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Dr Ilona Ann Roth

Ilona Roth

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in Psychology
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Life, Health & Chemical Sciences
  • ilona.roth

Professional biography

I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology in the Department of Life, Health and Chemical Sciences, Science Faculty.

I  studied Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology at Oxford University, and completed a D.Phil. thesis on Visual Selective Attention in the Department of Experimental Psychology.

I originally joined the Open University as a member of the Psychology Discipline, Faculty of Social Sciences, and moved to the Science Faculty in 2005. I am a chartered member and associate fellow of the British Psychological Society.

In 2011 I became an OU student, studying for a B.A. (Hons) in Humanities and Romance Languages (Italian, Spanish and French), graduating with a 1st in 2017. My studies fulfilled a long held ambition to study languages, provided invaluable insights into OU student experience, and memorable interludes, such as a week's residential school in Santiago de Compostela. My studies have also helped me to consolidate the interdisciplinary aspect of my research interests.  

In 2018 I received The Open University Research Excellence Award for Outstanding Impact of Research on OU Learning and Teaching, Curriculum and Students.

Research interests

A key theme in my research is neurodiverse styles of cognition in autism.  Two attributes of mind, self-awareness and imagination, have been a particular focus. My studies of poetry by autistic writers, funded by the British Academy, explored the capacity for self-awareness and imaginative self-expression in able autistic individuals.  Another project explored one of the least understood characteristics of autism - the unusual, highly focused interests pursued by some autistic people. In a joint project with Dr. Rosa Hoekstra, now at Kings College London, we explored special interests in people with autism, devising quantitative scales to measure the high levels of commitment and motivation evoked by these special interests, and exploring the roles they play in the lives of autistic people.  

My work on cognition and autism embraces a broader interdisciplinary focus on imagination, creativity and aesthetics, reflected, for instance, in a British Academy symposium and edited collection on ‘Imaginative Minds’, and in ongoing collaboration with The Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance at the University of Kent.

My autism research also has a cross-cultural dimension, including collaboration with the HEAT+ project team, funded by Autism Speaks, which explored autism awareness and stigma in Ethiopia, and developed mental health training materials for rural health workers. I have recently versioned these materials as OpenLearnCreate resources for community mental health work worldwide. http://www.open.edu/openlearncreate/course/view.php?id=2714  

 In the dementia field, I was co-investigator in the 3 year ESRC-funded 'MIDAS' project- ‘ A comprehensive profile of awareness in early stage dementia’- in collaboration with a research team including Linda Clare and Bob Woods (Bangor University), Robin Morris (Institute of Psychiatry) and Ivana Marková (University of Hull).

 

 

 

Teaching interests

 

During my years at the Open University I have contributed written, film and multi-media material to a wide range of psychology courses, including Introductory, Cognitive, Social and Biological Psychology, and have authored several textbooks widely outside the OU, including Roth et.al. (2010) 'The Autism Spectrum in the 21st Century: Exploring Psychology, Biology and Practice'.

I chaired the production and presentation of the course DSE202 Introduction to Psychology and made extensive contributions to its successor, DSE212 Exploring Psychology and to DXR222, the psychology project module taught as a residential school.  I chaired the production and since 2009, the presentation of SK124, Understanding the Autism Spectrum, a module which has been studied by more than 7000 students, including a substantial number with personal and/or professional interests in autism. With SK124 in its last presentation this year (2018), I have launched a new Badged Open Course ‘Understanding the Autism Spectrum’:

http://www.open.edu/openlearn/science-maths-technology/understanding-autism/content-section-0?

I chair the Module Results Panel for SDK228, ‘The Science of the Mind: investigating mental health', and am contributing a block on neurodevelopmental conditions to the new version of this course.  

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Biomedical Research Network (BRN)NetworkFaculty of Science
Cognition and Biopsychology Research GroupGroupFaculty of Science

Publications

Ethiopian community health workers' beliefs and attitudes towards children with autism: Impact of a brief training intervention (2018)
Tilahun, Dejene; Fekadu, Abebaw; Tekola, Bethlehem; Araya, Mesfin; Roth, Ilona; Davey, Basiro; Hanlon, Charlotte and Hoekstra, Rosa A.
Autism ((Early Access))
Autism, Creativity and Aesthetics (2018)
Roth, Ilona
Qualitative Research in Psychology ((Early Access))
Challenges and opportunities to improve autism services in low-income countries: lessons from a situational analysis in Ethiopia (2016-07)
Tekola, B.; Baheretibeb, Y.; Roth, I.; Tilahun, D.; Fekadu, A.; Hanlon, C. and Hoekstra, R.A.
Global mental health, 3(e21)
The motivation for special interests in individuals with autism and controls: Development and validation of the special interest motivation scale (2016-06-01)
Grove, Rachel; Roth, Ilona and Hoekstra, Rosa A.
Autism Research, 9(6) (pp. 677-688)
Awareness of memory task impairment versus everyday memory difficulties in dementia (2016-03)
Morris, Robin G.; Nelis, Sharon M.; Martyr, Anthony; Markova, Ivana; Roth, Ilona; Woods, Robert T.; Whitaker, ChristopherJ. and Clare, Linda
Journal of Neuropsychology, 10(1) (pp. 130-142)
Trajectories of quality of life in early-stage dementia: individual variations and predictors of change (2014-06)
Clare, Linda; Woods, Robert T.; Nelis, Sharon M.; Martyr, Anthony; Markova, Ivana S.; Roth, Ilona; Whitaker, Christopher J. and Morris, Robin G.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 29(6) (pp. 616-623)
Phenomena of awareness in dementia: heterogeneity and its implications (2014-04)
Marková, Ivana S.; Clare, Linda; Whitaker, Christopher J.; Roth, Ilona; Nelis, Sharon M.; Martyr, Anthony; Roberts, Judith L.; Woods, Robert T. and Morris, Robin
Consciousness and Cognition, 25 (pp. 17-26)
What contributes to a good quality of life in early dementia? awareness and the QoL-AD: a cross-sectional study. (2014)
Woods, Robert T.; Nelis, Sharon M.; Martyr, Anthony; Roberts, Judith; Whitaker, Christopher J.; Markova, Ivana; Roth, Ilona; Morris, Robin and Clare, Linda
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 12(94)
Self-concept in early stage dementia: profile, course, correlates, predictors and implications for quality of life (2013)
Clare, Linda; Whitaker, Christopher J.; Nelis, Sharon M.; Martyr, Anthony; Markova, Ivana S.; Roth, Ilona; Woods, Robert T. and Morris, Robin G.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 28(5) (pp. 494-503)
Memory awareness profiles differentiate mild cognitive impairment from early-stage dementia: evidence from assessments of performance monitoring and evaluative judgement (2013)
Clare, L.; Whitaker, C. J.; Roberts, J. L.; Nelis, S. M.; Martyr, A.; Markova, I. S.; Roth, I.; Woods, R. T. and Morris, R. G
Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 35 (pp. 266-279)
“She might have what I have got”: the potential utility of vignettes as an indirect measure of awareness in early-stage dementia (2012-07)
Clare, Linda; Nelis, Sharon M.; Martyr, Anthony; Whitaker, Christopher J.; Markova, Ivana S.; Roth, Ilona; Woods, Robert T. and Morris, Robin G.
Aging & Mental Health, 16(5) (pp. 566-575)
Marital relationship quality in early-stage dementia: perspectives from people with dementia and their spouses (2012-04)
Clare, Linda; Nelis, Sharon M.; Whitaker, Christopher J.; Martyr, Anthony; Markova, Ivana S.; Roth, Iiona; Woods, Robert T. and Morris, Robin G.
Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 26(2) (pp. 148-158)
Longitudinal trajectories of awareness in early-stage dementia (2012-04)
Clare, Linda; Nelis, Sharon M.; Martyr, Anthony; Whitaker, Christopher J.; Marková, Ivana S.; Roth, Ilona; Woods, Robert T. and Morris, Robin G.
Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 26(2) (140 -147)
The influence of psychological, social and contextual factors on the expression and measurement of awareness in early-stage dementia: testing a biopsychosocial model (2012-03-21)
Clare, L.; Nelis, S.M.; Martyr, A.; Roberts, J.; Whitaker, C. J.; Markova, I. S.; Roth, I.; Woods, R. T. and Morris, R. G.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 27(2) (pp. 167-177)
Verbal fluency and awareness of functional deficits in people with early-stage dementia (2012-03-07)
Martyr, Anthony; Clare, Linda; Nelis, Sharon M.; Marková, Ivana S.; Roth, Ilona; Woods, Robert T.; Whitaker, Christopher J. and Morris, Robin G.
The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 26(3) (pp. 501-519)
Multidimensional asessment of awareness in early-stage dementia: a cluster-analytic approach (2011-07)
Clare, Linda; Whitaker, Christopher J.; Nelis, Sharon M.; Martyr, Anthony; Markova, Ivana S.; Roth, Ilona; Woods, Robert T. and Morris, Robin G.
Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 31(5) (pp. 317-327)
Dissociation between implicit and explicit manifestations of awareness in early stage dementia: evidence from the emotional Stroop effect for dementia-related words (2011-01)
Martyr, Anthony; Clare, Linda; Nelis, Sharon M.; Roberts, Judith L.; Robinson, Julia U.; Roth, Ilona; Markova, Ivana S.; Woods, Robert T.; Whitaker, Christopher J. and Morris, Robin G.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(1) (pp. 92-99)
Awareness of social and emotional functioning in people with early-stage dementia, and implications for carers (2011)
Nelis, Sharon M.; Clare, Linda; Martyr, Anthony; Markova, Ivana; Roth, Ilona; Woods, Robert T.; Whitaker, Christopher J. and Morris, Robin G.
Aging & Mental Health, 15(8) (pp. 961-969)
Autistic traits below the clinical threshold: re-examining the broader autism phenotype in the 21st century (2011)
Sucksmith, E.; Roth, I. and Hoekstra, R. A.
Neuropsychology Review, 21(4) (pp. 360-389)
Awareness in Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementias: theoretical framework and clinical implications (2011)
Clare, Linda; Markova, Ivana S.; Roth, Ilona and Morris, Robin G.
Aging & Mental Health, 15(8) (pp. 936-944)
Autism and the imaginative mind (2008-07)
Roth, I.
British Academy Review, 11 (pp. 18-20)
Perceptions of change over time in early-stage Alzheimer's disease: implications for understanding awareness and coping style (2005-11)
Clare, Linda; Roth, Ilona and Pratt, Rebekah
Dementia, 4(4) (pp. 487-520)
Awareness in early-stage Alzheimer's Disease: relationship to outcome of cognitive rehabilitation (2004-04)
Clare, Linda; Wilson, Barbara A.; Carter, Gina; Roth, Ilona and Hodges, John H.
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 26(2) (pp. 215-226)
Just imagine (2003-11)
Roth, Ilona
Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7(11) (pp. 475-477)
Relearning face-name associations in early Alzheimer's Disease (2002-10)
Clare, Linda; Wilson, Barbara A.; Carter, Gina; Roth, Ilona and Hodges, John R.
Neuropsychology, 16(4) (pp. 538-547)
Assessing awarenes in early stage Alzheimer's disease: development and piloting of the Memory Awareness Rating Scale (2002-08)
Clare, Linda; Wilson, Barbara A.; Carter, Gina; Roth, Ilona and Hodges, John R.
Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 12(4) (pp. 341-362)
The Autism Spectrum in the 21st Century: Exploring Psychology, Biology and Practice (2010-03)
Roth, Ilona; Barson, Chris; Hoekstra, Rosa; Pasco, Greg and Whatson, Terry
ISBN : 9781849050876 | Publisher : Jessica Kingsley Publishers | Published : London/Philadelphia
Imagination and the awareness of self in Autistic Spectrum poets (2008-11)
Roth, Ilona
In: Osteen, Mark ed. Autism and Representation. Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies
ISBN : 978-0-415-95644-4 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York
Autism and the imaginative mind (2007)
Roth, Ilona
In: Roth, Ilona ed. Proceedings of the British Academy: Imaginative Minds. Proceedings of the British Academy (pp. 277-306)
ISBN : 9780197264195 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford
Imagination (2004-10)
Roth, Ilona
In: Gregory, Richard L. ed. Oxford Companion to the Mind (pp. 443-447)
ISBN : 978-0-19-866224-2 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford
Researching the Autism Spectrum: Contemporary Perspectives (2011-01-11)
Roth, Ilona and Rezaie, Payam eds.
ISBN : 9780521518963 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge
Imaginative Minds (2007-12)
Roth, Ilona ed.
Proceedings of the British Academy
ISBN : 978-0-19-726419-5 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford, UK

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