Melanie A Porter
Melanie A Porter, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology

Macquarie University


  • Maters Clin. Neuro/PhD (2005) Macquarie University.
  • APA studentship. Institute of Psychiatry,
  • PhD Fellowships ‘Neuropsychological processing in Williams syndrome, Down syndrome and Autism’



Melanie is a Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist and Senior Lecturer in Neuropsychology.
After completing her PhD on the neuropsychological profile of individuals with Williams syndrome, autism, Asperger's syndrome and Down syndrome in 2004, she has worked both as a Clinical Neuropsychologist in the private and public sector and as an academic.
Melanie has national and international research collaborators for her work investigating the links between genetic, cognitive and brain abnormalities in Williams syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders. She also heads a number of projects in the areas of paediatric acquired brain injury and neuropsychological rehabilitation and intervention.

Melanie has supervised over 30 postgraduate students to completion within the fields of Paediatric Neuropsychology and Neuropsychological intervention.  She assists with the co-ordination and teaching of the Neuropsychology programs at Macquarie University. Melanie is also founder and co-director of the Faculty Research Centre for Atypical Neurodevelopment.


Research Interest

  • Williams Syndrome And Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Social Cognition
  • Paediatric Neuropsychology
  • Mental Health In Paediatric Conditions
  • Neuropsychological Intervention.

Professional Activities:

Academic Appointments
2016-Pres Founder and Director – Centre for Research into Atypical Neurodevelopment, Macquarie University
2015-Pres Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University
2008-Pres Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University
Editorial Appointments
2015-Pres Editorial Board Member, Journal of Childhood and Developmental Disorders
2015-2016 Co-Editor, Special Issue on Williams syndrome, Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
2014- Pres           Editorial Board Member, Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders.
Clinical Appointments
2005-Pres Clinical Neuropsychologist, LifeSpan Neuropsychology (one day per week).
2004-2006 Clinical Neuropsychologist, Rehabilitation Department and Child Development Unit, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead



  1. Wiggs, K., Tofts, L., Benson, S. & Porter, M. (In Press). The Neuropsychological Function of Children with Achondroplasia. American Journal of Medical Genetics.
  2. Lewis, A., Porter, M., Williams, T., North, K., Payne, J. (In Press) Social competence in children with neurofibromatosis type 1: Relationships with psychopathology and cognitive ability. Journal of Childhood and Developmental Disability.
  3. Payne, J., Porter, M., Pride, N., & North, K.N. (2016). Theory of Mind in Children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1.  Neuropsychology. Journal Impact Factor:  4.447
  4. McSwiggen, S., Meares, S. & Porter, M.A. (2015). Decision-making capacity evaluation in adult guardianship: a systematic review.  International Psychogeriatrics, 28, 1-12. Journal Impact Factor: 2.273
  5. Hocking, D., Reeve, J., & Porter, M.A. (2015). Characterising the profile of everyday executive functioning and relation to IQ in adults with Williams syndrome: Is the BRIEF adult version a valid rating scale? PLoS One,
  6. Brawn, G., & Porter, M.A. (2014). Adaptive functioning in Williams syndrome and its relation to demographic variables and family environment. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35(12), 3606-3623.
  7. Lee, R.S., Hermens, D.F., Scott, J., Redoblado-Hodge, M.A., Naismith, S.L., Lagopoulos, J., Griffiths, K.R., Porter, M.A., & Hickie, I. (2014). A meta-analysis of neuropsychological functioning in first-episode bipolar disorders. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 57, 1-11.
  8. Payne, J., Pickering, T., North, K., Prelog, K., Oates, E. & Porter, M.A. (2014). Longitudinal assessment of cognition and T2-hyperintensities in NF1.  American Journal of Medical Genetics.
  9. Hocking, D.R., Menant, J.C. Kirk, H.E., Lord, S., Porter, M.A. (2014). Gait profiles as indicators of domain-specific impairments in executive control across neurodevelopmental disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 35(1), 203-214. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2013.10.005
  10. Godbee, K., & Porter, M. (2013). Attribution of negative intention in Williams Syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(5), 1602–1612.
  11. Williams, T.A., Langdon, R., & Porter, M.A. (2013). Hyper-reactivity in Fragile X Syndrome females: Generalized or specific to socially-salient stimuli? A skin conductance study. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 88(1), 26-34.
  12. Williams, T.A., Porter, M.A., & Langdon, R. (2013). Viewing social scenes: A visual scan-path study comparing Fragile X Syndrome and Williams Syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
  13. Hocking, D.R., Thomas, D., Menant, J., Porter, M.A., Smith, S., Lord, S., & Cornish, K.M. (2013). The interplay between executive control and motor functioning in Williams syndrome. Developmental Science, 16(3), 428–442.
  14. Williams, T.A., & Porter, M.A. (2014). Social Approach and Emotion Recognition in Fragile X Syndrome. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
  15. Godbee, K., & Porter, M. (2013). Comprehension of sarcasm, metaphor and simile in Williams syndrome. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders.
  16. Lee, R.S.C., Hermens, D.F., Redoblado-Hodge, M.A., Naismith, S.L., & Porter, M.A., Kaur, M., White D., Scott, E.M., & Hickie, I.B. (2013). Neuropsychological and socio-occupational functioning in young psychiatric outpatients: A longitudinal investigation. PLoS ONE, 8(3, e58176).
  17. Shaw, T., & Porter, M. (2013). Emotion recognition and visual-scan paths in Fragile X Syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
  18. Lee, R., Hermens, D., Redoblado-Hodge, A., Naismith, S., Porter, M., Kaur, M., White, D., Scott, E., & Hickie, I. (2013). Cognitive remediation improves memory and psychosocial functioning in first-episode psychiatric outpatients. Psychological Medicine.
  19. Lee, R.S.C., Hermens, D.F., Porter, M.A., & Redoblado-Hodge, M.A. (2012). A meta-analysis of cognitive deficits in first-episode Major Depressive Disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 140(2), 113-124.
  20. Porter, M., Dobson-Stone, C., Kwok, J., Schofield, P., Beckett, W., & Tassabehji, M. (2012). A role for transcription factor GTF2IRD2 in executive function in Williams-Beuren syndrome. PLoS One, 7(10), e47457.
  21. Moore, D., Porter, M.A., Kohnen, S., & Castles, A. (2012). Detecting different types of reading difficulties: A comparison of tests. Australasian Journal of Special Education, 36(2), 112-133.
  22. Porter, M.A., & Dodd, H.F. (2011). A longitudinal study of cognitive abilities in Williams syndrome. Developmental Neuropsychology, 36(2), 255-272.
  23. Dodd, H.F., & Porter, M.A. (2011). Interpretation of ambiguous situations: evidence for a dissociation between social and physical threat in Williams syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41(30), 266-274.
  24. Dodd, H.F., & Porter, M.A. (2011). There's that scary picture: attention bias to threatening scenes in Williams syndrome. Neuropsychologia, 49, 247-253.
  25. Dodd, H.F., Porter, M.A., Peters, G.L., & Rapee, R.M. (2010). Social approach in preschool children with Williams syndrome: The role of the face. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research., 54(3), 194-203.
  26. Porter, M.A., Shaw, T., & Marsh, P.J. (2010). An Unusual Attraction to the Eyes in Williams-Beuren Syndrome: A Manipulation of Facial Affect while Measuring Face Scanpaths. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 15(6), 505-530
  27. Dodd, H.F., & Porter, M.A. (2010). I see happy people: attention towards happy but not angry facial expressions in Williams syndrome. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry
  28. Dodd, H.F., & Porter, M.A. (2009). Psychopathology in Williams Syndrome: The Effect of Individual Differences Across the Life Span. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 2, 89-109. Journal Impact Factor: 1.274.
  29. Dodd, H.F., Schniering, C.A., & Porter, M.A. (2009). Beyond Behaviour: Is social anxiety low in Williams syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39(12), 1673-1681.
  30. Porter, M.A., Coltheart, M., & Langdon, R. (2008). Theory of Mind in Williams Syndrome Assessed Using a Nonverbal Task. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 806-814.
  31. Porter, M.A., Dodd, H., & Cairns, D. (2008). Psychopathological and behavior impairments in Williams-Beuren syndrome: The influence of gender, chronological age and cognition. Child Neuropsychology, 15(4), 359-374.
  32. Porter, M.A., Coltheart, M., & Langdon, R. (2007). The neuropsychological basis of hypersociability in Williams and Down syndrome. Neuropsychologia, 45(12), 2839-2849.
  33. Porter, M.A., & Coltheart, M. (2006). Global and local processing in Williams, autistic and Down syndrome: Perception, attention and construction. Developmental Neuropsychology, 30(3), 771-789.
  34. Porter, M.A., & Coltheart, M. (2005). Cognitive heterogeneity in Williams syndrome. Developmental Neuropsychology, 27(2), 275-306.
  35. Cheng, K., Pena, J., Porter, M.A., & Irwin, J.D. (2002). Self control in honeybees. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 9, 259-263.