I joined the University of Gloucestershire in September 2016, having previously worked as a Teaching and Research Associate at Plymouth University where I completed my PhD. My research focus is within social (cognitive) neuroscience, and I am interested in using technology to improve research methods and practices.
Higher Education Academy (Fellow)
I teach the following at both undergraduate and postgraduate level:
Research methods and statistics
My PhD investigated how we can use both situation cues (e.g., the objects in our environment) and prior knowledge of the individual to make action predictions about how our interaction partners are most likely to behave in a given situation. I found evidence that we create what we call person-models about the people we meet. That is, we store information our interaction partners (in much the same way as we stores files within folders on our computers), and we reactivate this information (implicitly) when we encounter them again. I am currently investigating the use of these person-models in more applied settings and am considering how gossip and fake news can influence both our person-models and the decisions we make based on these.
Another area of research I am currently investigating is the beneficial nature of our interactions with animals. This is based on a large amount of evidence demonstrating that being around animals and interacting with them has beneficial effects on our overall wellbeing and can also improve specific health outcomes.
Another area of interest for me is in how we can use technology to improve cognitive rehabilitation after brain injury. This ranges from the use of technology to provide prompts to aid with memory deficits, to how we can use virtual reality to simulate certain everyday activities to help individuals to rebuild their independence after a brain injury. On a related note, I am also interested in recent evidence that social interactions can improve outcomes after a brain injury (and, indeed, the beneficial effects of ‘therapy’ animals).
To find out more please visit my website or get in touch.