Dr Terhi Korkiakangas

I am British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at UCL Institute of Education (2014-2017). In my project, “Multimodal Communication: The Case of the Operating Theatre”, I examine how surgeons and nurses accomplish collaborative work in the operating theatre. I zoom in on communication at the ‘micro level’: focusing on how surgeons and nurses utilise multimodal resources – bodies, gaze, artefacts, space, proximity, and talk  in teamwork. These communication practices can have direct relevance for patient safety.

I am a social interaction researcher. I use multimodal approach to conversation analysis to examine interactions in everyday and institutional settings. My principal research interests involve the use of talk, gaze, and body movement in clinical and professional interactions, and in autism spectrum disorders. I seek to understand how social understanding is accomplished using these resources. I work mainly with video data.

Prior to my British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, I was Research Fellow (2013-2014) within MODE, a node of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM). I examined the constraints and challenges in archiving and sharing video data. For example, the expectations of data sharing, dissemination, and impact can raise a number of ethical issues, especially in terms of sensitive video material collected for research purposes.

Before joining MODE, I was Research Associate in an ESRC funded project “Transient Teams in the Operating Theatre at Imperial College London (2012-2013). In this project, our team examined communication between nurses and surgeons in a London teaching hospital. The project has addressed a key challenge for the NHS by investigating professional communication in ‘transient’ teams where members step in and out of newly formed teams, collaborating on complex tasks while drawing on a range of linguistic and cultural resources. Wylie 1 The project drew on a large corpus of video-recorded surgical operations, which I observed and recorded together with my colleague, Sharon-Marie Weldon, over a period of six months.

I studied Psychology at the University of Roehampton (BSc 2006; MSc 2007; PhD 2012). My other research relate to autism spectrum disorders, and in my PhD research, I examined video-recorded interactions involving Finnish children with autism. I continue interactional research on autism together with my PhD student, Katja Tuononen (University of Eastern Finland). Katja and I are the directors of “Multimodal Interaction Research Group for Autism” (mmirga), and you can read about our work here.

I have taught Psychology at the University of Roehampton (2011-2012 Lecturer in Developmental Psychology [maternity cover], during which I supervised numerous research dissertations and developed and delivered my own BSc dissertation module. I was Visiting Lecturer at the University of Roehampton between 2008 and 2011. Currently, I facilitate interactional video analysis workshops at the UCL Institute of Education.