PhD: ‘Roadside judgments in typical and atypical primary school children’. Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London
MSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Research Methods. Department of Psychology, University of Durham
BSc (Hons) Psychology, The Open University
Dr Catherine Purcell specialises in research that explores the link between perception and action in typical and atypical populations, in natural contexts, such as at the roadside. Catherine is currently leading a research project, which has been funded by the Road Safety Trust, to develop a virtual reality (VR) innovative game-based road safety education ‘’app”, which will be tested in Welsh primary schools. Catherine’s previous research has demonstrated that ‘egocentric’ software, such as first person games that directly simulate immersion in an artificial world, have a greater likelihood of upskilling children in road safety. This current project will allow children to practice the skills involved in road crossing whilst remaining safely in the classroom.
Member of editorial team for the Dyspraxia Foundation Professional Journal
Course Leader: MSc Developmental Disorders
Course Leader: BSc (Hons) Psychology with Developmental Disorders
Course Leader: BSc (Hons) Psychology with Education
In addition to the above, I teach across a range of undergraduate modules, and I am the module leader for:
- PL1D115 – Introduction to developmental disorders
- PL2D116 – Screening and Assessment of Developmental Disorders
- PL3S146 – Applying knowledge of developmental disorders to practice
- PL3S147 – Management and support of individuals with developmental disorders
- PL3S144 – Therapeutic interventions across the lifespan
- PL3S148 – Embracing Neurodiversity
Scott-Roberts, S., & Purcell, C. (2018). Understanding the functional mobility of adults with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) through the International Classification of Functioning (ICF). Current Developmental Disorders Reports, 1-8.
Purcell, C., & Romijn, A. (2017). Appropriateness of different pedagogical approaches to road safety education for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Research in Developmental Disabilities, 70, 85-93.
Purcell, C., & Scott-Roberts, S. (2017). Neurodiversity: developing guides to success using participatory research. In Niven, K., Lewis, S., & Kagan, C. (Ed). Making a difference with psychology. London, UK: Richard Benjamin Trust.
Duncan, H., & Purcell, C. (2017). Equity or Advantage? The effect of receiving access arrangements in university exams on Humanities students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD). Journal of Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 19(2), 6-26.
Purcell, C., Wilmut, K., & Wann, J.P. (2017). The use of visually guided behaviour in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) when crossing a virtual road. Human Movement Science, 53, 37-44.
Purcell, C. & Wilmut, K. (2015). Putting Vision into Coordination. In Barnett, A.L. & Sugden, D.A. (2015). Moving, Developing and Learning. A Festschrift in celebration of the career of Sheila E. Henderson. Oxford Brookes University. ISBN: 978-1-873640-87-6
Purcell, C., Scott-Roberts, S., & Kirby, A. (2015). Implications of DSM-5 for recognising adults with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 78(5), 295-302.
Kirby, A., Sugden, D., & Purcell, C. (2014). Diagnosing Developmental Coordination Disorders. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 99(3), 292-296.
Purcell, C., Wann, J.P., Wilmut, K., & Poulter, D. (2012). Reduced looming sensitivity in primary school children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Developmental Science, 15(3), 299-306.
Purcell, C., Wann, J. P., Wilmut, K., & Poulter, D. (2011). Roadside judgments in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32(4), 1283-1292
Wann, J. P., Poulter, D. R., & Purcell, C. (2011). Reduced sensitivity to visual looming inflates the risk posed by speeding vehicles when children try to cross the road. Psychological Science, 22(4), 429-434
Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
The Road Safety Trust grant was recently featured on the BBC:
May 2918: Road Safety Trust Conference (London)
May 2013, 4th Annual 20mph Conference: Our visual system sometimes makes errors (Coventry)
February 2013, Welsh Assembly Government: Road Safety in Wales in the 21st Century – What needs to be done? (Cardiff)
July 2012, Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics: How do we make accurate speed judgments and why do we sometimes make errors? (San Francisco, USA)
July 2016, DCD UK Conference: Appropriateness of Road Safety Education for Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)
July 2015, DCD-11: Do children with DCD accurately predict their action gaps in a road crossing situation (Toulouse)
June 2011, DCD IX: Do children with motor deficits accurately predict their action gaps? (Lausanne)
May 2011, Vision Sciences Today: Reduced Looming Sensitivity in Primary School Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (Florida)
June 2009, DCD VIII International Conference: Looming Detection in Young Adults with DCD (Baltimore)
July 2010, DCD Research and Handwriting Conference: Roadside Judgments in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (York)
September 2010, BPS Developmental Section: Reduced Looming Sensitivity in Primary School Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (London)
2017: BBC News featuring the Road Safety Trust project
2017: Road Safety GB feature
2013: BBC Bang Goes the Theory feature
2012: BBC Newsround
2010, Science Museum London: Can we trust our eyes when trying to judge the speed of oncoming traffic? Project managed an interactive demonstration as part of the ‘Live Science’ exhibit in the ‘Who Am I?’ gallery at the London Science Museum. The experimental set-up aimed at engaging visitors with the perceptual errors that pedestrians and drivers make in road traffic scenarios
Consultant to Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD)
2018: Principle Investigator on a grant awarded by the Rees Jeffrey’s Road Fund to evaluate the efficacy of a augmented reality road safety educational game for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)
2017: Principle Investigator on a grant awarded by the National Lottery to co-create authentic resources with parents/carers of children with neurodiverse profiles, for parents/carers of children with neurodiverse profiles.
2017: Principle investigator on a grant awarded by the Road Safety Trust for a ‘proof of concept’ virtual reality (VR) project to develop an innovative game-based road safety education ‘’app”, which will be tested in Welsh primary schools.
2017: KESS PhD Studentship funding to explore the needs of service users with co-existing mental health and neurodevelopmental disorder accessing Mental Health Services in CTUHB
2015: Principle investigator on a grant awarded by the Newport Community Fund to host a series of five free parent workshops intended for parents of children with a development disorder
2014 – 2015: Principle investigator on a grant awarded by the Richard Benjamin Trust to create four guides to success through the facilitation of focus groups with neurodiverse adults.
2014: Principle Investigator on a grant awarded by Children in Need to facilitate four themed summer activity days for local children with Developmental Disorders.
2013 – 2016: Principle Investigator on a grant to measure the developmental readiness of 6-13 year old children with and without developmental disorders to acquire new knowledge and skills through different methods of teaching road safety.
2013 – 2014: Co-Investigator on a grant exploring falls in adults with significant motor difficulties: Quantifying the incidence, severity and cost to the individual.
Areas of Expertise
Neuroscience and Neuropsychology
Perception and perceptual-motor science
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