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Dr Mary Spiller

Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology

Cognition and Neuroscience Research Group

    Mary is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology.  She is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a member of the British Psychological Society (Cognitive Section), the Experimental Psychology Society and British Neuropsychological Society.  Mary teaches and supervises students on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes within the School, and is Deputy Programme Leader of the MSc Psychology.  She is the chair of the School's Research Ethics Committee. 

    Mary is a member of the Cognition and Neuroscience Research Group.

    Mary was awarded her PhD from UEL in 2009, and previously has worked at both the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London and Harvard University.  



    Overview

    Mary's research focuses on how we make sense of the world around us, with a particular interest in our internal representations of the external world.  This includes sensory experiences such as synaesthesia (cross-sensory experiences), mental imagery (internally generated sensory experiences) and multi-sensory experiences in the general population.  Her research has particularly focused on synaesthesia and mental imagery, and the impact of synaesthesia on other cognitive abilities.  Recent work has focused on the impact synaesthesia may have on mental imagery abilities across various sensory modalities, as well as exploring multi-sensory processing in the general population.  Current projects are exploring the impact of emotion on our mental imagery abilities.




    Collaborators

    • Dr Clare Jonas
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    Research

    Selected publications Publically available research outputs are available to download from UEL's Research Open Access Repository (ROAR). Peer-reviewed Journal Articles Banissy, M.J., Holle, H., Cassell, J., Annett, L., Tsakanikos, E., Walsh, V., Spiller, M.J., & Ward, J. (2013). Personality traits in people with synaesthesia: Do synaesthetes have an atypical personality profile?. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(7), 828-813.

    Beer, D., Spiller, M.J., Pickard, M., Gravestock, S., McGovern, P., Leese, M., et al. (2005). Low secure units: factors predicting delayed discharge. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 16(4), 621–637. doi:10.1080/14789940500159475

    Conference Papers Spiller, M.J., & Jansari, A.S. (2008). Synaesthesia and mental imagery abilities: a comparison of synaesthetes’ and non-synaesthetes’ mental imagery abilities. Paper presented at the 4th Annual General Meeting and Conference of the UK Synaesthesia Association, University of Edinburgh.

    Spiller, M.J., & Jansari, A.S. (2008). Synaesthesia and visual mental imagery: measuring a synaesthetic experience from different imagery tasks. Paper presented at the Experimental Psychology Society Cambridge Meeting, Cambridge University.

    Spiller, M.J., & Jansari, A.S. (2007). The effect of colour on visual mental imagery abilities of grapheme-colour synaesthetes: the importance of individual differences. Paper presented at the 3rd Annual General Meeting and Conference of the UK Synaesthesia Association, Oxford University.

    Spiller, M.J., Jansari, A.S., & Burton, A. (2007). Synaesthesia and visual mental imagery: measuring a synaesthetic experience from different mental imagery abilities. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section Annual Conference, University of Aberdeen.

    Spiller, M.J., Jansari, A.S., & Jones Chesters, M. (2006). Mental rotation and alphanumeric colour synaesthesia. Paper presented at the 2nd Annual General Meeting and Conference of the UK Synaesthesia Association, University College London.

    Spiller, M.J., & Jansari, A.S. (2005). Fading into the background: mental imagery in synaesthesia. Paper presented at the 5th Annual Meeting of the American Synesthesia Association, Houston, Texas.

    Spiller, M.J., & Jansari, A.S. (2005). Mental imagery and synaesthesia. Paper presented at the Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Perceptual Experience, University of Glasgow.

    Spiller, M.J., & Jansari, A.S. (2005). Mental imagery in synaesthesia: does seeing the mental image of an inducer in the mind’s eye result in a synaesthetic experience?Paper presented at the 1st Annual General Meeting and Conference of the UK Synaesthesia Association, University College London.

    Book Chapters Spiller, M.J., & Jansari, A.S. (2013). Synaesthesia and savantism. In E. Hubbard & J. Simner (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Synaesthesia. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Books

    Jonas, C.N., Spiller, M.J., Jansari, A.S., & Ward, J. (2013). Comparing implicit and synaesthetic number–space associations: visuospatial and verbal spatial-numerical associations of response codes. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2013.856928

    Holt, G., Gratsa, A., Bouras, N., Joyce, T., Spiller, M.J., & Hardy, S. (2004). Guide to mental health for families and carers of people with intellectual disabilities. London: Jessica Kingsley Publications.

    Pasqualotto, A., Spiller, M.J., Jansari, A. S., & Proulx, M.J. (2013). Visual experience facilitates allocentric spatial representation. Behavioural Brain Research, 236(1), 175–179. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2012.08.042

    Simner, J., Mayo, N., & Spiller, M.J. (2009). A foundation for savantism? Visuo-spatial synaesthetes present with cognitive benefits. Cortex, 45, 1246–1260. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2009.07.007

    Spiller, M.J., & Jansari, A.S. (2008). Mental imagery and synaesthesia: is synaesthesia from internally generated stimuli possible? Cognition, 109, 143–151. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2008.08.007

    Gratsa, A., Spiller, M.J., Holt, G., Joyce, T., Hardy, S., & Bouras, N. (2007). Developing a mental health guide for carers of people with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 20, 77–86. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3148.2005.00296.x

    Spiller, M.J., Costello, H., Bramley, A., Bouras N., Martin, G., Tsakanikos, E., et al. (2007). Consumption of mental health services by people with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 20, 430–438. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3148.2007.00387.x

    Jansari, A.S., Spiller, M.J., & Redfern, S. (2006). Number synaesthesia: when hearing “four plus five” looks like gold. Cortex, 42(2), 253–258. doi:10.1016/S0010-9452(08)70350-2

    Mataix-Cols, D., Rahman, Q., Spiller, M.J., Alonso, M.P., Pifarre, J., Menchon, J.M., et al. (2006). Are there sex differences in neuropsychological functions among patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder? Applied Neuropsychology, 13(1), 42–50. doi:10.1207/s15324826an1301_6

    Publications



    Interests

    Programme Leadership

    Deputy Programme Leader for MSc Psychology

    Modules

    • PY7154 Research Methods


    Teaching