Punit Shah


Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology


Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Brain & Cognition

Punit's research centres on human social function, and why this can differ in people with autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions.

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Punit explores human social ability, from perception (eg, interoception, face perception) to cognition (eg, emotional decision-making, theory of mind). He's particularly interested in how and why social function differs between people with autism, alexithymia, and developmental prosopagnosia and what could be done to assist people with these conditions.

Research interests

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Punit is a member of the following research interest groups:

Selected recent publications

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Shah, P., Spencer-Keyse, J., Hall, R., Catmur, C. and Bird, G., in prep. Individual differences in theory of mind on a nauturalistic task.

Shah, P., Brewer, R., Gaule, A., Bird, G. and Cook, R., in prep. Autism and Developmental Prosopagnosia: a cross-disorder study.

Shah, P., under review. The use and misuse of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ).

Shah, P., Catmur, C. and Bird, G., under review. From heart to mind: linking interoception, emotion, and theory of mind.

Shah, P., Catmur, C. and Bird, G., 2016. Emotional decision-making in Autism Spectrum Disorder: The roles of interoception and alexithymia. Molecular Autism. Scientific American, King's College London

Neuroskeptic Blog: The Myth of the Optimism Bias. Reported in The Independant, iNews, SBS.au, Belfast Telegraph, LBC Interview, Express, Mail Online, The Sun, King's College London, Vice.com, Live Science. Most downloaded article in Cognitive Psychology (August-October 2016).

Shah, P.*, Harris, A.J.L.*, Bird, G., Catmur, C. and Hahn, U., 2016. A pessimistic view of optimistic belief updating. Cognitive Psychology.

Shah, P., 2016. Book review: Interoception - the eighth sensory system. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Medical Xpress, Commentary by Livingston & Livingston. Second most downloaded article in Cortex (August-October 2016).

Shah, P., Hall, R., Catmur, C. and Bird, G., 2016. Alexithymia, not autism, is associated with impaired interoception. Cortex.

Shah, P., Bird, G. and Cook, R., 2016. Face processing in autism spectrum disorder: reduced integration of cross-feature dynamics. Cortex.

Shah, P., 2016. Identification, diagnosis and treatment of developmental prosopagnosia. The British Journal of Psychiatry.

Researchers develop test to diagnoses face blindness. Reported by Radio 4 Today Programme, King's College London, BBC News, Daily Mail , BBC News Feature, MRC News, Radio 4 Documentary with Mary Ann Sieghart.

Shah, P., Sowden, S., Gaule, A., Catmur, C. and Bird, G., 2015. The twenty-item prosopagnosia index: relationship to the Glasgow Face Matching Test. Royal Society Open Science [download questionnaire].

Shah, P., Gaule, A., Sowden, S., Bird, G. and Cook, R., 2015. The twenty-item prosopagnosia index (PI20): A self-report instrument for identifying developmental prosopagnosia. Royal Society Open Science.

Shah, P., Happé, F., Sowden, S., Cook, R. and Bird, G., 2015. Orienting towards face-like stimuli in early childhood. Child Development. BPS Big Picture Prize.

Shah, P. and Sowden, S., 2015. Insights into social perception in autism. The Journal of Neuroscience.

Shah, P., Gaule, A., Gaigg, S., Bird, G. and Cook, R., 2015. Probing short-term face memory in developmental prosopagnosia. Cortex.

Sowden, S., & Shah, P. (2014). Self-other control: a candidate mechanism for social cognitive function. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Santiesteban, I., Shah, P., White, S., Bird, G. and Heyes, C., 2014. Mentalizing or submentalizing in a communication task? Evidence from autism and a camera control. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Cook, R.*, Brewer, R.*, Shah, P.* and Bird, G., 2014. Intact facial adaptation in autistic adults. Autism Research.

Shah, P., Gaule, A., Bird, G. and Cook, R., 2013. Robust orienting to protofacial stimuli in autism. Current Biology. Commentary by Johnson (2014).

Harris, A.J.L., Shah, P., Catmur, C., Bird, G. and Hahn, U., 2013. Autism, optimism and positive events: Evidence against a general optimistic bias. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. Imperfect Cognitions blog post.

Cage, E., Pellicano, E., Shah, P. and Bird, G., 2013. Reputation management: Evidence for intact ability but reduced propensity in adults with autism. Autism Research.

Cook, R.*, Brewer, R.*, Shah, P. and Bird, G., 2013. Alexithymia, not autism, predicts poor recognition of emotional facial expressions. Psychological Science. APS Observer Article.

Shah, P., 2012. Toward a neurobiology of unrealistic optimism. Frontiers in Psychology.