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Professor Francesca G Happe  BA (hons), PhD
Professor

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tel020 7848 0928
address

Institute of Psychiatry
Box  Po 80
De Crespigny Park
London
United Kingdom, SE5 8AF

location c1.17
MRC, SGDP Centre
departmentsSocial, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (IRG)
Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre (MRC)

biography

Francesca Happé is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry (King’s College London). She studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford, and did her PhD on autism at UCL. Her research interests centre on autism and Asperger Syndrome. She has conducted research into the nature of social understanding in typical development, and ‘mind-reading’ impairments in autism spectrum conditions. She is also actively engaged in studies of abilities and assets in people with autism, and their relation to detail-focused perceptual and cognitive style. As well as cognitive methods, her research involves functional imaging studies, exploration of acquired brain lesions and, most recently, behaviour genetic methods. She is the author of numerous research papers, and a book on autism for general readers. She won the Telegraph’s Young Science Writer award, and has taken part in many documentaries, as well as being the subject of a Channel 4 programme for schools. The British Psychological Society awarded her the Spearman Medal, and the Experimental Psychology Society named her as the recipient of the 7th EPS Prize.

publications

2010
Chevallier, C., Wilson, D., Happé, F. & Noveck, I. (2010) Scalar inferences in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40(9), 1104-1117.

Hallett V. Ronald A. Rijsdijk F. Happe F. (2010) Association of autistic-like and internalizing traits during childhood: a longitudinal twin study. American Journal of Psychiatry. 167(7):809-17, 2010 Jul.

Hippler K. Viding E. Klicpera C. Happe F. (2010) Brief report: No increase in criminal convictions in Hans Asperger’s original cohort. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders. 40(6):774-80, 2010 Jun.

Hoekstra RA. Happe F. Baron-Cohen S. Ronald A. (2010) Limited genetic covariance between autistic traits and intelligence: findings from a longitudinal twin study. American Journal of Medical Genetics. 153B(5):994-1007, 2010 Jul.

Loth, Eva; Gomez, Juan Carlos; Happe, Francesca. (2010) When seeing depends on knowing: Adults with autism spectrum conditions show diminished top-down processes in the visual perception of degraded faces but not degraded objects. Neuropsychologia. Vol.48(5), Apr 2010, pp. 1227-1236.

Loth, Eva; Happe, Francesca; Gomez, Juan Carlos. (2010) Variety is not the spice of life for people with autism spectrum disorders: Frequency ratings of central, variable and inappropriate aspects of common real-life events. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Vol.40(6), Jun 2010, pp. 730-742.

Ronald, Angelica; Happe, Francesca; Dworzynski, Katharina; Bolton, Patrick; Plomin, Robert. (2010) Exploring the relation between prenatal and neonatal complications and later autistic-like features in a representative community sample of twins. Child Development. Vol.81(1), Jan-Feb 2010, pp. 166-182.

Williams, David; Happe, Francesca (2010) Representing intentions in self and other: Studies of autism and typical development. Developmental Science. Vol.13(2), Mar 2010, pp. 307-319.

Williams D. Happe F. (2010) Recognising ’social’ and ’non-social’ emotions in self and others: A study of autism. Autism. 14(4):285-304, 2010 Jul.

2009
Chevallier, Coralie; Noveck, Ira; Happe, Francesca; Wilson, Deirdre. (2009) From acoustics to grammar: Perceiving and interpreting grammatical prosody in adolescents with Asperger syndrome. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Vol.3(2), Apr-Jun 2009, pp. 502-516.

Dworzynski, Katharina; Happe, Francesca; Bolton, Patrick; Ronald, Angelica. (2009) Relationship between symptom domains in autism spectrum disorders: A population based twin study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Vol.39(8), Aug 2009, pp. 1197-1210.

Hallett, Victoria; Ronald, Angelica; Happe, Francesca. (2009) Investigating the association between autistic-like and internalizing traits in a community-based twin sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Vol.48(6), Jun 2009, pp. 618-627.

Happe F. Frith U. (2009) The beautiful otherness of the autistic mind. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London - Series B: Biological Sciences. 364(1522):1346-50, 2009 May 27.

Happe F. Vital P. (2009) What aspects of autism predispose to talent?. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London - Series B: Biological Sciences. 364(1522):1369-75, 2009 May 27.

Hoekstra, R. A; Happe, F; Baron-Cohen, S; Ronald, A. (2009) Association between extreme autistic traits and intellectual disability: Insights from a general population twin study. British Journal of Psychiatry. Vol.195(6), Dec 2009, pp. 531-536.

Jones, Catherine R. G; Happe, Francesca; Golden, Hannah; Marsden, Anita J. S; Tregay, Jenifer; Simonoff, Emily; Pickles, Andrew; Baird, Gillian; Charman, Tony. (2009) Reading and arithmetic in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: Peaks and dips in attainment. Neuropsychology. Vol.23(6), Nov 2009, pp. 718-728.

Jones, Catherine R. G; Happe, Francesca; Baird, Gillian; Simonoff, Emily; Marsden, Anita J. S; Tregay, Jenifer; Phillips, Rebecca J; Goswami, Usha; Thomson, Jennifer M; Charman, Tony. (2009) Auditory discrimination and auditory sensory behaviours in autism spectrum disorders. Neuropsychologia. Vol.47(13), Nov 2009, pp. 2850-2858.

Kovas Y. Giampietro V. Viding E. Ng V. Brammer M. Barker GJ. Happe FG. Plomin R. (2009) Brain correlates of non-symbolic numerosity estimation in low and high mathematical ability children. PLoS ONE 4(2):e4587, 2009.

O’Brien, Justin; Tsermentseli, Stella; Cummins, Omar; Happe, Francesca; Heaton, Pamela; Spencer, Janine. (2009) Discriminating children with autism from children with learning difficulties with an adaptation of the Short Sensory Profile. Early Child Development and Care. Vol.179(4), May 2009, pp. 383-394.

O’Hare, Anne E; Bremner, Lynne; Nash, Marysia; Happe, Francesca; Pettigrew, Luisa M. (2009) A clinical assessment tool for advanced theory of mind performance in 5 to 12 year olds. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Vol.39(6), Jun 2009, pp. 916-928.

Vital, Pedro M; Ronald, Angelica; Wallace, Gregory L; Happe, Francesca. (2009) Relationship between special abilities and autistic-like traits in a large population-based sample of 8-year-olds. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Vol.50(9), Sep 2009, pp. 1093-1101.

Wallace, Gregory L; Anderson, Mike; Happe, Francesca. (2009) Brief report: Information processing speed is intact in autism but not correlated with measured intelligence. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Vol.39(5), May 2009, pp. 809-814.

Wallace GL. Happe F. Giedd JN. (2009) A case study of a multiply talented savant with an autism spectrum disorder: neuropsychological functioning and brain morphometry. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London - Series B: Biological Sciences. 364(1522):1425-32, 2009 May 27.

White, Sarah; Hill, Elisabeth; Happe, Francesca; Frith, Uta. (2009) Revisiting the strange stories: Revealing mentalizing impairments in autism. Child Development. Vol.80(4), Jul-Aug 2009, pp. 1097-1117.

Williams, David; Happe, Francesca. (2009) Pre-conceptual aspects of self-awareness in autism spectrum disorder: The case of action-monitoring. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Vol.39(2), Feb 2009, pp. 251-259.

Williams, David M; Happe, Francesca. (2009) What did I say? Versus what did I think? Attributing false beliefs to self amongst children with and without autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Vol.39(6), Jun 2009, pp. 865-873.

Williams, David M; Lind, Sophie E; Happe, Francesca. (2009) Metacognition may be more impaired than mindreading in autism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Vol.32(2), Apr 2009, pp. 162-163.


2008
Dworzynski, K., Ronald, A., Hayiou-Thomas, M.E., McEwan, F., Happé, F., Bolton, P. & Plomin, R. (2008) Developmental path between language and autistic-like impairments: A twin study. Infant and Child Development. 17, 121-136.

Happé, F. & Ronald, A. (2008) ‘Fractionable Autism Triad’: A Review of Evidence from Behavioural, Genetic, Cognitive and Neural Research. Neuropsychology Review, 18, 287-304.

Happe, F.G.E, & Booth, R.D.L. (2008) The power of the positive: Revisiting weak coherence in autism spectrum disorders. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 61(1), 50-63.

Heaton, P., Davis, R.E. & Happé, F.G.E. (2008) Research note: Exceptional absolute pitch perception for spoken words in an able adult with autism. Neuropsychologia, 46, 2095-2098.

Heaton, P., Allen, R., Williams, K., Cummins, O., Happé, F. (2008). Do social and cognitive deficits curtail musical understanding? Evidence from autism and Down syndrome. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 268, 171-182.

Heaton, P., Williams, K., Cummins, O., Happé, F, (2008). Autism and pitch processing splinter skills: A group and subgroup analysis. Autism. 12, 203-219.

Jarvinen-Pasley, A., Wallace, G.L., Ramus, F., Happe, F. & Heaton, P. (2008) Enhanced perceptual processing of speech in autism. , 11, 109-121.

Loth, E., Gomez, J.C. & Happé, F. (2008) Event schemas in autism spectrum disorders: The role of theory of mind and weak central coherence. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 449-463.

Loth, E., Gomez, J.C. & Happé, F. (2008) Detecting changes in naturalistic scenes: contextual inconsistency does not influence spontaneous attention in high-functioning people with autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research, 3, 179-88.

Wallace, G.L, & Happé, F. (2008) Time perception in autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2, 447-455.

Williams, D., Happe, F., & Jarrold, C. (2008). Intact inner speech use in autism spectrum disorder: evidence from a short-term memory task. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(1), 51-58.


2007
Dworzynski, K., Ronald, A., Hayiou-Thomas, M., Rijsdijk, F., Happé, F., Bolton, P. & Plomin, R. (2007) Aetiological relationship between language performance and autistic-like traits in childhood: a twin study. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 42, 273-292.

Gibbons, Z.C., Snowden, J.S., Thompson, J.C., Happé, F., Richardson, A. & Neary, D. (2007) Inferring thought and action in motor neurone disease. Neuropsychologia. 45, 1196-207.

Heaton, P., Allen, R., Williams, K., Cummins, O., Happé, F. (2007) Beyond perception: Musical representation and on-line processing in autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 1355-1360.

McCrory, E., Henry, L. & Happé, F. (2007) Eye-witness memory and suggestibility in children with Asperger syndrome. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48, 482-489.


McEwen F, Happe F, Bolton P, Rijsdijk F, Ronald A, Dworzynski K, Plomin R. (2007) Origins of individual differences in imitation: Links with language, pretend play, and socially insightful behavior in two-year-old twins. Child Development, 78, 474-492.


2006
Bach LJ. Happé F. Fleminger S. David AS. (2006) Intact theory of mind in TBI with behavioural disturbance. Brain & Cognition, 60, 196-8.

Griffin, R., Friedman, O., Ween, J., Winner, E., Happé, F., & Brownell, H. (2006) Theory of Mind and the Right Cerebral Hemisphere: Refining the Scope of Impairment. Laterality, 11, 195-22.

Happé, F., Booth, R., Charlton, R. & Hughes, C. (2006) Executive function deficits in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Examining profiles across domains and ages. Brain and Cognition, 61, 25-39

Happé, F. & Frith, U. (2006) The weak coherence account: Detail-focused cognitive style in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 5-25.

Happé, F., Ronald, A. & Plomin, R. (2006) Time to give up on a single explanation for autism. Nature Neuroscience. 9, 1218-20.

Ronald, A., Happé, F., Price, T.S., Baron-Cohen, S. & Plomin, R. (2006) Phenotypic and genetic overlap between autistic traits at the extremes of the general population. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 45, 1206-14.

Ronald, A., Viding, E., Happé, F. & Plomin, R. (2006). Individual differences in theory of mind ability in middle childhood and links with verbal ability and autistic traits: A twin study. Social Neuroscience, 1 (3_4), 412_425

Ronald, A., Happé, F. & Plomin, R. (2006). Genetic research into autism. Science. 311, 952.

Ronald, A., Happé, F., Bolton, P., Butcher, L.M., Price, T.S., Wheelwright, S., Baron-Cohen, S. & Plomin, R. (2006) Genetic heterogeneity between the three components of the autism spectrum: a twin study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 45, 691-9.

Rogers, J., Viding, E., Blair, R.J., Frith, U. & Happé, F. (2006) Autism spectrum disorder and psychopathy: shared cognitive underpinnings or double hit? Psychological Medicine, 36, 1789-98.


2005
Fisher, N., Happé, F. & Dunn, J. (2005) The relationship between vocabulary, grammar, and false belief task performance in children with autistic spectrum disorders and children with moderate learning difficulties. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46, 409-19.

Fisher, N. & Happé, F. (2005) A training study of theory of mind and executive function in children with autistic spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35, 757-71.

Frith, U. & Happé, F. (2005) Autism spectrum disorder. Current Biology. 15, R786-90.

Hughes, C., Jaffee, S., Happé, F., Taylor, A., Caspi, A. & Moffitt, T.E. (2005) Origins of Individual Differences in Theory of Mind: From Nature to Nurture? Child Development, 76, 356–370.

Ronald, A., Happé, F., Hughes, C., & Plomin, R. (2005). Nice and Nasty Theory Of Mind In Preschool Children: Nature And Nurture. Social Development,

Ronald, A., Happé, F. & Plomin, R. (2005) The genetic relationship between individual differences in social and non-social behaviours characteristic of autism. Developmental Science, 8, 444-58.


2004
Brent, E., Rios, P., Happé, F. & Charman, T. (2004) Performance of children with autism spectrum disorder on advanced theory of mind tasks. Autism, 8, 283-299.

Tchanturia, K., Happé, F., Godley, J., Treasure, J., Bara-Carril, N. & Schmidt, U. (2004) ‘Theory of mind’ in anorexia nervosa. European Eating Disorders Review, 12, 361-366.


2003
Booth, R., Charlton, R., Hughes, C. & Happé, F. (2003) Disentangling weak coherence and executive dysfunction: Planning drawing in Autism and ADHD. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Special Issue: ‘Autism: Mind and Brain’), 358 (1430), 387-392.

Snowden, J.S., Gibbons, Z.C., Blackshaw, A., Doubleday, E., Thompson, J., Craufurd, D., Foster, J., Happé, F. & Neary, D. (2003) Social cognition in frontotemporal dementia and Huntington’s disease. Neuropsychologia, 41, 688-701.


2002
Castelli, F., Frith, C., Happé, F. & Frith, U. (2002) Autism and brain mechanisms for the attribution of mental states to animated shapes. Brain, 125, 1839-49.

Colledge, E., Bishop, D. V. M, Koeppen-Schomerus, G., Price, T. S., Happé , F. G. E., Eley, T. C., Dale, P. S., & Plomin, R. (2002). The structure of language abilities at 4 years: A twin study. Developmental Psychology, 38, 749-757.

Happé, F. & Loth, E. (2002) ‘Theory of mind’ and tracking speakers’ intentions. Mind and Language, 17, 24-36.

McAlonan, G.M., Daly, E., Kumari, V., Critchley, H.D., vanAmelsvoort, T., Suckling, J., Simmons, A., Sigmundsson, T., Greenwood, K., Russell, A., Schmitz, N., Happé, F., Howlin, P. & Murphy, D.G.M. (2002) Brain anatomy and sensorimotor gating in Asperger’s syndrome. Brain, 125, 1594-606.

Santos, D.N., Borges, A.P., Pereira, P.S., Chalhub, A.A., Happé, F., Silva, R.C., Assis, A.M,. Blanton, R.E., Parraga, I.M., Reis, M.G., Almeida Filho, N.M., & Barreto, M.L. (2002) Epidemiology of schoolchildren’s cognitive development in Jequie, Bahia State, Brazil: assessment procedures and general results. [Portuguese] Cadernos de Saude Publica. 18, 723-33.


2001
Briskman, J., Happé, F. & Frith, U. (2001) Exploring the cognitive phenotype of autism: Weak ‘central coherence’ in parents and siblings of children with autism. II. Real-life skills and preferences. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42, 309-316.

Happé, F., Malhi, G.S. & Checkley, S. (2001) Acquired mind-blindness following frontal lobe surgery? A single case study of impaired ‘theory of mind’ in a patient treated with stereotactic anterior capsulotomy. Neuropsychologia, 39 (1), 83 – 90.

Happé, F., Briskman, J. & Frith, U. (2001) Exploring the cognitive phenotype of autism: Weak ‘central coherence’ in parents and siblings of children with autism. I. Experimental tests. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42, 299-307.

Vogeley, K., Bussfeld, P., Newen, A., Herrmann, S., Happé, F., Falkai, P., Maier, W., Shah, N.J., Fink, G.R. & Zilles, K. (2001) Mind reading: Neural mechanisms of theory of mind and self-perspective. NeuroImage, 14, 170-81.


2000
Abell, F., Happé, F. & Frith, U. (2000) Do triangles play tricks? Attribution of mental states to animated shapes in normal and abnormal development. Cognitive Development, 17, 1-16.

Bach, L.J., Happé, F., Fleminger, S. & Powell, J. (2000) Theory of mind: Independence of executive function and the role of the frontal cortex in acquired brain injury. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 5, 175-192.

Castelli, F., Happé, F., Frith, U & Frith, C. (2000) Movement and mind: a functional imaging study of perception and interpretation of complex intentional movement patterns. NeuroImage, 12, 314-325.

Gallagher, H.L., Happé F., Brunswick N., Fletcher P.C., Frith, U., & Frith, C.D (2000) Reading the mind in cartoons and stories: an fMRI study of ‘theory of mind’ in verbal and nonverbal tasks. Neuropsychologia, 38, 11-21.

Hughes, C., Adlam, A., Happé, F., Jackson J., Taylor, A., & Caspi, A. (2000) Good test-retest reliability for standard and advanced false-belief tasks across a wide range of abilities. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41, 483-490.

O’Neill, D.K. & Happé, F. (2000) Noticing and commenting on what’s new: differences and similarities among 22-month-old typically developing children, children with Down syndrome, and children with autism. Developmental Science, 3, 457-478.

Scheuffgen, K., Happé, F., Anderson, M. & Frith, U. (2000) High “Intelligence”, low “IQ”? Speed of processing and measured IQ in children with autism. Development and Psychopathology, 12, 83-90.


1999
Abell, F., Krams, M., Ashburner, J., Passingham, R., Friston, K., Frackowiak, R., Happé, F., Frith, C. & Frith, U. (1999) The neuroanatomy of autism: A voxel based whole brain analysis of structural scans. NeuroReport, 10, 1647-1651.

Frith, U. & Happé, F. (1999) Theory of mind and self consciousness: What is it like to be autistic? Mind and Language, 14, 1-22.

Happé, F. (1999) Autism: Cognitive deficit or cognitive style? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 3, 216-222.

Happé, F.G.E., Brownell, H. & Winner, E. (1999) Acquired ‘theory of mind’ impairments following stroke. Cognition, 70, 211-240.


1998
Bach, L., Davies, S., Colvin, C., Wijeratne, C., Happé, F. & Howard, R. (1998) A neuropsychological investigation of Theory of Mind in an elderly lady with frontal leucotomy. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 3, 139-159.

Happé, F.G.E., Winner, E. & Brownell, H. (1998) The getting of wisdom: Theory of mind in old age. Developmental Psychology, 34, 358-362.

Frith, U. & Happé, F. (1998) Why specific developmental disorders are not specific: On-line and developmental effects in autism and dyslexia. Developmental Science, 1, 267-272.

Winner, E., Brownell, H., Happé, F., Blum, A. & Pincus, D. (1998) Distinguishing lies from jokes: Theory of mind deficits and discourse interpretation in right hemisphere brain-damaged patients. Brain and Language, 62, 89-106.

1997
Happé, F.G.E. (1997) Central coherence and theory of mind in autism: reading homographs in context. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 15, 1-12.


1996
Happé, F.G.E. (1996) Studying weak central coherence at low levels: children with autism do not succumb to visual illusions. A research note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 37, 873-877.

Happé, F., Ehlers, S., Fletcher, P., Frith, U., Johansson, M., Gillberg, C., Dolan, R., Frackowiak, R. & Frith, C. (1996) ‘Theory of mind’ in the brain. Evidence from a PET scan study of Asperger syndrome. NeuroReport, 8, 197-201.

Happé, F. & Frith, U. (1996) The neuropsychology of autism. Brain, 119, 1377-1400.

Happé, F. & Frith, U. (1996) Theory of mind and social impairment in children with conduct disorder. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 14, 385-398.


1995
Fletcher, P.C., Happé, F., Frith, U., Baker, S.C., Dolan, R.J., Frackowiak, R.S.J. & Frith, C.D. (1995) Other minds in the brain: A functional imaging study of "theory of mind" in story comprehension. Cognition, 57, 109-128.

Happé, F.G.E. (1995) The role of age and verbal ability in the theory of mind task performance of subjects with autism. Child Development, 66, 843-855.

Happé, F.G.E. (1995) Understanding minds and metaphors: insights from the study of figurative language in autism. Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, 10, 275-295.


1994
Fombonne, E., Siddons, F., Achard, S., Frith, U. & Happé, F. (1994) Adaptive behaviour and theory of mind in autism. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 3, 176-186.

Frith, U. & Happé, F. (1994) Autism: beyond "theory of mind". Cognition, 50, 115-132.

Frith, U. & Happé, F. (1994) Language and communication in autistic disorders. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: series B, 346, 97-104.

Frith, U., Happé, F. & Siddons, F. (1994) Autism and theory of mind in everyday life. Social Development, 3, 108-124.

Happé, F.G.E. (1994) Annotation: Psychological theories of autism: the ’theory of mind’ account and rival theories. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 35, 215-229.

Happé, F.G.E. (1994) An advanced test of theory of mind: Understanding of story characters’ thoughts and feelings by able autistic, mentally handicapped and normal children and adults. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 24, 129-154.

Happé, F.G.E. (1994) Wechsler IQ profile and theory of mind in autism: a research note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 35, 1461-1471.

Hurlburt, R.T., Happé, F. & Frith, U. (1994) Sampling the form of inner experience in three adults with Asperger syndrome. Psychological Medicine, 24, 385-395.


1993
Happé, F.G.E. (1993) Communicative competence and theory of mind in autism: A test of Relevance theory. Cognition, 48, 101-119.


1989
Leslie, A.M. & Happé, F. (1989) Autism and ostensive communication: The relevance of metarepresentation. Development and Psychopathology, 1, 205-212.

last updated: Friday, October 15, 2010