Allman received her doctorate from Cardiff University, Wales, U.K. She worked for several years as a postdoc in Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in an affiliated facility for children with disorders of brain and spinal cord, Kennedy Krieger Institute, in the department of Behavioral Psychology. There she worked on (related, but very different) projects with inpatient children with autism and developmental disabilities, using operant behavior principles (focused on the role of the environment in supporting behavior) to treat irregular behaviors for which they were receiving treatment interventions (e.g., self-injury, aggression). She also worked on several neuro-imaging projects in children with autism and ‘normal’ adults, and a variety of behavioral and cognitive tasks.
From the dual perspective of behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, Allman is particularly interested in timing and time perception in autism. Timing and time perception is a crucial, basic ability that allows individuals to combine action sequences, thoughts and behavior, and to detect emerging trends and anticipate future outcomes. These can be both typically and atypically distorted by a variety of sensory, psychological, and physiological factors. Her research is focused on helping others understand the development of timing and time perception in affected children, and examining the extent to which observed differences in timing and time perception relate to autistic behavioral characteristics (e.g., see Allman, 2011).