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Natalie Butcher

01642 342385
Job title:
Acting Principal Lecturer in Psychology
School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law
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Social Sciences, Humanities & Law research

About Natalie Butcher

Natalie Butcher

Natalie Butcher
Acting Principal Lecturer in Psychology, School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law
T: 01642 342385
Research: Social Sciences, Humanities & Law research

Dr Natalie Butcher is a Lecturer in Psychology in the School of Social Sciences, Business and Law. She studied her first degree in Psychology at the University of Manchester where she stayed on to complete an EPSRC funded PhD within the Cognitive and Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group. Her PhD, completed in 2009, investigated the effect of facial motion information on the recognition of same and other race faces.

Prior to commencing her current post in 2014, Natalie worked as a post-doctoral research associate here at Teesside University funded by the ESRC and then as a Lecturer in Psychology at York St John University. Natalie has experience in teaching a variety of modules at undergraduate level and has experience of PhD supervision. Currently she is module leader for 'Critical Thinking about Psychology' and 'Current Issues in Neurodevelopmental Disorders' whilst also teaching on 'Cognitive Psychology' and 'Psychological Research Design and Analysis' modules. Finally, she is regularly involved in outreach activity at local schools and colleges and is the psychology representative on the Undergraduate Marketing and Recruitment Committee.

Natalie is also an elected committee member of the Cognitive Psychology Section of the British Psychology Society. She is currently the section's Honorary Treasurer, Social Media Officer and Assistant Editor of the section's annual publication; The Cognitive Psychology Bulletin.

Research interests

Natalie is a researcher within the Social Futures Institute at Teesside University and a member of the Cognitive Section of the British Psychological Society.

Natalie's research interests focus on understanding the various factors that impact on our ability to recognise a face. Her research has a strong focus on the importance of dynamic (motion) information and race in the recognition of familiar and unfamiliar faces. Her research investigates the effect of these factors in both typical and developmental prosopagnosia (faceblind) populations, often using eye-tracking methods.
Natalie is currently working on several research projects. The first is a project looking at eye-movement differences when processing static and moving faces. This is in collaboration with Dr Karen Lander from the University of Manchester and Dr Rachel Bennetts from Queen Mary University of London. A second project in collaboration with PhD Student, Laura Sexton, is looking at individual differences when processing static and moving faces. This project involves setting up a North East Prosopagnosia Screening Centre to identify people who have this rare developmental disorder.

Natalie has been invited to deliver talks on her research at several public engagement events; Pint of Science at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (May, 2016), In Your Face at the National Media Museum (September, 2016) Spoonful of Knowledge (February, 2017) as well as a TEDx Talk at Oldham Library which can be viewed online: 'What's in a Face?' (February, 2016).


(1) Butcher, N., Lander, K., & Jagger, R. (2017). A search advantage for dynamic same-race and other-ace faces. Visual Cognition.

(2) Butcher, N., & Lander, K. (2017). Exploring the motion advantage: evaluating the contribution of familiarity and differences in facial motion. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70, 919-929.

(3) Marmolejo-Ramos, F., Correa, J.C., Sakarkar, G., Ngo, G., Ruiz-Fernandez, S., Butcher, N., Yamada, Y. (2016). Placing joy, surprise and sadness in space. A cross-linguistic study. Psychological Research.

(4) Bennetts, R., Butcher, N., Lander, K., Udale, R., & Bate, S. (2015). Movement cues aid face recognition in developmental prosopagnosia. Neuropsychology, 29(6), 855-860.

(5) Lander, K., & Butcher, N. (2015). Independence of face identity and expression processing: exploring the role of motion. Frontiers in Psychology, 6:255.

(6) Wan, X., Woods, A. T., Seoul, K., Butcher, N., & Spence, C. (2015). When the shape of the glass influences the flavour associated with a coloured beverage: Evidence from consumers in three countries. Food Quality and Preference, 39, 109-116.

(7) Woods, A. T., Spence, C., Butcher, N., & Deroy, O. (2013). Testing the semantic hypothesis of crossmodal correspondences using an internet-based testing methodology. i-Perception, 4(6), 365-379.

(8) Nakabayashi, K., Lloyd-Jones, T., Butcher, N., Chang, L. (2012). Independent influences of verbalization and race on the configural and featural processing of faces: A behavioral and eye movement study. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38(1), 61-77.

(9) Butcher, N., Lander, K., Fang, H., & Costen, N. (2011). The effect of motion at encoding and retrieval for same and other race face recognition. British Journal of Psychology102(4), 931-942.

Book Chapters

(1) Lander, K., & Butcher,N. (2012). Recognising and learning faces in motion. In Wilkinson(Ed.). ‘Craniofacial Identification’. Cambridge University Press.

(2) Fang, H., Costen, N., Butcher,N., & Lander, K. (2012).  Modeling the effect of motion at encodingand retrieval for same and other race face recognition. In A, Esposito., A.Esposito E., A. Vinciarelli., R. Hoffman., & V. C. Muller(Eds.). Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Cognitive Behavioural Systems volume, Springer.

(3) Butcher, N., & Lander,K. (2010). Investigating the dynamic characteristics important for facerecognition. In Giese, Curio & Bülthoff (Eds.). ‘Dynamic Faces: Insights from Experiments and Computation’. The MITPress.

View Natalie Butcher's Publications on TeesRep

In the news

  • Face blindness realisation changed Heather's life
    BBC Look North (North East & Cumbria), 18:42, 03/05/2018
    Jonathan Swingler talks to Heather Carabine about her face blindness realisation and discusses research into the condition with Dr Natalie Butcher and Laura Sexton.

  • Face blindness realisation changed Heather's life
    North East Chamber of Commerce, online, 03/05/2018
    A former student at Teesside University says her life has been completely transformed after realising she has a rare developmental disorder which is characterised by an inability to recognise faces.

  • How Heather spent decades ignoring those she knew
    Evening Gazette, p10, 28/04/2018, Gazette, online, 27/04/2018
    Teesside University graduate Heather Carabine went from ignoring those she knew to becoming more confident and sociable after realising she had face blindness.

  • New study to shine a light on face blindness
    Public (Web) 21/03/2017
    Researchers Dr Natalie Butcher and Laura Sexton from Teesside University are hoping to raise awareness about a rare developmental disorder and the psychological impact on people's lives.

  • New screening centre for 'face blindness' (Web), Unattributed, 20/03/2017; News (web), 20/03/2017; North East Connected, 20/03/2017; The Hippocratic Post, 20/03/2017; The Paper for today, 25/3/17
    New screening centre for 'face blindness' Researchers at Teesside University are hoping to raise awareness about a rare developmental disorder. and the psychological impact it has on peoples lives

  • Top Speakers as three world unite
    Oldham Evening Chronicle, 15/02/2016; Oldham Evening Chronicle online, 15/02/2016; Saddleworth Independant, 16/02/2016
    Dr Natalie Butcher, senior lecturer in psychology will be one of the speakers at TEDxOldham Conference.