Dr Lou Thomas



About me

My main role is as the research manager on the national autism team, which is part of the Learning Disability and Autism Programme at NHS England. Alongside this, I am an honorary researcher (continuing on from my postdoc) at the Centre for Autism at the University of Reading, with Dr. Cathy Manning, and a visiting lecturer in the psychology department at Royal Holloway, University of London. I also host the PsychologiCALL podcast.

I am autistic, and an ADHDer (both adult diagnoses). I am passionate about increasing the involvement of autistic people into research about autism. I am open to talking about my experiences both from a personal and a research perspective!

Postdoctoral (/honorary researcher role) research

I am exploring sensory processing in autistic and non-autistic children using behavioural tasks and computational modelling. I am currently recruiting children and adolescents aged 6-14. You can learn more about the study I am running by checking out the two related pre-registration documents, find them here, and here.

PhD research

My PhD research (with Dr. Josh Balsters at Royal Holloway, University of London) focused on using a Bayesian approach to explore individual differences in reward processing and contagion of value preferences, using computational modelling and neuroimaging (fMRI). Find out more here. I submitted my thesis in May 2021, and passed my viva with no corrections in July 2021. My viva examiners were Dr. Joe Bathelt, and Dr. Rebecca Lawson.


I am the current host for the PsychologiCALL podcast, and have recorded one full season, and season 4 episodes are currently being recorded and released. Find out more about the podcast, and listen to all the episodes here or on your podcast app!

If you’ve got a paper that you would like to come onto the podcast to talk about, please don’t hesitate to email me, I’d love to hear from you!

PsychologiCALL podcast logo

I also supervised Georgina Dayanc in 2022, my project student for the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) at the University of Reading. Georg is also autistic, and developed a podcast called NeuroDives: Diving into Neurodiversity. Season 1 was created as part of the UROP project, and it focuses on all things autism.

NeuroDives podcast logo

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