles, Books & Conferences

Johnson, K. L., McKay, L. S. & Pollick, F. P. (2011) He throws like a girl (He throws like a girl (but only when he’s sad): Emotion affects sex-decoding of biological motion displays. Cognition (In Press)

Petrini, K., Pollick, F.E., Dahl, S., McAleer, P., McKay, L. S., Rocchesso, D, Waadeland, C.H. Love, S., Avanzini, F. & Puce, A. (2011) Action expertise reduces brain activity for audiovisual matching actions: An fmri study with expert drummers. Neuroimage (In Press).

McKay L. S., Simmons D., McAleer P. & Pollick F, E. (2009) Contribution of Configuration information in a direction discrimination task: Evidence using a novel masking paradigm. Vision Research, 49, 2503-2508.

Simmons, D. R., Robertson, A. E., McKay, L. S., Toal, E., McAleer, P. & Pollick, F. E. (2009) Vision in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Vision Research, 49, 22, 2709-2735.

McKay, L. S., Simmons, D. R., McAleer, P, Piggot, J., Marjoram, D & Pollick F. E. (Submitted)Distinct atypical cortical networks process biological motion information in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Book Chapters
Johnson K. L., Pollick F. & McKay L. (2010) Social constraints on the visual perception of biological motion. In R.B. Adams, N. Ambady, K. Nakayama, & S. Shimojo (Eds.) The Science of Social Vision. New York: Oxford University Press.

Pollick, F. E., Jola, C, Petrini, K, McKay, L. S., McAleer, P. & Jang, S. E. Experience and the Perception of Biological Motion. (forthcoming) In Shiffrar, M. and Johnson, K. Perception of the Human Body in Motion: Findings, Theory, and Practice. New York; Oxford University Press.

McKay L. S., McAleer P., Simmons D. & Pollick, F. (2009) Investigating the Action Understanding Circuit using Novel Point-Light Stimuli. Human Brain Mapping – Annual Meeting. San Francisco, June 17th – June 23rd.

McKay L. S. , McAleer P., Simmons D., Brennan D., Piggot J. & Pollick F. E. (2009) ). Adults with autism spectrum diagnoses show different patterns of BOLD activity in response to displays of point-light biological motion. Scottish Imaging Network – A Platform for Scientific Excellence - Annual Meeting. Edinburgh, 17th June.

McKay, L., McAleer, P., Simmons, D. & Pollick, F. E. (2008) A Novel Technique for Quantifying the Contribution of form Information in Point Light Displays. 7th Annual International Meeting for Cognitive Science, Seoul, July 26th-28th.

McKay, L., McAleer, P., Simmons, D., & Pollick, F. (2008). Evidence of atypical processing of biological motion in Autistic Spectrum Disorders. International Meeting for Autism Research, London, May 15-17th.

Simmons, Toal, McKay, Robertson, McAleer & Pollick. (2008). The Role of Chronic Neural Noise in Autism Spectrum Disorders. International Meeting for Autism Research, May 15-17th.

McKay, L., McAleer, P., Simmons, D., & Pollick, F. (2007). Quantifying the contribution of structure information in direction discrimination of scrambled walkers [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 7(9):474, 474a.

McKay, L. S., Mackie, J, Piggott, J., Simmons, D. R. & Pollick F. E. (2006) Biological Motion Processing in Autistic Spectrum Conditions: Perceptual and Social Factors [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 6(6), 1036a.

McKay, L. S., McAleer, P., Mackie, J., Piggott, J., Simmons, D. R. & Pollick F. E. (2006) Action Understanding in Autistic Spectrum Conditions: Social and Perceptual Factors. Social Brain 2, Glasgow, March 2006.

McKay, L. S., Pollick, F. E., Ma, Y. L., Bhuiyan, N., & Johnson, K. (2005) Throwing Like a Man: Recognising Gender from Emotional Actions. Perception, 34, (ECVP Supplement), 63.