Jumana Ahmad PhD, MSc, BSc

Lecturer in Psychology

Jumana started at Greenwich in May 2019 as a Lecturer in Psychology. Before this, she worked as a postdoctoral research at the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, King's College London, in the Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences. Prior to this, she was a research associate at the University of Birmingham in the School of Psychology. Jumana teaches across a range of topics in Cognition, Psychological methods and statistics. She has a background in data analysis, statistical methods, computer programming, working memory, neurodevelopmental conditions and EEG signal decomposition – she would be very happy to form collaborations with other academics looking to work in these areas.

Posts held previously:

  • 2016 - 2019, Postdoctoral researcher in Cognitive Neuroscience and scientific co-ordinator of AIMS-2 trials. Kings College London.
    This is a Multicentre Study for Developing New Treatments for autism – it is the largest single grant for autism in the world, and the largest for the study of any mental health disorder in Europe. Jumana took a leading role in the co-ordination and design of experiments across 7 European sites.
  • 2013 - 2015, Research Associate in Psychology. The University of Birmingham. The Visual Experience Lab.
    Primary project: Competitive interactions and WM processing. This project involves psycho-physics experiments of target-target and target-distractor competitive interactions and WM precision.
    Second project: Wellcome Trust funded project 'Working memory and attention in the young-adult and ageing human brain: distractor suppression and cortical-striatal loops'. 
  • 2010- 2014, Associate Lecturer in Psychology and Computer Science. The University of Kent, Canterbury.
    Undergraduate: Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Psychology statistics and practical, Final year project Surgeries, Research Experience Scheme supervisor.
    Postgraduate: Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience, Computational Cognitive Neural Networks.

Recognition

Jumana reviews articles for a number of journals including but not limited to Mollecular Autism, Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and Scientific Reports.

Research / Scholarly interests

Jumana has a background in both Cognitive Psychology/Neuroscience and Computer science. Her primary research interest lies within the area of neurodevelopment and autism where she focuses on research questions that autistic people have identified as a priority (such as sensory processing). The focus of Jumana's research are the identification of EEG based outcome measures, stratification biomarker detection, and proxy EEG markers of excitatory and inhibitory brain processes. Jumana uses computational and machine learning approaches to capture the clinical and etiological diversity among individuals. In doing so, Jumana has become specifically interested in novel ways of decomposing or analysing the EEG signal. Jumana has previously designed EEG protocols for various cohort studies. Jumana also has an interest in developmental dyslexia - her PhD, involved 8 large scale (EEG and eye-tracking) experiments of memory processing in dyslexia. Jumana also has a wider interest in cognition during typical development and transdiagnostically (cutting across a range of diagnostic boundaries, including autism, downs syndrome, dyslexia, dyscalculia, and ADHD)– specifically, in the mechanisms for individual differences in executive dysfunctions and working memory.

Key funded projects

2016, Arts in Health and Wellbeing grant scheme. The MRI space shuttle project: transforming a scary brain scan into an enjoyable adventure for young children, children with autism and special needs (co-applicant). (£8,000).

2015, The University of Birmingham. The Memory and Learning research theme (co-applicant). Funding award for an EEG experiment examining the role of oscillations in distractor filtering and working memory (£2,184).

2015, Guarantors of Brain Conference Grant (£700).

2014, University of Birmingham. Research Funding scheme: Lifespan Cognition. Funding for fMRI participant payment (£450).

2014, University of Birmingham: Equipment bid (£545) for an fMRI experiment.

2010- 2013, PhD Funding (£55,570). The University of Kent, Canterbury.
Studentship awarded from the School of Psychology, University of Kent (£27,735). Studentship awarded from the School of Computer science, University of Kent (£27,735).

2011, Grant for conference attendance: Experimental Psychology Society Grindley (£500).

Recent publications

Article

Huang, Qiyun , Pereira, Andreia C., Esme Velthuis, Hester, Wong, Nichol M. L. , Louise Ellis, Claire , Ponteduro, Francesca M. , Dimitrov, Mihail , Kowaleski, Lukasz , John Lythgoe, David , Rotaru, Diana (2022), GABAB receptor modulation of visual sensory processing in adults with and without autism spectrum disorder. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAS). In: , , , . American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAS), Science Translational Medicine, 14: eabg7859 (626) . pp. 1-12 ISSN: 1946-6234 (Print), 1946-6242 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abg7859).

Loth, Eva , Ahmad, Jumana, Chatham, Chris, López, Beatriz , Carter, Ben , Crawley, Daisy , Oakley, Bethany , Hayward, Hannah , Cooke, Jennifer , San José Cáceres, Antonia (2021), The meaning of significant mean group differences for biomarker discovery. Public Library of Science (PLoS). In: , , , . Public Library of Science (PLoS), PLoS Computational Biology, 17: e1009477 (11) . pp. 1-16 ISSN: 1553-734X (Print), 1553-7358 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1009477).

Crawley, Daisy , Zhang, Lei, Jones, Emily, Ahmad, Jumana , Oakley, Beth , San José Cáceres, Antonia , Charman, Tony , Buitelaar, Jan , Murphy, Declan , Chatham, Christopher (2020), Modeling flexible behavior in childhood to adulthood shows age-dependent learning mechanisms and less optimal learning in autism in each age group. Public Library of Science (PLoS). In: , , , . Public Library of Science (PLoS), PLoS Biology, 18: e3000908 (10) . pp. 1-25 ISSN: 1544-9173 (Print), 1545-7885 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000908).

Oakley, Bethany , Tillmann, Julian, Ahmad, Jumana, Crawley, Daisy , San Jose Cáceres, Antonia , Holt, Rosemary , Charman, Tony , Banaschewski, Tobias , Buitelaar, Jan , Simonoff, Emily (2020), How do core autism traits and associated symptoms relate to quality of life? Findings from the longitudinal European Autism Project. SAGE. In: , , , . SAGE, Autism, 25 (2) . pp. 389-404 ISSN: 1362-3613 (Print), 1461-7005 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361320959959).

Kerr-Gaffney, Jessica , Mason, Luke, Jones, Emily, Hayward, Hannah , Ahmad, Jumana , Harrison, Amy , Loth, Eva , Murphy, Declan , Tchanturia, Kate (2020), Emotion recognition abilities in adults with Anorexia Nervosa are associated with autistic traits. MDPI. In: , , , . MDPI, Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9: 1057 (4) 2077-0383 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9041057).

Isaksson, Johan , Tammimies, Kristiina, Neufeld, Janina, Cauvet, Elodie , Lundin, Karl , Buitelaar, Jan K. , Loth, Eva , Murphy, Declan G. M. , Spooren, Will , Bolte, Sven (2018), EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project (LEAP) the autism twin cohort. BMC. In: , , , . BMC, Molecular Autism, 9: 26 2040-2392 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13229-018-0212-x).

Loth, E. , Garrrido, L., Ahmad, J., Watson, E. , Duff, A. , Duchaine, B. (2018), Facial expression recognition as a candidate marker for autism spectrum disorder: how frequent and severe are deficits?. BMC. In: , , , . BMC, Molecular Autism, 9: 7 ISSN: 2040-2392 (Print), 2040-2392 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13229-018-0187-7).

Ahmad, Jumana , Swan, Garrett, Bowman, Howard, Wyble, Brad , Nobre, Anna C. , Shapiro, Kimron L. , McNab, Fiona (2017), Competitive interactions affect working memory performance for both simultaneous and sequential stimulus presentation. Nature. In: , , , . Nature, Scientific Reports, 7: 4785 2045-2322 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-05011-x).

Charman, Tony , Loth, Eva, Tillman, Julian, Crawley, Daisy , Wooldwich, Caroline , Goyard, David , Ahmad, Jumana , Auyeung, Bonnie , Ambrosino, Sara , Banaschewski, Tobias (2017), The EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project (LEAP): clinical characterisation. BMC. In: , , , . BMC, Molecular Autism, 8: 27 ISSN: 2040-2392 (Print), 2040-2392 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13229-017-0145-9).

Loth, Eva , Charman, Tony, Mason, Luke, Tillmann, Julian , Jones, Emily J. H. , Wooldridge, Caroline , Ahmad, Jumana , Auyeung, Bonnie , Brogna, Claudia , Ambrosino, Sara (2017), The EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project (LEAP): design and methodologies to identify and validate stratification biomarkers for autism spectrum disorders. BMC. In: , , , . BMC, Molecular Autism, 8: 24 2040-2392 (Online) (doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13229-017-0146-8).

Ferguson, Heather J. , Apperly, Ian, Ahmad, Jumana, Binderman, Markus , Cane, James (2015), Task constraints distinguish perspective inferences from perspective use during discourse interpretation in a false belief task. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Cognition, 139 . pp. 50-70 ISSN: 0010-0277 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2015.02.010).