Matthew K Belmonte
Matthew Belmonte's research asks how domain-general cognitive capacities shape the developmental emergence of both social and non-social perception, cognition and action -- giving rise to individual differences therein and autistic disorders thereof. Applying both cognitive neuroimaging (EEG/ERP and fMRI) and behavioural methods, Belmonte enunciated the now widely accepted and supported theory of dysconnectivity within and between autistic neural and cognitive networks, in which differences of local neural network entropy perturb activity-dependent development of long-range network connectivity, impairing top-down integrative control and enhancing autonomous processing. A current clinical application of this work assays the effect of computer-assisted training of prerequisite motor skills on autistic social communicative ability, whilst work in basic science is exploring interactions of dimensional autistic traits, cognitive sex differences, individualistic versus collectivistic cultures, and situational manipulations of psychological distance and level of construal. Belmonte is the recipient of a 2009 Faculty Early Career Development Award from the US National Science Foundation, the 2010 Neil O'Connor Award from the British Psychological Society, and a 2011 Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship.