Department of Psychology

Dr Mark Brosnan to deliver series of 'Smart Talks' in China

Thu Sep 11 11:20:00 BST 2014

Dr Mark Brosnan has been invited by British Council China to be a guest speaker at a number of 'Smart Talk' interactive presentations throughout September in China.

Smart Talk aims to bring some of the best of British talent to China to give inspirational talks to young people and professionals to raise their awareness of the pioneering work and projects going on in the UK.

Dr Mark Brosnan will be delivering his talk 'Developing technologies to support Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Implications for China' at four universities:

  • 22 September - South China University
  • 23 September - Shannxi University
  • 25 September - Beijing and Tsinghua Universities

About the talk

Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterised by deficits in social communication and interaction with repetitive behaviours and restricted interests. The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in many Western countries is estimated to be around 1% which would equate to over 13 million people in China. However, there is huge variability in the prevalence rates of ASD in China, with up to 200-fold differences between estimates.

Methodological issues have been raised which may suggest under-diagnosis and under-detection of ASD in China. Given the potentially large numbers of people with ASD and the remote nature of many communities in China, Dr Brosnan’s research focussing upon how new technologies can support the deficits in ASD, is particularly pertinent.

In his talk, Dr Brosnan will discuss the strengths and weaknesses associated with ASD, and how those with ASD may particularly benefit from technology-based interventions. Involving people with ASD within the design of new technologies is a core feature of Dr Brosnan’s work and his talk will illustrate how ‘participatory design’ can enable those with ASD to contribute fully to this process. Technology designed by people with ASD for people with ASD has the greatest potential benefits for successful interventions.