My main teaching areas centre on Research Methods, Cognitive Psychology, Applied Psychology, and the Neurophysiology of Perception. Within these areas I have specific interests in visual memory, perception, problem solving and visual illusions. I also supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations which relate to my teaching or research interests.
I have four main research interests:
Do crossmodal correspondences influence storage capacity in short-term memory?: Using behavioural measures this project is seeking to establish the role that crossmodal correspondences has upon the ability to retain information over short periods of time. Existing research has shown that memory can be enhanced when stored features belong to the same object compared to when they belong to different objects. The current series of studies seeks to look also at additional non-arbitrary features of an object; e.g. is a bright colour on an angular object better stored than a dull colour, due to the correspondence of the former but not the latter?
The perception of somatotypes, crossmodal correspondences and personality stereotypes: Using perceptual judgements along a set of perceptual dimensions this study seeks to establish causes for the stereotypes associated with different somatotypes. Research in crossmodal correspondences shows that shape, size, and other object/event features can affect oneâ€™s perceptual judgements even though they are not relevant to the judgement to be made. Is it the case that our perception of someoneâ€™s character or personality is similarly influenced by non-relevant features (e.g. how tall someone is).
Illusory distortion of speed/time through the horizontal-vertical illusion: The horizontal-vertical illusion is a perceptual distortion of size whereby vertical distances are perceived to be longer than matched-length horizontal distances. Does this spatial illusory distortion affect other environmental features such as speed? This psychophysical study looks to determine whether the just-noticeable difference (JND) for vertical motion targets is greater than the JND for horizontal motion targets.
Children's writing and individual difference: Research here centres around working memory and executive control of information important for children to develop their writing skills. Studies focus on taking measures of individual performance on cognitive tasks and seeing how they change and develop across the primary school years. Of particular interest is the child's ability to learn sound-symbol associations and the degree to which this is affected by prior exposure to printing and writing practice.