Tim Smith

Professor of Cognitive Psychology

BSc Admissions Director

Head of the CINELab: https://www.cinelabresearch.com

Contact details

Office: Room 504, Department of Psychological Sciences
tel: +44 (0)20 7631 6359
fax: +44 (0)20 7631 6312
email: tj.smith@bbk.ac.uk
twitter: @timothy_j_smith

Research Interests

I am a cognitive psychologist interested in naturalistic audiovisual (AV) cognition, how we perceive AV media (e.g. TV, cinema, videogames), and how media shapes the developing brain. I use a range of techniques in my research including behavioural experiments, cognitive/computational modelling, signal processing, electrophysiology, questionnaires, qualitative methods, and I am an expert in eye tracking. I have also consulted with media companies (e.g. Dreamworks, AMPAS, BFI) and have assessed and developed scientifically-informed software and interventions for ADHD and ASD.


Portugal, A.M. and Bedford, Rachael and Cheung, Celeste H.M. and Gliga, Teodora and Smith, Tim J. (2020) Saliency-driven visual search performance in toddlers with low– vs high–touch screen use. JAMA Pediatrics , ISSN 2168-6203. (In Press)

Bast, N. and Mason, L. and Freitag, C.M. and Smith, Tim J. and Portugal, A.M. and Poustka, L. and Banaschewski, T. and Johnson, Mark H. (2020) Saccade dysmetria indicates attenuated visual exploration in autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry , ISSN 0021-9630. (In Press)

Haensel, Jennifer and Danvers, Matthew and Ishikawa, M. and Itakura, S. and Tucciarelli, R. and Smith, Tim J. and Senju, Atsushi (2019) Culture modulates face scanning during dyadic social interactions. Scientific Reports , ISSN 2045-2322. (In Press)

Loschky, L.C. and Larson, A.M. and Smith, Tim J. and Magliano, J.P. (2019) The Scene Perception & Event Comprehension Theory (SPECT) applied to visual narratives. Topics in Cognitive Science , ISSN 1756-8757. (In Press)

Hinde, S.J. and Smith, Tim J. and Gilchrist, I.D. (2018) Does narrative drive dynamic attention to a prolonged stimulus? Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 3 (1), p. 45. ISSN 2365-7464.

Batten, Jonathan P. and Smith, Tim J. (2018) Saccades predict and synchronize to visual rhythms irrespective of musical beats. Visual Cognition , ISSN 1464-0716. (In Press)

Porayska-Pomsta, Kaska and Alcorn, A.M. and Avramides, K. and Beale, S. and Bernardini, S. and Foster, M.-E. and Frauenberger, C. and Pain, H. and Good, J. and Guldberg, K. and Kea-Bright, W. and Kossyvaki, L. and Lemon, O. and Mademtzi, M. and Menzies, R. and Rajendran, G. and Waller, A. and Wass, S. and Smith, Tim J. (2018) Blending human and artificial intelligence to support Autistic children’s social communication skills. ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction , ISSN 1073-0516. (In Press)

Ildirar, S. and Levin, D.T. and Schwan, S. and Smith, Tim J. (2017) Audio facilitates the perception of cinematic continuity by first-time viewers. Perception 47 (3), pp. 276-295. ISSN 0301-0066.

Ducrocq, Emmanuel and Wilson, M. and Smith, Tim J. and Derakhshan, Nazanin (2017) Adaptive working memory training reduces the negative impact of anxiety on competitive motor performance. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 39 (6), pp. 412-422. ISSN 1543-2904.

Hutson, J.P. and Smith, Tim J. and Magliano, J.P. and Loschky, L.C. (2017) What is the role of the film viewer? The effects of narrative comprehension and viewing task on gaze control in film. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2 (1), ISSN 2365-7464.

Saez de Urabain, Irati R. and Nuthmann, A. and Johnson, Mark H. and Smith, Tim J. (2017) Disentangling the mechanisms underlying infant fixation durations in scene perception: a computational account. Vision Research 134 , pp. 43-59. ISSN 0042-6989.

Cheung, Celeste and Bedford, R. and Saez De Urabain, Irati R. and Karmiloff-Smith, Annette and Smith, Tim J. (2017) Daily touchscreen use in infants and toddlers is associated with reduced sleep and delayed sleep onset. Scientific Reports 7 , p. 46104. ISSN 2045-2322.

Hinde, S.J. and Smith, Tim J. and Gilchrist, I.D. (2017) In search of oculomotor capture during film viewing: implications for the balance of top-down and bottom-up control in the saccadic system. Vision Research 134 , pp. 7-17. ISSN 0042-6989.

Vernetti, Angelina and Smith, Tim J. and Senju, Atsushi (2017) Gaze-contingent reinforcement learning reveals incentive value of social signals in young children and adults.Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284 (1850), ISSN 0962-8452.

Smith, Tim J. and Martin-Portugues Santacreu, J.Y. (2017) Match-action: the role of motion and audio in creating global change blindness in film. Media Psychology 20 (2), pp. 317-348. ISSN 1521-3269.

Goodwin, A., Salomone, S., Bolton, P., Charman, T., Jones, E. J., Pickles, A., Robinson, E., Smith, T., Sonuga-Barke, E. J., Wass, S. & Johnson, M. H. (in press). Attention training for infants at familial risk of ADHD (INTERSTAARS): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 17(1), 608. (open access)

de Urabain, I. R. S., Nuthmann, A., Johnson, M. H., & Smith, T. J. (in press) Disentangling the mechanisms underlying infant fixation durations in scene perception: A computational account, Vision Research

Bedford, R., de Urabain, I. R. S., Cheung, C. H., Karmiloff-Smith, A., & Smith, T. J. (2016). Toddlers’ fine motor milestone achievement is associated with early touchscreen scrolling. Frontiers in Psychology, 7.

Media: Scientific American, LSE Digital Futures, Frontiers blog, NetFamilyNews.org, (Altmetric top 5% score)

Smith, T. J. & Martin-Portugues Santacreu, J. Y. (2016) Match-Action: The role of motion and audio in creating global change blindness in film. Media Psychology, 1-32.

Loschky, L. C., Larson, A. M., Magliano, J. P., & Smith, T. J. (2015 ) What would Jaws do? The tyranny of film and the relationship between gaze and higher-level narrative film comprehension, PLOS One 10(11): e0142474. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0142474

Gliga, T., Smith, T. J., Gilhooly, N., Charman, T., Johnson, M. H., and BASIS team (2015) Early visual foraging in relationship to familial risk for autism and hyperactivity/inattention, Journal of Attention Disorders, online first; doi:10.1177/1087054715616490

Van Herwegen, J., Smith, T. J., & Dimitrious, D. (2015) Exploring different explanations for performance on a theory of mind task in Williams syndrome and Autism using eye movements, Research in Developmental Disabilities, 45-46:202- 209. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2015.07.024

Wass, S. V., Jones, E. J. H., Gliga, T., Smith, T. J., Charman, T., Johnson, M. H., and BASIS team, (2015) Shorter spontaneous fixation durations in infants with later emerging autism. Nature Scientific Reports, 5:8284, DOI: 10.1038/srep08284

Papageorgiou, K.A., Farroni, T., Smith, T.J. and Ronald, A. (2015). Individual Differences in Newborns’ Visual Attention Associate with Temperament and Behavioral Difficulties in Later Childhood. Nature Scientific Reports, 5

Smith, T. J. (2015) Read, Watch, Listen: A Commentary on Eye Tracking and Moving Images. Refractory, 25(9) (open access) Video 1; Video 2; Video 3.

Smith, T. J. (2015) The role of audience participation and task relevance on change detection during a card trick. Frontiers in Psychology, 6:13. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00013. (open access pdf)

Wass, S. V. & Smith, T. J. (2015) Visual motherese? Signal-to-noise ratios in toddler-directed television, Developmental Science, 18(1), 24-37 [Open Access]

Nako, R., Smith, T. J. and Eimer, Martin (2015) Activation of new attentional templates for real-world objects in visual search. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 27 (5), pp. 902-912. ISSN 0898-929X.

Nako, R. and Wu, R., Smith, T. J. and Eimer, Martin (2014) Item and category-based attentional control during searchm for real-world objects: can you find the pants among the pans? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception mand Performance 40 (4), pp. 1283-1288. ISSN 0096-1523.

Luke, S., Smith, T. J., Schmidt, J., & Henderson, J. M. (2014) Dissociating Temporal Inhibition of Return and Saccadic Momentum across Multiple Eye-Movement Tasks. Journal of Vision, 14(9) (open access) 10.1167/14.14.9

Papageorgiou,K.A.,Smith,T.J.,Wu,R.,Johnson,M.H.,Kirkham,N.Z.&Ronald,A.(2014)IndividualDifferencesin Infant Fixation Duration relate to Attention and Behavioral Control in Childhood. Psychological Science, 25(7), 1371-1379

Wass, S.V & Smith, T. J. (2014) Individual Differences in Infant Oculomotor Behavior During the Viewing of Complex Naturalistic Scenes, Infancy (link)

Saez de Urabain, I.R., Johnson, M.H., Smith, T.J., (2014) GraFIX: A semi-automatic approach for parsing low and high quality eye-tracking data. Behaviour Research Methods, March 2014 (link)

Wu,R.,Scerif,G.,Aslin,R.N.,Smith,T.J.,Nako,R.andEimer,Martin(2013)Searchingforsomethingfamiliarornovel: top–down attentional selection of specific items or object categories. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 25 (5), pp. 719-729. ISSN 0898-929X.

Smith, T. J., Lamont, P. & Henderson, J. M. (2013) Change blindness in a dynamic scene due to endogenous override of exogenous attentional cues. Perception, 42, 884-886.

Smith, T. J., & Mital, P. K. (2013) Attentional synchrony and the influence of viewing task on gaze behaviour in static and dynamic scenes. Journal of Vision 13(8): 16. (link)

Wu, Scerif, Aslin, Smith, Nako, & Eimer (2013) Searching for something familiar or novel: Top-down attentional selection of specific items or object categories. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25(5), 719-25

Võ, M. L, Smith, T. J., Mital, P. K., & Henderson, J. M. (2012) Do the Eyes Really Have it? Dynamic Allocation of Attention when Viewing Moving Faces, Journal of Vision. 12 (13) (link)

Wass, S., Smith, T. J., Johnson, M. (2012) Parsing eye-tracking data of variable quality to provide accurate fixation duration estimates in infants and adults. Behavioural Research Methods,

Smith, T. J., Levin, D. T. & Cutting, J. (2012) A Window on Reality: Perceiving Edited Moving Images. Current Directions in Psychological Science.21: 101-106 doi:10.1177/0963721412436809

Porayska-Pomsta, K., Frauenberger, C., Pain, H., Rajendran, G., Smith, T., Menzies, R., et al. (2012). Developing Technology for Autism needs an interdisciplinary approach. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing. Theme Issue on Technologies for Autism. 16(2), 117-127.

Smith, T. J. & Henderson, J. M. (2011) Does Oculomotor Inhibition of Return influence fixation probability during scene search?, Attention, Perception & Psychophysics 73(8):2384-98

Smith, T. J. and Henderson, J. M. (2011) Looking back at Waldo: oculomotor inhibition of return foes not prevent return fixations. Journal of Vision, 11(1)

Mital, P.K., Smith, T. J., Hill, R. and Henderson, J. M. (2011) Clustering of gaze during dynamic scene viewing is predicted by motion. Cognitive Computation, 3(1), 5-24

Nuthmann, A., Smith, T. J., Engbert, R., & Henderson, J. M. (2010). CRISP: A computational model of fixation durations in scene viewing. Psychological Review, 117(2), 382-405. page4image17368(30% contribution; designing, running, analyzing expts; writing, conceptual dev)

Lamont, P., Smith, T. J., & Henderson, J. M. (2010) Where science and magic meet: the illusion of a 'science of magic'. Review of General Psychology, 14, 16-21.

Rayner, K., Smith, T. J., Malcolm, G. L., & Henderson, J. M. (2009). Eye movements and visual encoding during scene perception. Psychological Science, 20, 6-10.

Smith, T. J. & Henderson J. M. (2009) Facilitation of Return during Scene Viewing. Visual Cognition, 17(6), 1083-1108.

Henderson, J. M. & Smith, T. J. (2009) How Are Eye Fixation Durations Controlled During Scene Viewing? Further Evidence from a Scene Onset Delay Paradigm. Visual Cognition, 17 (6), 1055-1082.

Henderson, J. M., Chanceaux, M., & Smith, T. J. (2009) The Influence of Clutter on Real-World Scene Search: Evidence from Search Efficiency and Eye Movements. Journal of Vision, 9 (1):32, 1-8.

Smith, T.J. & Henderson, J.M. (2008). Edit Blindness: The relationship between attention and global change blindness in dynamic scenes. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 2(2):6, 1-17.

Chapters in books

Smith, T. J. & Saez de Urabain, I.R. (in press) Eye-Tracking, Cambridge Encyclopedia of Child Development.

Smith, T. J. (2014) Audiovisual correspondences in Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky: a case study in viewer

attention. Cognitive Media Theory (AFI Film Reader), Eds. P. Taberham & T. Nannicelli. (pdf)

Smith, T. J. (2013) Watching you watch movies: Using eye tracking to inform cognitive film theory. In A. P. Shimamura

(Ed.), Psychocinematics: Exploring Cognition at the Movies. New York: Oxford University Press.

Smith, T. J. (2012) Exploring Inner Worlds: where cognitive psychology may take us. In I. Christie (Ed.) Audiences;

Amsterdam University Press.

Smith, T. J. (2010) Film (Cinema) Perception. In E. B. Goldstein (Ed.). The Sage Encyclopedia of Perception.

Published Conference Proceedings

Vilaro, A. & Smith, T.J. (2013). Stereoscopic 3D film perception: More active vision but same recalled information. In K. Holmqvist, F. Mulvey & R. Johansson (Eds.), Book of Abstracts of the 17th European Conference on Eye Movements, 11-16 August 2013, in Lund, Sweden. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 6(3), 456. ISSN 1995-8692

Vilaro, A., Orero, P., Smith, T. J. (2013). Time to read, time to watch: Eye movements and information processing in subtitled films. In K. Holmqvist, F. Mulvey & R. Johansson (Eds.), Book of Abstracts of the 17th European Conference on Eye Movements, 11-16 August 2013, in Lund, Sweden. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 6(3), 26. ISSN 1995-8692 ECEM 2013. Lund, Sweden (link)

Smith T. J., Lamont, P., & Henderson, J. M (2012). The penny drops: Change blindness at fixation. Perception 41(4) 489 – 492

Smith, T. J. (2012) Extending AToCC: a reply, Projections: The Journal for Movies and the Mind. 6(1), 71-78.

(*) Smith, T. J. (2012) The Attentional Theory of Cinematic Continuity, Projections: The Journal for Movies and the

Mind. 6(1), 1-27. (100% contribution)

Porayska-Pomsta, K. Anderson, K.; Bernardini, S.; Guldberg, K.; Smith, T.; Kossivaki, L.; Hodgings, S.; and Lowe, I. (2013). Building intelligent authorable serious game for autistic children and their carers. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment (ACE 2013), Twente, Netherlands.

Mital, P. K., Grierson, M., & Smith, T. J. (2013) Corpus-based visual synthesis: an approach for artistic stylization. In Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Applied Perception (SAP '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 51-58. DOI=10.1145/2492494.2492505 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2492494.2492505

Bernardini, S., Porayska-Pomsta, K., Smith, T. J. & Avramides, K. (2012) Building Autonomous Social Partners for Autistic Children. Paper presented at Intelligent Virtual Agents conference, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 7502, pp. 46-52

Porayska-Pomsta, K., Frauenberger, C., Pain, H., Rajendran, G., Smith, T., Menzies, R., et al. (2012). Developing Technology for Autism needs an interdisciplinary approach. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing. Theme Issue on Technologies for Autism. 16(2), 117-127. DOI 10.1007/s00779-011-0384-2

Vilaró A, & Smith T J, (2011) Subtitle reading effects on visual and verbal information processing in films" Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 153 (link)

Maisey, S., Smithen, P., Vilaro-Soler, A., & Smith, T. J. (2011) Recovering from destruction: the conservation, reintegration and perceptual analysis of a flood-damaged painting by John Martin. International Council of Museums: Committee for Conservation. Published Proceedings. Lisbon, Portugal, September 19-23, 2011.

Dalzel-Job, S., Oberlander, J. & Smith, T. J. (2011) Contested Staring: Issues and the use of mutual gaze as an on-line measure of social presence. International Society for Presence Research published proceedings. Edinburgh, Scotland. October 26-18th, 2011

Alcorn,A.,Pain,H.,Rajendran,G.,Smith,T.,Lemon,O.,Poraysak-Pomsta,K.,etal.(2011).SocialCommunication between Virtual Characters and Children with Autism. Christchurch, New Zealand. AIED 2011, LNAI 6738, pp. 7–14, 2011.

Libbrecht, P. and Smith, T.J. (2007) Integrated Semantic Math I/O in ActiveMath: an Evaluation. Proceedings of the Sixth Mathematical Knowledge Management Conference. Schloss Hagenberg, Linz, Austria, 27th June, 2007.

Hammond, S., Pain, H. and Smith T.J. (2007) Player Agency in Interactive Narrative: Audience, Actor and Author. In

Artificial and Ambient Intelligence: Proceedings of the AISB Annual Convention, Newcastle, UK. April 2007

Melis, E., Haywood, J. and Smith, T.J. (2006) The Le Active Math Project. Proceedings of the European Conference on

Technology Enhanced Learning. Crete, Greece. October 1-4th, 2006.

Marquès, D., Eixarch, R., Casanellas, G., Martínez, B. and Smith, T.J. (2006) WIRIS OM Tools: a Semantic Formula

Editor. Mathematical User Interfaces workshop, Oxford, UK, August 10th, 2006.

Smith, T.J., Whitwell, M., & Lee., L. (2006) Eye Movements and Pupil Dilation During Event Perception. In Proceedings

of the 2006 symposium on Eye tracking research & applications (ETRA '06). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 48-48.

DOI=10.1145/1117309.1117333 (link)

Smith, T.J. (2004) Perception of temporal continuity in discontinuous moving images, Proceedings of 26th Annual

Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, August 5-7th, 2004; Chicago, USA (link)

Published Reviews

Smith, T. J (2010) Moving Viewers: American film and the spectator’s experience (Review). Screen, 51(4), 433-437

Smith, T. J. (2010) Embodied Visions: Evolution, Emotion, Culture, and Film (Review). Screen, 51(4), 433-437

Newspaper/on-line articles

Smith, T. J. (2011) The Science of Horror Film. BBC Focus Magazine, October, 2011.

Smith, T. J. (2011) Vision scientist helps to rescue John Martin's vision of destruction. Guardian on-line, 03/10/11


Smith, T. J. (2011) Watching you watch There Will Be Blood. davidbordwell.net (14/02/11) http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2011/02/14/watching-you-watch-there-w…

Continuity Boy Science Blog (2005-present) http://continuityboy.blogspot.co.uk/