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Professor Fiona Newell

Professor of Experimental Psychology (Psychology)

Professor of Experimental Psychology (Trinity Inst. of Neurosciences (TCIN))

My main research objective is to elucidate the cortical and behavioural processes involved in high-level human perception across the main sensory systems. This interest is motivated by the fact that perception is not a fixed concept since it is significantly modulated by information from other senses and other contextual factors such as past experience, internal predictions, on-going motor behaviour and the working range of the sensory system. Furthermore, Perception is the basis of Cognition, and an understanding of the mechanisms behind how we perceive provides a better route to understanding other high-level human functions. To date, my team and I have begun to shed light on some of the behavioural principles of how the senses interact with one another to form a unified perception of our world. The current challenge is to provide a better understanding of the cortical and genetic mechanisms behind these principles. To this end my team are conducting a series of studies investigating cortical correlates of multisensory perception using neuroimaging (i.e. fMRI and EEG) technology and, in collaboration with colleagues the Smurfit Institute of Genetics at TCD we are investating behavioural and neural correlates of synaesthesia. Lately, I have begun to develop my research towards a better understanding of multisensory processing in the normal, damaged and ageing brain through collaborations with colleagues in the School of Medicine, TCD. Finally, in collaboration with colleagues in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering, we are currently investigating how virtual displays of crowd scenes can be improved by multisensory stimulation.
 CityQuest: a serious game to enhance cognition and improve balance control
 Socialising Agents: endowing virtual agents with multisensory social skills to increase appeal and user engagement
 The development of a novel, low-cost intervention games system designed to improve physical and mental well being in older adults

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Details Date From Date To
Member of IEEE Robotics Jan 2008
Experimental Psychological Society, UK 2000
Psychonomics Society, USA 2000
British Neuroscience Association 1999
European Society for Cognitive Psychology 2002
Setti A, and Hernandez B, and Hirst R.J., Donoghue OA, Kenny R.A., and Newell F.N., Susceptibility to the sound-induced flash illusion is associated with gait speed in a large sample of middle-aged and older adults, Experimental Gerontology, 174, (112113), 2023, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Merriman, N.A. and Roudaia, E. and OndÅ ej, J. and Romagnoli, M. and Orvieto, I. and O†Sullivan, C. and Newell, F.N., †CityQuest,†A Custom-Designed Serious Game, Enhances Spatial Memory Performance in Older Adults, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 14, (806418), 2022, Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Gori, M. and Price, S. and Newell, F.N. and Berthouze, N. and Volpe, G., Multisensory Perception and Learning: Linking Pedagogy, Psychophysics, and Human-Computer Interaction, Multisensory Research, 2022, Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Cunningham J, O'Dowd A, Broglio S, Newell FN, Kelly A, Joyce O, Januszewski J, Wilson F, Multisensory perception is not influenced by previous concussion history in retired rugby union players, Brain Injury, 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
McGovern, D.P. and Burns, S. and Hirst, R.J. and Newell, F.N., Perceptual training narrows the temporal binding window of audiovisual integration in both younger and older adults, Neuropsychologia, 173, (108309), 2022, Notes: [cited By 4], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
O' Dowd, A. and Cooney, S.M. and Newell, F.N., Self-reported vividness of tactile imagery for object properties and body regions: An exploratory study, Consciousness and Cognition, 103, (103376), 2022, Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Cooney S.M., Holmes C.A., Newell F.N., Children's spatial"numerical associations on horizontal, vertical, and sagittal axes, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 209, 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Brady, N. and Darmody, K. and Newell, F.N. and Cooney, S.M., Holistic processing of faces and words predicts reading accuracy and speed in dyslexic readers, PLoS ONE, 16, (12 December), 2021, Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Stoycheva, P. and KauramÀki, J. and Newell, F.N. and Tiippana, K., Haptic recognition memory and lateralisation for verbal and nonverbal shapes, Memory, 29, (8), 2021, p1043-1057 , Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Nuala Brady, Kate Darmody, Fiona Newell, Sarah Maeve Cooney, Holistic processing of words and faces in dyslexia, PLoS One, 16, (12), 2021, pe0259986 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI

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McHugh, J.E., McDonnell, R., Chan, J.S. & Newell, F.N., The Multisensory Perception of Emotions in Real and Virtual Humans, British Psychological Society Annual Conference 2008, Dublin, April 2008, 2008, Poster, PRESENTED
McHugh, J.E. & Newell, F.N. , Mixed emotions: audition can modulate the visual perception of the emotion of a crowd, International Multisensory Research Forum, CCNY, New York, June 2009, Poster, PUBLISHED


Award Date
Best Reported Impact, Science Foundation Ireland 13 November, 2017
Fulbright Scholar 2011-12
Fellow, Trinity College Dublin 2005
'Addison Wheeler' Research Fellow in Life Sciences, University of Durham 1995-1999
Multisensory perception; Synaesthesia; Object recognition; Scene recognition; Face perception and facial attractiveness; Perception in visual impaired individuals; Dynamic object recognition; Visual, haptic and auditory perception; Perception of crowds; Perception of emotion; Ageing and multisensory perception.