Professor in Psychology, Faculty of Science
I studied for a BSc in Psychology at Sheffield University from 1987 to 1990 and after working as a research assistant for a year I moved on to a MSc in Cognitive Science at Edinburgh University (1991-1992). I completed a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at St Andrews University (1993-1995) under the supervision of Michael Rugg and then held research positions in psychology at Oxford University from 1996 to 1999 working with Kia Nobre. I took up a lectureship in the School of Psychology at Cardiff University in 1999. I was promoted to Professor in 2010 and from 2012 to 2015 I served as Head of School. I joined the School of Psychology at Nottingham University in the summer of 2015. I was Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Graduate School and Research Career Development between 2016 and 2018.
I am a student of human memory with particular interests in how long-term memory operates. I have detailed knowledge of human brain imaging approaches that allow insights into how minds and brains are organized and how they interact.
I am interested in teaching in cognitive psychology, cognitive neurosychology and cognitive neuroscience. Across all these domains I invariably return to a focus on ways in which studying the brain… read more
I am studying the cognitive and neural basis of human long-term memory. My particular interests at the moment are in questions about how we exert control over what we remember and what we forget.… read more
Outside work I can be found working on my golf swing (there is always work to do), reading crime novels (currently Jez Harris and re-reading Robert B Parker), and supporting micro-breweries by exploring their best IPAs and Red Ales.
I am interested in teaching in cognitive psychology, cognitive neurosychology and cognitive neuroscience. Across all these domains I invariably return to a focus on ways in which studying the brain and the mind, either separately or in combination, provides us with numerous ways of understanding our mental lives and mental processes.
I am studying the cognitive and neural basis of human long-term memory. My particular interests at the moment are in questions about how we exert control over what we remember and what we forget. There are several ways in which cognitive control operations can influence memory retrieval. I attempt to disentangle these and to delineate their impact via the combined use of behavioral assessments and assays of neural activity. The majority of my work involves the use of real-time imaging measures (electroencephalography: EEG, and magnetoencephalography: MEG) but I also employ functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) where it is the most useful modality to address the question at hand.
I have studied several topics that revolve around the question of how memory retrieval works. This work has covered key questions about the memory processes that are indexed by different measures of neural activity and how these neural measures can be deployed to develop our understanding of cognitive systems. In addition I have contributed to knowledge about how preparation for retrieval, retrieval search, retrieval success and retrieval monitoring operate.
Memories can come to mind involuntarily and I have a developing interest in understanding what factors determine when this will (and will not) occur. It is clearly important that memories can come to mind unbidden in certain circumstances, but also undesirable if this were to happen too often. I intend to develop my understanding of how this balance is maintained, and what happens when the balance goes awry.
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