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Jasper Robinson

Associate Professor, Faculty of Science

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Biography

Before joining the School of Psychology at Nottingham, I lectured at the University of Liverpool and was awarded my PGCHE there. I worked as an MRC- and BBSRC-funded post-doctoral research with Prof. John Pearce, FRS (Cardiff University) Prof. Geoffrey Hall (The University of York) before going into lecturing. Geoffrey also supervised my DPhil. I took my BA in Psychology at the University of Reading where Dr Liz Gaffan influenced my interests in experimental psychology and especially associative learning theory.

Teaching Summary

C81ADD Addiction and the brain C81BIO Biological Psychology C82NAB Neuroscience and Behaviour C83MLP Mechanisms of Learning and Psychopathology C82MPR & C83MPR Lab classes

Research Summary

I'm currently examining recognition memory in people using eye-tracking. The procedure is an evolution of 'object recognition' memory tasks using in rodents, which have been used to examine the… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

I'm currently examining recognition memory in people using eye-tracking. The procedure is an evolution of 'object recognition' memory tasks using in rodents, which have been used to examine the neural substrates of recognition memory. My current interest is in testing competing psychological hypotheses of recognition, which I describe here (Robinson & Bonardi, 2015).

Past Research

Peter Jones, Emma Whitt and I examined mechanisms of rats' novelty/familiarity discrimination in a BBSRC-funded grant & PhD studentship. Our main findings were:

  • That despite the parallels between 'spontaneous object recognition' and simple, orienting-response, habituation procedures, lesions of the perirhinal cortex reduced rats' object recognition but did not affect habituation. This could be because they rely on different processes (declarative memory versus stimulus → response learning).
  • The reduction of object memory in rats with manipulations of the perirhinal cortex has been claimed to be the result of a failure to discriminate novelty from familiarity; however, other accounts of this deficit are available. We found direct evidence of the failure of novelty/familiarity discrimination in an auditory generalisation task in rats.

Future Research

Acquired equivalence experiments demonstrate that people (and rats and pigeons, for that matter) confuse stimuli that have signalled the same outcomes in the past. For example, when rats learn that both a tone and a white noise signal food deliver, they are now more likely to transfer new learning about the tone to the white noise. Analogous experiments with people have demonstrated that older people show this acquired equivalence effect less strongly (Robinson & Owens, 2013), which we interpret as providing evidence about dynamic processes within a three-layer network that supports learning. We plan to test predictions of this account.

School of Psychology

University Park
The University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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