Principle Investigators

Joshua Henk Balsters

Joshua Henk Balsters graduated in 2005 with an undergraduate degree (BSc Psychology) from Royal Holloway University of London. He continued his doctoral studies at Royal Holloway using fMRI to investigate ‘Cerebellar Contributions to Cognition’ under the guidance of Dr Ramnani (viva 2008, graduated 2009). In 2008, Dr Balsters became a Postdoctoral fellow at Trinity College Dublin (employed by GlaxoSmithKline) under the supervision of Prof Robertson, using simultaneous EEG/fMRI to develop novel biomarkers of healthy ageing and pharmaceutical intervention. In 2012, Dr Balsters became a Postdoctoral fellow at the ETH Zürich working for Prof Wenderoth leading his own line of Autism research focussed on using fMRI to investigate brain connectivity during rest and task (social decision making). Dr Balsters returned to Royal Holloway in 2017 as a new lecturer. His current research is focusing on comparative (i.e. animal to human) and computational approaches to investigating Autism Spectrum Disorder, primarily using resting state fMRI and decision-making paradigms.

Please click here for more details on Dr Balsters’ previous research

Rebecca Brewer

Rebecca completed her PhD in psychology at King’s College, London in 2015, and joined Royal Holloway as a lecturer in 2017.Her main research interests are emotional abilities and alexithymia in autism. Alexithymia is a personality trait associated with difficulties recognising one’s own emotions, and Rebecca’s research investigates the separate effects of alexithymia and autism itself on emotional abilities. Rebecca is also interested in the link between autism and inteorception (the ability to perceive one’s own bodily states, such as temperature, muscle ache, hunger and pain). Rebecca’s current research also focuses on facial recognition abilities in autistic people. This includes the ability to recognise facial expressions of emotion, and recognising who a person is from their face. You can find out more about Rebecca’s previous research here.

Eilidh Cage

Eilidh completed her PhD in 2014 at the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at the UCL Institute of Education. Her PhD investigated reputation management in individuals on the autism spectrum, noting that autistic individuals could be concerned about their reputation. In 2015, Eilidh started at Royal Holloway, and is now a Lecturer (Teaching Focused) within the Psychology Department. Her research currently considers a number of topics including autistic identity, camouflaging, autism acceptance and mental health. She is particularly interested in understanding how we can best support autistic students at university and beyond. Eilidh is also passionate about involving autistic people in autism research, and set up Autism Research Allies in 2016 ( You can find out more about Eilidh’s research by visiting her Royal Holloway profile.