Dr Rebecca Chamberlain

Staff details

PositionLecturer in Psychology
Department Psychology
Email r.chamberlain (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 7919 7873
Dr Rebecca Chamberlain

Summary

Among the many skills that humans evolved to design their environments, art-making is among the oldest, far predating evidence of written communication. Rebecca’s research sets out to understand how and why individuals create and respond so powerfully to works of art. Rebecca studied for a foundation degree in Art and Design at the University of the Arts, London before moving into cognitive science. She completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Experimental Psychology at University College London researching the psychology and neuroscience of representational drawing ability, before joining Professor Johan Wagemans’ lab at KU Leuven in Belgium as a postdoctoral researcher in 2013. Rebecca joined Goldsmiths as a lecturer in 2017.

Grants and Awards

Rebecca has received external grant funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Research Foundation of Flanders (FWO) and the British Academy/Leverhulme.


Public Engagement and Knowledge Exchange

Rebecca has been involved with a number of public engagement activities including:

• Radio appearances for BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service
• A public workshop, SuperLAB, on the relationship between science and the visual arts
• Debunking brain myths as part of Brain Awareness Week

Research Interests

Rebecca’s research focuses on the psychology and neuroscience of the production and perception of visual art. I am particularly interested in the mechanisms by which artists acquire their expertise, and the impact of engagement with the visual arts can have on education and mental health. I am also interested in how individual differences in perception interact with learning and cognition.


• Aesthetics of visual art
• Artistic expertise
• Creativity
• The role of art-making in education and mental health
• Individual differences in attention and perception
• Perception in neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. dyslexia and autism spectrum disorder)

Publications

Book Section

The development of expertise in the visual arts
Chamberlain, Rebecca. 2017. The development of expertise in the visual arts. In: D. Z Hambrick; G Campitelli and B. N Macnamara, eds. The Science of Expertise: Behavioral, Neural, and Genetic Approaches to Complex Cognition. London; New York: Routledge, pp. 129-150. ISBN 9781138204386

Article

Drawing as a Window onto Expertise
Chamberlain, Rebecca. 2018. Drawing as a Window onto Expertise. Current Directions in Psychological Science, ISSN 0963-7214

The Leuven Embedded Figures Test (L-EFT): measuring perception, intelligence or executive function?
Huygelier, Hanne; van der Hallen, Ruth; Wagemans, Johan; De-Wit, Lee and Chamberlain, Rebecca. 2018. The Leuven Embedded Figures Test (L-EFT): measuring perception, intelligence or executive function? PeerJ,

Superior disembedding in children with ASD: New tests using abstract, meaningful, and 3D contexts
van der Hallen, Ruth; Chamberlain, Rebecca; De-Wit, Lee and Wagemans, Johan. 2018. Superior disembedding in children with ASD: New tests using abstract, meaningful, and 3D contexts. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, ISSN 0162-3257

Meta-analytic findings reveal lower means but higher variances in visuo-spatial ability in dyslexia
Chamberlain, Rebecca; Brunswick, Nicola; Siev, Joseph and McManus, I. C.. 2018. Meta-analytic findings reveal lower means but higher variances in visuo-spatial ability in dyslexia. British Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0007-1269

Local-global processing bias is not a unitary individual difference in visual processing
Chamberlain, Rebecca; van der Hallen, Ruth; Huygelier, Hanne; Van de Cruys, Sander and Wagemans, Johan. 2017. Local-global processing bias is not a unitary individual difference in visual processing. Vision Research, 141, pp. 247-257. ISSN 0042-6989

Tuning in to art: A predictive processing account of negative emotion in art (commentary)
Van de Cruys, Sander; Chamberlain, Rebecca and Wagemans, Johan. 2017. Tuning in to art: A predictive processing account of negative emotion in art (commentary). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40, e377. ISSN 0140-525X

Artists as experts in visual cognition: An update
Chamberlain, Rebecca; Drake, Jennifer; Kozbelt, Aaron; Hickman, Rachel; Siev, Joseph and Wagemans, Johan. 2017. Artists as experts in visual cognition: An update. Psychology of Aesthetics Creativity and the Arts, ISSN 1931-3896

Putting the Art in Artificial: Aesthetic Responses to Computer-generated Art
Chamberlain, Rebecca; Mullin, Caitlin; Scheerlinck, Bram and Wagemans, Johan. 2017. Putting the Art in Artificial: Aesthetic Responses to Computer-generated Art. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, ISSN 1931-3896

Perceptual flexibility is coupled with reduced executive inhibition in students of the visual arts
Chamberlain, Rebecca; Swinnen, Lena; Heeren, Sarah and Wagemans, Johan. 2017. Perceptual flexibility is coupled with reduced executive inhibition in students of the visual arts. British Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0007-1269

Developing The Leuven Embedded Figures Test (L-EFT): Testing the stimulus features that influence embedding
De-Wit, Lee; Huygelier, Hanne; van der Hallen, Ruth; Chamberlain, Rebecca and Wagemans, Johan. 2017. Developing The Leuven Embedded Figures Test (L-EFT): Testing the stimulus features that influence embedding. PeerJ, 5, e2862.

The genesis of errors in drawing
Chamberlain, Rebecca and Wagemans, Johan. 2016. The genesis of errors in drawing. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 65, pp. 195-207. ISSN 0149-7634

Visual arts training is linked to flexible attention to local and global levels of visual stimuli
Chamberlain, Rebecca and Wagemans, Johan. 2015. Visual arts training is linked to flexible attention to local and global levels of visual stimuli. Acta Psychologica, 161, pp. 185-197. ISSN 0001-6918

Scratching the surface: Practice, personality, approaches to learning and the acquisition of high level representational drawing skill
Chamberlain, Rebecca; McManus, I. C.; Brunswick, Nicola; Rankin, Qona and Riley, Howard. 2015. Scratching the surface: Practice, personality, approaches to learning and the acquisition of high level representational drawing skill. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 9(4), pp. 451-462. ISSN 1931-3896

Commonalities for Numerical and Continuous Quantity Skills at Temporo-parietal Junction.
Cappelletti, Marinella; Chamberlain, Rebecca; Freemana, Elliot D.; Kanai, Ryota; Butterworth, Brian; Price, Cathy J. and Rees, Geraint. 2014. Commonalities for Numerical and Continuous Quantity Skills at Temporo-parietal Junction. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26(5), pp. 986-999. ISSN 0898-929X

Drawing on the right side of the brain: a voxel-based morphometry analysis of observational drawing
Chamberlain, Rebecca; McManus, I. C.; Brunswick, Nicola; Rankin, Qona; Riley, Howard and Kanai, Ryota. 2014. Drawing on the right side of the brain: a voxel-based morphometry analysis of observational drawing. NeuroImage, 96(1), pp. 167-173. ISSN 1053-8119

Cain’s House Revisited and Revived: Extending Theory and Methodology for Quantifying Drawing Accuracy
Chamberlain, Rebecca; McManus, I. C.; Riley, Howard; Rankin, Qona and Brunswick, Nicola. 2014. Cain’s House Revisited and Revived: Extending Theory and Methodology for Quantifying Drawing Accuracy. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, 8(2), pp. 152-167. ISSN 1931-3896

Local processing enhancements in superior observational drawing are due to enhanced perceptual functioning, not weak central coherence
Chamberlain, Rebecca; McManus, I. C.; Riley, Howard; Rankin, Qona and Brunswick, Nicola. 2013. Local processing enhancements in superior observational drawing are due to enhanced perceptual functioning, not weak central coherence. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66(7), pp. 1448-1466. ISSN 1747-0218

Does shape constancy relate to drawing accuracy? Two failures to replicate
McManus, I. C.; Loo, Phik-Wern; Chamberlain, Rebecca; Riley, Howard and Brunswick, Nicola. 2011. Does shape constancy relate to drawing accuracy? Two failures to replicate. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 29(2), pp. 191-208. ISSN 0276-2374

Art students who cannot draw: Exploring the relations between drawing ability, visual memory, accuracy of copying and dyslexia
McManus, I. C.; Chamberlain, Rebecca; Loo, Phik-Wern; Rankin, Qona; Riley, Howard and Brunswick, Nicola. 2010. Art students who cannot draw: Exploring the relations between drawing ability, visual memory, accuracy of copying and dyslexia. Psychology of Aesthetics Creativity and the Arts, 4(1), pp. 18-30. ISSN 1931-3896