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Celebrating PhD completion and a new paper!

Congratulations to Claire Mitchell (soon-to-be PhD!)

In July, the lab celebrated PhD student Claire Mitchell reaching the very significant milestone of submitting her thesis for examination. However, we have recently heard the good news that the board of the UWA Graduate Research School has accepted her thesis titled, “Non-clinical unusual visual experiences: Measurement and cognitive mechanisms”. A key outcome of Claire’s thesis was the creation of a brand new scale for measuring hallucinations and other atypical sensory experiences, the multi-modality unusual sensory experiences questionnaire (or MUSEQ). Not content to just finish a PhD, Claire also completed a Master’s of Clinical Psychology and has already secured employment in the field in a clinic in Perth. We wish Claire all the best in the future and look forward to hearing of her future successes.

If you are interested in learning more about the MUSEQ, the unusual sensory experiences questionnaire she developed with her supervisors, you can read more about it here, at Frontiers in Psychology

Title: The Structure and Measurement of Unusual Sensory Experiences in Different Modalities: The Multi-Modality Unusual Sensory Experiences Questionnaire (MUSEQ)
Authors: Claire A. A. Mitchell, Murray T. Maybery, Suzanna N. Russell-Smith, Daniel Collerton, Gilles E. Gignac & Flavie Waters

New Research – no links between levels of testosterone and autistic traits in neurotypical males

New research led by Dr Diana Tan investigating potential links between testosterone concentrations and levels of autistic traits in men from the general population was published in PLOS ONE in June. It is commonly suggested that atypically high levels of testosterone is linked to the development of autism spectrum disorders. However, the current paper challenges this notion – no correlations were reported between salivary testosterone and autistic traits in a large number of healthy males. Grouping that participants into subgroups with low, medium, and high levels of autistic traits also did not find any differences in testosterone levels. It is suggested that puberty may act as a transitionary period, normalising atypically high levels of testosterone that are commonly reported in autistic individuals during the prenatal period.

To read more about the study and it’s implication, click here to read it at PLOS ONE.

Title: No relationship between autistic traits and salivary testosterone concentrations in men from the general population
Authors: Diana Weiting Tan, Murray T. Maybery, Michael W. Clarke, Renata Di Lorenzo, Melissa O. Evans, Michael Mancinone, Christina Panos & Andrew J. O. Whitehouse