• 55 Citations
  • 4 h-Index
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Personal profile


I completed my Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) in 2011 at Macquarie University working with Dr Jon Brock. For my honours project, I used eye-tracking to investigate the ability to integrate context during reading. Specifically, I was interested in the relationship between this ability and subclinical autistic traits.

I commenced my PhD in 2012 under the supervision of A/Prof Genevieve McArthur, Dr Jon Brock, and Dr Alexandra Woolgar.

During my PhD, I developed new virtual reality paradigms to investigate the cognitive and neural mechanisms of joint attention and social interaction in typical development and in adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In my research, I use a range of techniques, including, eye tracking, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). 

I completed my PhD in 2015 and began a 2-year joint postdoctoral fellowship with the Perception in Action Research Centre and the ARC Centre for Cognition and its Disorders at Macquarie, where I worked on a number of eye-tracking and fMRI projects investigating the neural mechanisms of gaze processing and gaze-based communication in adults with schizophrenia and typical development.

Aside from my research in social cognition and neuroscience, I am also involved in a number of literacy research projects investigating reading and spelling in adults and adolescents.

External positions

Reviewer, Cognitive, Affective and Behavioural Neuroscience

2018 → …

Reviewer, Social Cognition and Affective Neuroscience

2015 → …

Reviewer, NeuroImage

2014 → …

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Projects 2017 2021

Research Output 2012 2019

Joint attention difficulties in autistic adults: an interactive eye-tracking study

Caruana, N., Stieglitz Ham, H., Brock, J., Woolgar, A., Kloth, N., Palermo, R. & McArthur, G. May 2018 In : Autism. 22, 4, p. 502-512 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Autistic Disorder

Should I trust you? Autistic traits predict reduced appearance-based trust decisions

Hooper, J. J., Sutherland, C. A. M., Ewing, L., Langdon, R., Caruana, N., Connaughton, E., Williams, N., Greenwell-Barnden, J. & Rhodes, G. 13 Nov 2018 In : British Journal of Psychology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Autistic Disorder
Theory of Mind
Learning Disorders

Beliefs about human agency influence the neural processing of gaze during joint attention

Caruana, N., de Lissa, P. & McArthur, G. 4 Mar 2017 In : Social Neuroscience. 12, 2, p. 194-206 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

virtual reality
social cognition
data processing program

Detecting communicative intent in a computerised test of joint attention

Caruana, N., McArthur, G., Woolgar, A. & Brock, J. 17 Jan 2017 In : PeerJ. 5, p. 1-16 16 p., e2899

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
process monitoring
Process monitoring
Virtual reality


human being

Postgraduate Research Grant - Commendation

Nathan Caruana (Recipient), 2015

Prize: Honorary award

Postgraduate Research Grant - Commendation

Nathan Caruana (Recipient), 2014

Prize: Honorary award

Press / Media

Virtual Reality May Reveal New Clues about Autism Social Difficulties

Nathan Caruana & Jonathan Brock


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

Virtual reality yields clues to social difficulties in autism

Nathan Caruana & Jonathan Brock


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research