Sarah Haigh

Assistant Professor

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Essex, 2012
  • BSc (hons), Experimental Psychology from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, 2009


My main research interests focus on what drives sensory systems to over-respond (hyper-excitable) or to under-respond (hypo-excitable) and how this impacts sensory-related cognition. I am interested in what this can reveal 1) about early sensory processing in neurotypical individuals and 2) about the underlying pathophysiology in certain clinical conditions, for example, schizophrenia, autism, migraine, or traumatic brain injury. My aim is to establish if methods for improving sensory processing would then have cascading improvements on complex cognitive processing.

I have used a mixture of techniques to measure sensory sensitivities, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), psychophysics, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), the electroencephalogram (EEG), EEG and NIRS simultaneously and the auto-refractor (to measure ocular accommodation). I am also currently learning diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) analysis for a forthcoming paper, to measure structural correlates of abnormal functioning. My aim is to utilize multimodal imaging to understand the causal mechanisms behind sensory abnormalities in neurotypical and in clinical populations.


  • Sarah M Haigh (2018). Special issue: the neurological bases of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Variable sensory perception in autism. European Journal of Neuroscience.
  • Sarah M Haigh, Jennifer A Walsh, Carla Mazefsky, Nancy J Minshew & Shaun M Eack (online). Processing speed is impaired in adults with autism spectrum disorder, and relates to social communication abilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 48(3).
  • Sarah M Haigh, Nicholas R Cooper, Arnold J Wilkins (2018). Chromaticity separation and the alpha response. Neuropsychologia. 108, 1-5.
  • Sarah M Haigh, Mario DeMatties, Brian A Coffman, Timothy K Murphy, Christiana D Butera, Kayla L Ward, Justin R Leiter-McBeth & Dean F Salisbury (2017). Mismatch negativity to pitch pattern deviants in schizophrenia. European Journal of Neuroscience, 46(6), 2229-2239.
  • Sarah M Haigh, Akshat Gupta, Shaun M Eack, Scott M Barb, Summer A F Glass, Nancy J Minshew, Ilan Dinstein, David J Heeger & Marlene Behrmann (2016). Differential sensory fMRI signatures in autism and schizophrenia: analysis of amplitude and trial-to-trial variability. Schizophrenia Research. 175, 12-19.
  • Sarah M Haigh, Nicholas R Cooper & Arnold J Wilkins (2015). Cortical excitability and the shape of the haemodynamic response. Neuroimage, 111, 379-384.