• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

19962021
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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Dr. Jonathan Delafield-Butt is a Reader in Child Development and Director of the cross-disciplinary Laboratory for Innovation in Autism at the University of Strathclyde.  His work examines the origins of conscious experience and the embodied and emotional foundations of psychological development, with attention to the subtle but significant motor disruption evident in autism spectrum disorder.  He took his Ph.D. in Developmental Neurobiology at the University of Edinburgh Medical School before extending to Developmental Psychology with application of intersubjectivity theory in postdoctoral work at the Universities of Edinburgh and Copenhagen.  He held scholarships at Harvard University and the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Edinburgh for science-philosophy bridgework.  Delafield-Butt trained pre-clinically in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the Scottish Institute for Human Relations.  He is a member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, the International Society for Autism Research, and is an affiliate member of the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Gothenburg. His lab currently develops bespoke wearable and smart device serious games to characterise the motor disruption in autism spectrum disorder, and its social and psychological consequences.

Research Interests

I am interested in the development of children's agency and its origins evident in intentional movements from before birth.  I am interested in how these movements develop and how children engage with feeling and emotion in embodied projects with other persons to co-create and to share meaning.  I am interested fundamentally in the origins of this creative agency in evolution and in biology, and how it can be different in cases of developmental disorders such as autism, or in cases of familial stress.  I am interested in the neurobiological origins of these organismic capacities, and the kinds of whole systems properties required to generate them.  In sum, I am interested in the raw nature of what it means to be alive as a generative, active being, and the importance in human society of our structured and social worlds in shaping that experience.

Research Collaborators:

  • Prof. Phil Rowe (Biomedical Engineering, University of Strathclyde) on Autism Motor Deficits and Motor Intensive Treatment.
  • Prof. Ivan Andonovic & Dr Christos Tachtatzis (Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde) on Wearable and Machine Learning in Early Assesssment of Autism.
  • Prof. Koichi Negayama (Human Sciences, Waseda University, Tokyo) on Cultural Differences in Embodied Mother-Infant Interaction.  Together with Assoc. Prof. Keiko Momose, PhD student Konomi Ishijima, and Dr. Noriko Kawahara.
  • Prof. Ceclia Laschi and Assoc. Prof. Francesca Cecchi (Biomedical Engineering, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa) on Instrumented Toys for Ecological Motor Analysis of Children with Autism.
  • Harimata Sp. z.o.o. (smart device development) on Early Detection of Autism Using Smart Device Sensors.

Research Team:

Harimata H2020 Diagnostic Trial

We are currently engaged in a diagnostic trial of an iPad assessment for children 3-5 years old for prediction of diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The trial is made in collaboration with Prof. Chris Gillberg at the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, University of Gothenburgh together with Prof. Helen Minnis (University of Glasgow), Prof. Phil Wilson (University of Aberdeen), and Dr. Alex McConnachie (University of Glasgow) as well as with Dr. Lucy Thompson (Universities of Glasgow, Aberdeen, Gothenburg).  Here at Strathclyde we are:

Dr. Lindsay Millar.  Trials Manager and Research Associate in Autism.

Dr. Szu-Ching Lu.  Research Associate in Autism.

Elaine Hutton.  Research Assistant in Autism.

Denise Ritchie.  Administrator in Autism.

Erin Lux.  Trials Data Manager.

In addition, we have a number of PhD student positions starting in Autumn 2018 (please contact me if you are interested) on related projects, as well as our current student cohort:

PhD Students

  • Jillian Adie (Student Excellence Award PhD Studentship, University of Strathclyde, 2012-2015) on Companionship and Co-creating Narratives in Nurture Groups.
  • Omar Alawajee (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia PhD Scholarship, 2015-2018).  Learning social skills through games and social media in children with autism, and children deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Maria Ferrara (Research Excellence Award PhD Studentship, University of Strathclyde, 2014-2017) on Autism Motor Deficit and Motor Treatment.
  • Adam Mitchell (Capita PhD Studentship, 2015-2018).  Smart games and wearable devices for ecological autism assessment.
  • Louise McKeever (Speech and Language Therapy, 2016-2019).  Motor deficits common to speech, language, and movement.  2nd supervisor.

EdD Students

  • Gordon Miles (2018-).  On Lego play-based interventions for children with autism in school.

Masters Students

Alumni:

  • Laura Gilbertson (M.Sc., 2016) on relation between quality of nursery care, government provision of care, and duration spent in nursery on child development.
  • Jacqueline Craig (M.Sc., 2016) on best practice in transitions in nursery care.
  • Julie Hall (M.Sc., 2015) on Nurture Group Efficacy and Long-term Outcomes. 
  • Veronica Chiara Zuccalà (Erasmus, M.Eng. University of Pisa, 2014) on Developing Sensorised Toys for Ecological Movement Analysis of Children with Autism.
  • Leigh Scott (M.Phil., 2014) on Representation of Autism in Contemporary Film and Television.

PhD/Postdoc Recruitment:

Please contact me if you would like to pursue a PhD or postdoctoral research in embodiment and intersubjectivity in early development and learning.

In particular, I am building strength in sensori-motor origins and early motor development of autism spectrum disorder, especially using new smart technologies to playfully measure autism.  We are also looking at movement-based treatments and their efficacy.  

Teaching Interests

My teaching covers early psychological development from foetal life through to early childhood, with emphasis on the importance of social and emotional experience for health and learning.  I teach on teh following courses:

Diploma/Masters in Early Years Pedagogy -- The Connected Child (diploma phase module).

Diploma/Masters in Inclusive Education -- Attachment and Nurture (diploma phase module, starting spring 2016).

B.A. Education/Psychology/HaSS -- Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity (second year module, starting spring 2016). 

B.A. Education/Psychology/Hass -- Learners and Learning (second year module).

B.A. Childhood Practice -- Emotional and Social Development (two second year, phase two modules).

 

Academic / Professional qualifications

Pre-clinical Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Scottish Institute for Human Relations (2009)

Ph.D. in Developmental Neurobiology, University of Edinburgh (2003)

M.Sc. in Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh (1998)

B.Sc. (Hons) Medicinal Chemistry, University of Leeds (1996)

Keywords

  • perception and action
  • development
  • affects and emotions
  • intersubjectivity
  • therapy
  • infant mental health
  • Motor control
  • intentionality
  • behaviour
  • neurobiology
  • early years
  • pre-verbal
  • community
  • cooperativity
  • meaning-making
  • autism
  • consciousness
  • embodiment

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Jonathan Delafield-Butt is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 2 Similar Profiles
Autistic Disorder Medicine & Life Sciences
autism Social Sciences
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Mothers Medicine & Life Sciences
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Gestures Medicine & Life Sciences
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2012 2021

Selected Research Output 1996 2019

13 Citations (Scopus)

Feelings as agents of selection: putting Charles Darwin back into (extended neo-) Darwinism

Packard, A. & Delafield-Butt, J., Jun 2014, In : Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 112, 2, p. 332–353 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

File
evolutionary theory
emotions
brain
vertebrate
mammal
18 Citations (Scopus)

Sensorimotor intentionality: the origins of intentionality in prospective agent action

Delafield-Butt, J. & Gangopadhyay, N., 2013, In : Developmental Review. 33, 4, p. 399-425

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
continuity
Parturition
Autistic Disorder
autism
Human Activities
64 Citations (Scopus)

Autism as a developmental disorder in intentional movement and affective engagement

Trevarthen, C. & Delafield-Butt, J., 17 Jul 2013, In : Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. 7, 32 p., 49.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Autistic Disorder
Art Therapy
Language Development
Facial Expression
Aptitude

Biology of Shared Experience and Language Development: Regulations for the Intersubjective Life of Narratives

Trevarthen, C. & Delafield-Butt, J., Feb 2013, The Infant Mind: Origins of the Social Brain. Legerstee, M., Haley, D. W. & Bornstein, M. H. (eds.). New York

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Intersubjective
Language Development

Theories of the development of human communication

Delafield-Butt, J. & Trevarthen, C., Jan 2013, Theories and models of communication. Cobley, P. & Schulz, P. J. (eds.). Berlin, p. 199-222 24 p. (Handbooks of Communication Science).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access
File
Human Communication
Polyrhythmic
Art
Language
Motor Control

Thesis

The representation of autistic spectrum disorder in fictional film and television from 2000 to 2013

Author: Scott, L. E., 1 Oct 2013

Supervisor: Marwick, H. (Supervisor) & Delafield-Butt, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Prizes

Outstanding Reviewer Award

Jonathan Delafield-Butt (Recipient), 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

educational research
education

Strathclyde Team Medal for Innovation in Autism

Jonathan Delafield-Butt (Recipient), Christos Tachtatzis (Recipient), Ivan Andonovic (Recipient) & Philip Rowe (Recipient), 28 Sep 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Selected Activities 2009 2019

World Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health (Event)

Jonathan Delafield-Butt (Member)
20122014

Activity: Membership typesMembership of committee

The Well-Connected Child

Jonathan Delafield-Butt (Speaker)
7 Nov 2012

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk