Emma Mather-Pike

Hi there! My name is Emma, and I’m a PhD Student in Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh. I am originally from South Africa, and I moved to Edinburgh in 2015 to begin my university education.

My research interests

I am interested in exploring how the brain and certain behaviours are shaped by the genetic changes linked with Fragile X Syndrome and autism. To do this, I am developing a new Virtual Reality task that can safely test one’s ability to navigate in space. Performance on this task will give insight into how a certain part of the brain works. I will be using this new VR task with people with Fragile X, alongside other behavioural and brain-imaging tests. Working directly with these individuals, measuring their various characteristics, and gathering testimonies of their Virtual Reality experiences will help to better understand their condition and how it can be more reliably identified in the clinic.

What I do at the PWC

I am the Principal Investigator of an ongoing study: Virtual Navigation Skills in Fragile X: Exploring Cognitive Differences. My day-to-day work involves recruiting participants for this study from around the UK, completing various training courses and skills assessments, delivering various behavioural tests, and analysing data.

My background

In 2015 I received my International Baccalaureate at the United World College of India. From there, I moved to Edinburgh and began a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences specialised in Neurosciences. Throughout my studies in Edinburgh, I completed various Summer Internships and Research Assistant placements with researchers from the University. I also maintained tutoring and care-work jobs on the side.

Something about me

Alongside my passion for Sciences, I love to indulge in creative projects like painting, drawing, and writing. All my family members are artists, and they provide me with inspiration and creative support. My mother and father are painters, and my sister is a gemologist and jeweller, so I am the only one who has embarked on an academic career!

Research projects


Email: emma.matherpike@ed.ac.uk 

Tel: 0797 0298100