Project Details

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Dr Caroline Richards

Project area or title

Social Cognition in preterm children


Preterm birth (< 37 weeks gestation) adversely affects child development in behavioural, cognitive and mental health domains. A substantial research evidence base has demonstrated that children born prematurely are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with autism later in life than their term born peers. These heightened rates of autism suggest that prematurity confers a risk for delayed or divergent social cognition, social understanding and social competency. Our pioneering approach will utilise matched case-control study, contrasting preterm and term born children. We will employ novel, play-based tasks and cutting edge eye tracking methodologies to evaluate children's emerging understanding of themselves and their social world.


Children, Young People, and Perinatal Mental Health


University of Birmingham