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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Anthony Atkinson, B.Sc., M.Sc., D.Phil.

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Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43234
Room number: RH008
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43234

(email at


B.Sc. & M.Sc. (Psychology), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
D.Phil. (Psychology), University of Oxford, England, 1993 - 1997.
Lecturer in Psychology, King Alfred's College Winchester (now University of Winchester), England, 1996 - 2003.

Research Groups

Department of Psychology

Research Interests

  • Social cognitive neuroscience
  • The emotions
  • The perception of faces, emotions, and biological motion
  • The scientific study of consciousness
  • Conceptual issues in evolutionary & cognitive psychological explanation

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • Atkinson, A.P. (2013). Bodily expressions of emotion: Visual cues and neural mechanisms. In The Cambridge Handbook of Human Affective Neuroscience. Armony, J. & Vuilleumier, P. New York: Cambridge University Press. 198-222.
  • Atkinson, A.P., Heberlein, A.S. & Adolphs, R. (2010). Are people special? A brain’s eye view. In The science of social vision. Adams, Jr., R.B., Ambady, N., Nakayama, K. & Shimojo, S. (Eds.) New York: Oxford University Press. 363-392.
  • Dittrich, W.H. & Atkinson, A.P. (2008). The perception of bodily expressions of emotion and the implications for computing. In Affective Computing: Focus on Emotion Expression, Synthesis and Recognition. Or, J. (Ed.) Vienna, Austria: I-Tech Education and Publishing. pp.157-184.
  • Atkinson, A.P. (2007). Face processing and empathy. In Empathy in mental illness. T.F.D. Farrow, & P.W.R.Woodruff (Eds.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 360-385.
  • Atkinson, A. P. & Adolphs, A. (2005). Visual emotion perception: Mechanisms and processes. In Emotion and consciousness. L.F. Barrett, P.M. Niedenthal & P. Winkielman (Eds.) New York: Guilford Press. pp. 150-182.
  • Atkinson, A. P. & Wheeler, M. (2003). Evolutionary psychology's grain problem and the cognitive neuroscience of reasoning. In Evolution and the psychology of thinking: The debate. Over, David E. Hove: Psychology Press. 61-99.
  • Wheeler, M. & Atkinson, A. (2001). Domains, brains, and evolution. In Naturalism, evolution and mind. (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 49.). Walsh, D.M. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 239-266.

Journal Article

  • Mowbray, R., Gottwald, J.M, Zhao, M., Atkinson, A.P. & Cowie, D. (2019). The development of visually guided stepping. Experimental Brain Research 237(11): 2875-2883.
  • Atkinson, A.P. & Smithson, H.E. (2019). The Impact on Emotion Classification Performance and Gaze Behavior of Foveal vs. Extrafoveal Processing of Facial Features. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
  • Siqi-Liu, Audrey, Harris, Alison M., Atkinson, Anthony P. & Reed, Catherine L. (2018). Dissociable Processing of Emotional and Neutral Body Movements Revealed by μ-Alpha and Beta Rhythms. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 12(4): 1269-1279.
  • Insch, P.M., Slessor, G., Phillips, L.H., Atkinson, A. & Warrington, J. (2015). The Impact of Aging and Alzheimers Disease on Decoding Emotion Cues from Bodily Motion. AIMS Neuroscience 2(3): 139-159.
  • Missana, M., Atkinson, A.P. & Grossmann, T. (2015). Tuning the developing brain to emotional body expressions. Developmental Science 18(2): 243-253.
  • Missana, M., Rajhans, P., Atkinson, A.P. & Grossmann, T. (2014). Discrimination of fearful and happy body postures in 8-month-old infants: an event-related potential study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8: 531.
  • Atkinson, A.P. & Smithson, H.E. (2013). Distinct contributions to facial emotion perception of foveated vs nonfoveated facial features. Emotion Review 5(1): 30-35.
  • Shafir, T., Taylor, S.F., Atkinson, A.P., Langenecker, S.A. & Zubieta, J-K. (2013). Emotion regulation through execution, observation, and imagery of emotional movements. Brain and Cognition
  • Thoresen, J.C., Vuong, Q.C. & Atkinson, A.P. (2012). First impressions: Gait cues drive reliable trait judgments. Cognition 124(3): 261-271.
  • Atkinson, A. P., Vuong, Q. C. & Smithson, H. E. (2012). Modulation of the face- and body-selective visual regions by the motion and emotion of point-light face and body stimuli. NeuroImage 59(2): 1700-1712.
  • Dzhelyova, M.P., Ellison, A. & Atkinson, A.P. (2011). Event-related repetitive TMS reveals distinct, critical roles for right OFA and bilateral posterior STS in judging the sex and trustworthiness of faces. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 23(10): 2782-2796.
  • Atkinson, A.P. & Adolphs, R. (2011). The neuropsychology of face perception: Beyond simple dissociations and functional selectivity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366(1571): 1726-1738.
  • Philip, R.C.M., Whalley, H.C, Stanfield, A.C., Sprengelmeyer, R., Santos, I.M., Young, A.W., Atkinson, A.P., Calder, A.J., Johnstone, E.C., Lawrie, S.M. & Hall, J. (2010). Deficits in facial, body movement and vocal emotional processing in autism spectrum disorders. Psychological Medicine 40(11): 1919-1929.
  • Sprengelmeyer, R., Atkinson, A.P., Sprengelmeyer, A., Mair-Walther, J., Jacobi, C., Wildemann, B., Dittrich, W.H. & Hacke, W. (2010). Disgust and fear recognition in paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis. Cortex 46(5): 650-657.
  • Peelen, M.V., Atkinson, A.P. & Vuilleumier, P. (2010). Supramodal representations of perceived emotions in the human brain. The Journal of Neuroscience 30(30): 10127-10134.
  • Atkinson, A.P. (2009). Impaired recognition of emotions from body movements is associated with elevated motion coherence thresholds in autism spectrum disorders. Neuropsychologia 47(13): 3023-3029.
  • Heberlein, A.S. & Atkinson, A.P. (2009). Neuroscientific evidence for simulation and shared substrates in emotion recognition: beyond faces. Emotion Review 1(2): 162-177.
  • Peelen, M. V., Atkinson, A.P., Andersson, F. & Vuilleumier, P. (2007). Emotional modulation of body-selective visual areas. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 2(4): 274-283.
  • Atkinson, A.P., Tunstall, M.L. & Dittrich, W.H. (2007). Evidence for distinct contributions of form and motion information to the recognition of emotions from body gestures. Cognition 104(1): 59-72.
  • Atkinson, A.P., Heberlein, A.S. & Adolphs, R. (2007). Spared ability to recognise fear from static and moving whole-body cues following bilateral amygdala damage. Neuropsychologia 45(12): 2772-2782.
  • Atkinson, A. P., Tipples, J., Burt, D. M. & Young, A. W. (2005). Asymmetric interference between sex and emotion in face perception. Perception & Psychophysics 67(7): 1199-1213.
  • Atkinson, A.P. (2005). Staring at the back of someone's head is no signal, and a sense of being stared at is no sense. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12(6): 50-56.
  • Atkinson, A. P., Dittrich, W. H., Gemmell, A. J. & Young, A. W. (2004). Emotion perception from dynamic and static body expressions in point-light and full-light displays. Perception 33(6): 717-746.
  • Atkinson, A. P. & Wheeler, M. (2004). The grain of domains: The evolutionary-psychological case against domain-general cognition. Mind & Language 19(2): 147-176.
  • Tipples, J., Atkinson, A. P. & Young, A. W. (2002). The eyebrow frown: a salient social signal. Emotion 2(3): 288-296.
  • Atkinson, A. P., Thomas, M. S. C. & Cleeremans, A. (2000). Consciousness: mapping the theoretical landscape. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4(10): 372-382.
  • Rhodes, G., Brake, S. & Atkinson, A. P. (1993). What's lost in inverted faces? Cognition 47(1): 25-57.

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