Studying links between bodily sensation detection and mindreading in adults with autism

Piers Grey


Hello all,

I am a PhD student with Asperger's Syndrome stationed at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge Campus. I am currently conducting a study that explores whether difficulties with detecting bodily sensations and interpreting these sensations as emotional states in autism, are related to their problems with reading emotions and intentions from others' behaviour.

In order to achieve this, my study asks adults with autism (aged between 18 and 40 who do not have a heart condition) to complete three questionnaires. The first questionnaire assesses their ability to detect sensations in their body. Second questionnaire assesses their ability to recognise/ describe their own emotions. Third questionnaire establishes how many autistic traits adults with autism have. Next, adults with autism are asked to complete four tasks. First task requires them to: (a) verbally state the meaning of words back to the experimenter; and (b) complete patterns using one of five available options. Second task requires them to: (a) silently count and report total number of heartbeats felt within specific time intervals; and (b) estimate how much time has gone passed without counting seconds & report back estiamted time in seconds. Third task requires them to colour in two silhouettes that represent where they see, think or expect to see changes in bodily sensations of people that they have watched in short videos. Fourth and final task requires them to make judgements of the emotions and intentions of actors in a short drama from their behaviour. All in all, this should take 2 hours to complete.

Any adult with autism who participates in this study will be rewarded with a £15 gift voucher. Any adults with autism who are interested in my study can declare their interest in my study through emailing me on:

Best wishes

Piers ( 


Edited on November 12, 2019 - 11:32pm