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Potential supervisors and their research interests relevant to projects.

Here you can find information about who is available to supervise MSci projects. Please find a list of faculty members along with some information about their general research interests and the methods used in their labs below. Contact details for all faculty members can be found here.

In the 'Pathway' column of the table you can find information about which of the pathways is most closely related to the supervisor's own interests. You are not restricted to selecting a supervisor from your pathway, i.e., you may opt to do a project on memory with typically developed adults even if you are enrolled on the Developmental Disorders MSci pathway. However, in order to conduct a Neuroimaging study (i.e., fMRI or MEG) or a Developmental project, you must have completed the appropriate pathway-specific modules in Year 3 (i.e., Basic Principles in Neuroimaging & Research, Design & Analysis in Neuroimaging, or Neurodevelopmental Disorders & Assessment of Developmental Disorders, respectively).

In the final column of the table you can find information about how to best contact the supervisor if you would like more information about projects. Some supervisors may have set aside specific times for project information meetings; others may be happy to be contacted by email. In general, no supervisor will take issue with receiving an email requesting some information or a short meeting.


NameGeneral InterestCurrent TopicsMethods UsedPathwayHow to contact
Tim AndrewsSocial neuroscience
  1. Do we see the world the same way? This project will investigate the extent to which the brains of different individuals work in a similar way. A variety of behavioural evidence suggests that individuals from different groups can vary in the way they interpret the world. This project will use fMRI to explore the neural basis of in-group bias.
  2. Understanding the brain regions involved in familiar face recognition. The project will involve a novel natural viewing paradigm to link the perception of facial identity with patterns of response in face-selective regions of the human brain.
fMRI, behavioral measures

Neuro


timothy.andrews@york.ac.uk
Daniel BakerI use psychophysics and neuroimaging techniques to investigate low level visual perception of contrast, motion, size, orientation, aftereffects, etc. I'm also interested in individual differences in perception, particularly relating to autism.This year I am particularly interested in running a study comparing
self-report ratings of sensory abilities to ground truth objective
measures. This study would work well as a group project, and has direct
relevance to the sensory experiences often reported by individuals with
autism.
fMRI, MEG, EEG, behavioral measures

Neuro

Clinical

Dev

Please email with any questions or to arrange a meeting: daniel.baker@york.ac.uk
Nick BarracloughI am interested in the brain mechanisms underlying perception. My research focuses on the perception of actions and how we make sense of the behavior of other individuals. In our lab we use a range of different techniques including psychophysics, behavioral testing, 3D presentation, Virtual Reality, TMS and electrophysiological recording.

I am happy to supervise projects investigating action perception, recent projects have investigated how visual adaptation can be used to understand action processing mechanisms, how we derive different personal traits from action information and how Autistic individuals infer the mental state of other individuals from their actions. This year I would be particularly interested in supervising the following MSci projects:

How people in the general population expressing different levels of Autistic traits evaluate the actions of other people.

Motion capture of actions and the structure of how actions are represented in the brain.

I am also open to developing ideas with individual students, or groups of students, in the general area of action perception.


Psychophysics, Behavioural measures

Dev

nick.barraclough@york.ac.uk
Paul Bishop

Student  Wellbeing



I am interested in supervising project in the following areas

-student wellbeing

-learning in higher education

In general I am open to any questionnaire based work

Questionnaire and experimental methods

Clinical

paul.bishop@york.ac.uk
Mike BurtonFace RecognitionI am happy to supervise projects in any area of face recognition.  Some current interests include understanding familiarity (differences between knowing someone personally or through the media),  face learning, and spotting people in crowds.Behavioural measures
mike.burton@york.ac.uk
Scott CairneySleep, virtual reality, emotion regulation, mental healthProjects will use virtual reality and psychophysiology to understand how sleep affects emotion regulation when people are confronted with ambiguous threats. 

Virtual reality, psychophysiology, EEG

Neuro

Clinical

scott.cairney@york.ac.uk
Angela De BruinBilingualism, language, cognitive ageing

I am happy to supervise projects related to the following topics and/or to discuss project ideas students might have.
- Bilingual language choice. A potential project could look at how bilinguals adjust their language choice in a language-production task to the people they are talking with (e.g., do bilinguals use their own language preference or the preference of the person they are talking with?) and the role of individual differences in e.g., autistic traits.

- Language, ageing, and social interactions. A potential project could look at how ageing influences language comprehension or production (in monolinguals) and how potential age effects might relate to individual differences in daily-life social interactions.

These could work as individual or group projects and can be run online. 

Behavioural measures

Clinical

Dev

angela.debruin@york.ac.uk
Karla EvansI am particularly interested in visual attention, visual awareness, visual episodic memory, and crossmodal perception. I'm also interested in perceptual expertise and translation work on medical image perception ( e.g. radiology).

I'm happy to supervise projects in all the areas listed, although this year I would be particularly keen to conduct a group project that will look at improving cancer detection by radiologists and radiographers. This project would use eye-tracking and behavioral measures. We work with different NHS Trusts where we conduct these experiments.

There are ongoing studies in the lab using fMRI and eye-tracking looking into ''gist" processing, which prospective students may wish to get involved with. I'm also open to developing ideas with individual students or groups.

fMRI, eye-tracking, Behavioural measures

Neuro

Clinical

Please contact me via email if you are interested at: karla.evans@york.ac.uk
Melanie ForsterMy main research areas centre around developmental disorders within both a clinical and educational setting, including supporting vulnerability in systemic practice, promoting emotional resilience and enhancing mental health in children and young people.

Project: A qualitative exploration of the role of therapeutic writing in promoting emotional resilience.  This study uses qualitative methodology to explore the impact of a regular writing activity upon the mental health and emotional wellbeing of women who have historically engaged in a therapeutic writing group.  It seeks to gain a greater understanding regarding how the act of writing can help promote emotional processing and enhance wellbeing and coping skills through engaging in the writing cycle.  


Dev

Clinical

melanie.forster@york.ac.uk
Gareth Gaskell

Adult psycholinguistics, speech perception, word recognition, word learning, the mental lexicon, sleep and memory consolidation.

I'm happy to supervise projects in all the areas listed, although this year I would be particularly keen to conduct a group project looking at consolidation and reconsolidation in word learning.

Polysomnography, behavioural measures

Neuro

gareth.gaskell@york.ac.uk
Silvia Gennari

Event memory, psychology of time, cognitive neuroscience, language processing

I am happy to supervise projects in the following areas:

(1) expressive language problems and sentence production processes in relation to memory skills. This topic can be examined from a clinical or a neuroimaging perspective, looking at the correlates of expressive difficulties either in the brain or behaviour.

(2) Memory and Language: how descriptions of events bias our memory for those events. The same visual event can be described in different ways depending on one's perspective and prior knowledge. Similarly, different languages may place more emphasis on some aspects of events compared to others. 



behavioural methods

eye-tracking

fMRI

Neuro

Dev

Clinical

Please, contact me by email if you are interested (silvia.gennari@york.ac.uk), and we can arrange a time to meet.
Karisha George

I am broadly interested in Forensic psychology

I would be keen to supervise projects related to forensic psychology, particularly:

  • Jury decision making – there are the traditional areas of exploration here such as the impact of misleading questions and race or attractiveness of the defendant/plaintiff. However, please feel free to be creative and consider including plaintiff traits such as religiosity and sexual orientation.
  • Public views on offender risk – some example research questions in this area include:
    1. Are there some crimes that are more socially acceptable than others, and do these opinions differ based on certain traits e.g. race, gender?
    2. Does knowing about an offender’s victimization reduce ratings of their guilt?

Forensic

karisha.k.george@york.ac.uk

Silke Goebel

Numerical cognition, arithmetic development, numeracy & literacy development

I am happy to supervise projects related to mathematical development, number processing and developmental disorders. I also have three concrete project ideas that would be good MSci projects (1) How does the mapping between spoken number words (e.g. ‘four’) and Arabic digits (e.g., 4) develop in primary school ? (requires data collection) (2) Which skills in Year 1 predict children’s ability to convert measurements (e.g., from cm to m, from second to minutes) in Year 3? (reanalysis of an existing longitudinal dataset) (3) How do children and adults process quantifyer (e.g., some, many)? (requires data collection)

Behavioural Measures

Dev

silke.goebel@york.ac.uk
Tom HartleyNeural representation; spatial cognition; memory.I am interested in the way different kinds of information are represented and processed in the brain, and especially in spatial cognition (e.g., how we find our way, how we know where we are, why do we get lost?), memory and the hippocampus. I use neuroimaging techniques together with experimental psychology and computational modelling to investigate these issues. Your project might involve neuroimaging investigations of scene processing (i.e., how we recognize places based on vision), aspects of memory (Neuroscience pathway) or behavioural tests of these or related functions (ECSP). If you have programming experience it may be possible to do a project involving aspects of computational modelling or novel VR-based tasks (either pathway). Imaging and modelling projects need to be carefully planned to fit with and extend ongoing work and to ensure feasibility.

fMRI ,structural MRI, behavioural measures, computational modelling

Neuro

tom.hartley@york.ac.uk
Amanda HickeyMy main research interests are in verbal language and how we learn to use such a complex system at such a rapid pace within our everyday lives.  My interest includes typical language learning and use but also atypical, so what happens when a person has dyslexia or developmental language disorder?

I’m happy to supervise projects in my main area of research interest which explores what might influence how different aspects of language are learnt and used:

  1. This could consider the effect of language background.  So does being bilingual or monolingual influence language learning ability? Does reading proficiency, reading experience or a history of language difficulties influence language learning ability?

  2. Does changing how a language is presented or taught help or hinder language learning?  Can we find a way to make it easier to learn a second language or better support those who struggle to learn languages?

  3. Are different parts of language easier to learn than others?  Is this the same for everyone? 

I am also happy to talk about project ideas related to reading and the psychology of education.  


Devamanda.hickey@york.ac.uk 
Aidan HornerEpisodic memory; decision making; sleep; consolidationI use experimental, computational and neuroimaging techniques to understand how memories change over time, and how this supports decision making. I can supervisor projects in this broad area.Behavioural measures, compuational modelling, fMRI, MEGNeuroaidan.horner@york.ac.uk
Bailey HouseI study social behaviour in adults and children. I am particularly interested in how our beliefs about what we should do influence the choices that we make.

I am interested in supervising projects with either children or adults, on a number of topics related to social behaviour.

Research Projects with Children:
There are a number of opportunities for working on in-person or online research projects with children aged 4 and older. These studies could take place at participant homes, in a museum or library, or online (depending on the project and government guidelines). These studies are collaborative, so you would be participating in ongoing lab-wide research projects, but there are a number of different topics or questions that you would be able to explore using data collected as part of these collaborative projects. These topics include imitation and conformity, cooperation and prosocial behaviour, along with understanding of social norms and promise keeping/breaking. Data collection and analysis would occur during the Autumn and Spring terms; this is a demanding project and requires the commitment of 2 days/week in both terms.

Research Projects with Adults:
I am also interested in supervising projects that explore how adults' beliefs influence their behaviour or attitudes (e.g. behaviour or attitudes about conservation/sustainability). These studies would be conducted online using surveys, and would be new projects conceived and carried out independently or as part of a group. For example, I would be interested in a project that explores how people's motivation to engage in prosocial or socially-beneficial activities (e.g. recycling, veganism, charitable giving, energy conservation) are related to (1) people's beliefs about how personally costly those activities are and (2) their beliefs about whether others approve of those activities."

Behavioural

Dev

bailey.house@york.ac.uk
Beth JefferiesControl of memoryOur group uses multiple methods (including neuroimaging and neuropsychology) to examine the network interactions that allow us to control our internal cognition. This year, we want to use fMRI to examine how we shape the retrieval of meaning and emotion. Difficulties in controlling thought and emotional responses are seen frequently in psychological disorders, including OCD and PTSD. Using fMRI, we will identify brain networks that are recruited when we make decisions about unusual rather than dominant aspects of meaning, requiring control over conceptually-mediated thought. These networks will be compared with neural responses when we switch from negative to positive meanings. By contrasting these tasks with hard perceptual judgements, we will establish whether the control of thought and emotion is distinct from externally-oriented control. Students on the clinical pathway who wish to do behavioural research can get involved in post-scanning assessment of well-being, thought and memory control and the avoidance of stereotypical thought. fMRI, MEG, TMS, Neuropsychology

Neuro

Clinical

beth.jefferies@york.ac.uk
Rob JenkinsHuman Risk

Psychological factors in global catastrophic risk, including cognitive biases, mind perception, and individual differences; Effective Altruism; practical ethics

Recent projects:

  • Prevalence of omnicidal tendencies
  • Attribution of mind to non-humans
  • Weekly cycle in risk tolerance
Behavioural experiments; online surveys; secondary data analysis
rob.jenkins@york.ac.uk
Sven MattysSpeech perception, language, hearing.

My current projects concern the perceptual mechanisms underlying speech perception under divided attention and noisy background.

I am also interested in language learning simulations and music perception.

Behavioural, psychophysical.
sven.mattys@york.ac.uk
Cade McCall

Threat, social interaction, human interactions with technology.

I am particularly interested in supervising projects in these areas: 1) The influence of threat on cognition,  2) human interactions with autonomous systems (e.g., self-driving cars), and 3) the role of emotion in gaming. 

Virtual Reality, behavioural measures, psychophysiology
cade.mccall@york.ac.uk
Fiona McNabWorking Memory and ignoring distraction.

I am keen to supervise behavioural studies (with online data collection) designed to further our understanding of what limits our working memory capacity, and how our ability to ignore distraction plays a role in this. 

We have identified that the ability to ignore different types of distraction seems to separately limit working memory capacity, and may involve separate brain mechanisms. Research is now needed to determine the extent to which these mechanisms are specific to visuo-spatial working memory, or are “domain-general”, as well as how these mechanisms shape working memory development.

Behavioural measures
 fiona.mcnab@york.ac.uk
Liz MeinsAttachment, mind-mindedness and mental healthIntergenerational transmission of attachment and mind-mindedness, long-term predictors of young adults' mental health.Behavioural data coding, questionnaires, secondary data analysis
elizabeth.meins@york.ac.uk 
Tony MorlandVision and Visual Deficits and the consequences of visual deficits on quality of life, including mental health.

1. I am interested in assessing the mental health of individuals with sight loss, particularly in those with Age-related Macular Degeneration.  Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the UK affecting 1 in 10 of those aged over 80.  It is a slowly progressing disease and often precursors to the disease - before the loss of vision - can be identified when people visit their optician.  This means that there are large numbers of individuals that may worry about their future as well as a large number of individuals whose vision is affected by the disease.  There are therefore important questions to be asked about the mental health status in individuals at risk of or with sight loss to reach a better understanding how their quality of life can be best served. 

2. I also undertake neuroimaging studies of the human visual system and will be working on how the brain processes visual scenes and shape using fMRI and MEG techniques.

Interview, Questionnaire, fMRI, MEG, psychophysics

Neuro

Clinical

antony.morland@york.ac.uk 
Gavin Phillips

My main interests lie in the general area of mental health. Related topics such as addiction, emotion and motivation crop up regularly too.

I am more than happy to offer a project that relates to issues broadly relevant to mental health. Titles of recent projects I've supervised include: 

  • #Bodypositive: ‘Body positivity promoting’ imagery on Instagram and its effects on young women

  • The Influence of Gender and Obsessive-compulsive Thoughts upon the Development of Exercise Fixations 

  • Personality Traits and their Influence on Exercise Addiction and Appearance Management
  • Internal vs. External Jogging: Comparing Exercise and Humour for Improving Affect

  • Eating behaviour and Somatic Awareness: Is Self-Compassion a factor in both men and women?
  • The effects of Familiarity and Information on Attitudes towards Mental and Physical Disorders.

  • Generalisation of Attentional Focus on Food Intake to Related Activities
  • An Investigation Into The Effects Of Cognitive Challenge On Snack Food Preference.
  • Getting the timing right: effects of the scent of lavender on psychological state
  • Weight consciousness as a function of personality
  • Think Positive: Is Attributional Style a Predictor of Psychological Well-Being
  • The effect of music mood and tempo on stress
  • Why do we Donate? Examining the Influence of Personality and Marketing on Charitable Giving.
  • The Role of Personality in Odour Induced Mood Change

  • Personality and Eating Attitudes: How Does Conscientiousness and Controlling Behaviour Link with Damaging Eating Behaviours?

  • The effects of Familiarity and Information on Attitudes towards Mental and Physical Disorders.

  • An Investigation into the Relationship Between Personality Traits, Exercise Addiction and Appearance Concern

Behavioural

Clinical

gavin.phillips@york.ac.uk

David PitcherI am interested in Clinical Neuroscience projects that will examine novel treatments for mental illness involving TMS. I am also in interested in social perception and the dynamic aspects of face perception in particular.

I am running a clinical neuroscience project on the neural basis of anxiety. This will be a combined TMS / fMRI study. The basic idea is to investigate if TMS delivered over the frontal cortex can be used as a novel treatment for anxiety.

I am also currently running a combined TMS / fMRI experiment on face processing in the superior temporal sulcus (STS). While this project will be conducted in neuro-typical subjects it relates to how these processes maybe disrupted in current models of autism and schizophrenia. 

Please contact me if you are interested in either project and I can explain more.

fMRI, TMS, Neuropsychology

Neuro

Clinical

david.pitcher@york.ac.uk
Catherine PrestonI am interested in how the experience of the body influences mental health and well being. I also have a general interest in body perception and fundamental principles of body ownership.

I use various techniques including neuroimaging, psychometric and behavioural methods to tackle questions relating to the contribution of the (exteroceptive and interoceptive) bodily experience to health and well-being. This year I have four main themes for potential projects:

1. Chronic pain (body illusions and feelings towards the body)

2. Perinatal mental health and wellbeing (e.g. feelings towards the body, breastfeeding, affective touch, maternal and infant relationship)

3. Disordered eating / body satisfaction

4. Body ownership and multisensory body illusions 

 
fMRI, Behavioural, Clinical 

Neuro

Clinical

Dev

catherine.preston@york.ac.uk
Philip QuinlanI have a general interest in attention and attentional control and more recently I have been concerned with aspects of visual short-term memory

I am happy to consider supervising projects on these general topics.  I also have an experiment on ensemble encoding in vision that might be of interest.

Strictly behavioural measures - RT, accuracy.
philip.quinlan@york.ac.uk 
Sally QuinnMy general interest is Cyberpsychology 

I am happy to supervise any project in this general area but some ideas are:

  1. Individual factors that are linked to:
  • Catfishing
  • Online harrassment  (cyberbullying, trolling)
  • Online identity theft

2. Police use of social media

Mainly questionnaires but open to experimental methodsForensicContact me by email to arrange a meeting (sally.quinn@york.ac.uk)
Alex Reid

I am interested in various forms of memory consolidation that result from sleep. This includes lexical integration, memory transformation, false memory creation and emotional memory consolidation.

More recently I have become interested in developing educational interventions that reduce the impact and influence of ‘fake news’.

I am happy to supervise behavioural experiments that disentangle the influences of sleep and time on memory consolidation. This could broadly relate to a number of areas within this remit, such as emotional or lexical memory consolidation, or a related project of your own devising (the literature is vast and varied!). Unlike other sleep researchers in this list our experiments would likely take place over one or two days outside the sleep lab (i.e. will be home-based rather than lab-based), and would not involve EEG. 

I am also interested in developing educational interventions to help people distinguish from ‘real’ and ‘fake’ news. This is a new and prescient interest I would like to explore further with a student.

Behavioral measures, questionnaires

alex.reid@york.ac.uk (I am happy to arrange a cursory meeting for questions)

Miles Rogish

Adult Neuropsychology, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Developmental Disorders (DD), mental health provision in complex service users (TBI and DD specific)

I currently have areas of research up and running that fall into a few areas. I have research interests on Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and how this can be used for staff support in formulation and management of emotions in challenging situations. At this time my CFT based research is looking at developing staff training and staff emotional support. I also have areas of interest in the impact of various disorders on families and carers. I have current projects looking at the impact of Down's Syndrome and ADHD on family systems through a qualitative analysis of family dynamics and perception of the vulnerable family member over the course time. I have also had projects looking at the impact of the ASD diagnostic process on neurotypical siblings. I have had projects looking at paid and unpaid carers in Traumatic Brain Injury as well. I tend to focus all of my research on adult and neurotypical populations who have capacity to consent and are not considered vulnerable in order to make them appropriate for Master's level research projects. In many cases I will focus on families or carers of vulnerable populations in order to evaluate a clinical phenomenon indirectly and safely. At this time I would be happy to consider any project that would fall under my areas of interest and does not work directly with vulnerable populations. I would suggest if you have specific questions or interests to get in touch with me to discuss your idea and if I would be an appropriate supervisor. 

behavioural methods, self-report measures, Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, secondary data analysis.

Clinical

miles.rogish@york.ac.uk
Katie Slocombe

Animal communication and cognition (Dogs; Chimps)

Human infant development

I can offer the following Chimpanzee project:

Chimpanzee communication: The is a possibility (covid-allowing) of collecting data for 4-6 weeks over the summer at Edinburgh Zoo on the chimpanzees. Observational data on their communicative signals would be collected with video cameras and require coding during term time. There is flexibility in the questions you can address with the communicative data. Subsidised basic (hostel-like) accommodation may be available in the zoo for £3/night (covid-allowing), but you must be able to cover these costs and your transport. If covid restrictions mean data collection is not possible, you could work with my extensive existing database of chimpanzee or crested macaque videos, many of which are focussed on infants and their mothers, meaning questions relating to the development of communication would be possible to address. We also have video of human infants that could be used if a broader, cross-species comparative approach was desirable.

I can offer the following dog project:

Dog Dictionary: This project would aim to collect high quality audio recordings of dog vocalisations in a range of contexts, so we can look for acoustic variation in vocalisations given in different contexts, which ay contribute towards efforts to build a 'dog dictionary' for their vocalisations. Depending on how many people want to work together on this project we could then examine the accuracy of humans in detecting valence, arousal and context from the vocalisations. For this project you need to know plenty of people (friends / family) with dogs who you would need to feel confident to visit those dogs in their homes and make the recordings. I will supply recording equipment and can lend the equipment over the summer if you have a larger dog network at home than in York. 

I can offer the following developmental project:

Human infant and child development. The opportunity to work along side members of my existing lab collecting data on infants of 4.5-5years old in their own homes. If face-to-face testing is permitted, you would accompany experienced RAs to collect a range of observational and experimental data on home visits when the children are 4.5 or 5 years old. We are collecting data that is relevant to understanding the development of language, theory of mind, inhibition, emotional understanding and social norm understanding and use when the children are 4.5 and 5 years old. We also have rich longitudinal data on this cohort of children from the age of 3 months old, covering joint attention, communication, cooperation, overimitation and prosocial behaviour. You would have the unique opportunity to use measures taken in infancy to predict behaviour you will collect data on in early childhood.  There is flexibility in the questions you can choose to address with the data you and the wider project will collect. Data Collection and analysis would occur during the Autumn and Spring terms; this is a demanding project and requires the commitment of 2 days/week in both terms.


Behavioural:

Observational and experimental.

Video coding / Acoustic analysis


Dev

Please contact me via email if you are interested in any of these projects: (Katie.slocombe@york.ac.uk)
Alex WadeVision, decision making, consciousness

Consciousness and decision making using the International Brain Laboratory task

I am collaborating with a large, multinational group that are interested in how we make decisions based on visual information. In other words, how does information pass from your eye to the visual cortex and then to the bit of the brain that makes a response? This seems like a simple question but it bridges an entire field of neuroscience from early vision right through to consciousness.  Much of this work has been done on mice to date but there are now efforts to start work on human experiments.

This will be one of the first projects in the world to use the standard International Brain Laboratory (https://www.internationalbrainlab.com/) task in a human neuroimaging experiment. We will use MRI and MEG combined with traditional behavioural experiments to trace the flow of neuronal information in a target detection task through the brain with millisecond resolution. As well as our own data, we will have access to multielectrode array data from the IBL and would work with collaborators in Cambridge and the Netherlands.

This project would suit students with an interest in neuroimaging and neuroscience as a career.




Behavioural measures, computational modelling, MRI, fMRI, MEGNeuro

I would be delighted to discuss this either in person or by email:

alex.wade@york.ac.uk


 



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