Our wide-ranging and extremely influential research ranges from basic and applied psychological research in clinical and health psychology to the study of sensation, perception, cognition and motor behaviour. Take a look at what we’ve been researching recently within each of our research groups.
Language, Memory, and Attention group
Within education, Dr Ricketts and Professor Rastle work closely with key educational charities (e.g., National Literacy Trust, Educational Endowment Foundation), the press (Time Literary Supplement), schools and teachers to inform educational practices for promoting reading in primary and secondary school.
Psychology researchers play a central role in the College's AHRC-funded (£12m) interdisciplinary StoryFutures projects, which include a 'creative R&D cluster' (aimed at driving innovation and growth in immersive storytelling in our region) and the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling (which provides cutting-edge creative training and research programs focused on immersive technologies).
Professor Dalton’s research on multisensory perception, attention and awareness will be applied to achieving effective audience engagement in immersive experiences such as VR. Professor Dalton’s work applying cognitive psychology to aviation, in collaboration with the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the Safety and Accident Investigation Centre at Cranfield, has led to improvements in the design and use of helicopter warning systems.
Social and Affective Processes group
Colleagues conduct clinical psychology research and work closely with charities, such as Dr Balsters’ work with national autism charity Autistica.
Researchers in the Department are active in external engagements with industry including cybersecurity and emerging fields including the digital and creative industries. Dr Cinnirella’s work on human factors in cybersecurity has led to funded research projects with large multi-nationals such as GlaxoSmithKline and Shell, with measurable impact on policy and procedures in these companies, and improvements in the security behaviours of employees.
Professor Tsakiris is collaborating with Team Turquoise a London-bases start-up of wearable technology that has received numerous awards for its flagship product doppel.
Which part of someone’s face do you look at when you’re deciding what that person is feeling? And does this depend on how you think and feel in social situations as well as how you process emotions? Colleagues in the SAP group are using using eye-tracking to determine where individuals attend to in a face when making decisions about the emotions of other people.
Health and Well-being group
Evaluating new medical treatments on quality of life
We generated a series of Patient Reported Outcome Measures to evaluate the impact of new treatments on quality of life and patient satisfaction. Every major pharmaceutical company in the world is now using these measures which have been validated in more than 100 languages. This research has therefore delivered major benefits to hundreds of thousands of individuals with diabetes and other long-term medical conditions, who can be assured that the treatments they are offered will improve their quality of life as well as their quality of health.
Mental health first aid for teachers
Our Child and Family Research Group has developed a new app to support mental health awareness for teachers. The app aims to help teachers understand how to talk to young people about stress and mental health, screen for mental health problems and refer on appropriately. It’s currently being trialled in schools.
Perception, Action, and Decision-making group
Dr Ferre’s work on vestibular–multisensory interactions was sponsored by the European Low Gravity Research Association and European Space Agency and has broad applications to human space programmes – she is currently a UK Space Life and Biomedical Sciences Association (UK SpaceLABS) Committee Member.
Professor Wann has a long-standing collaboration with Volvo through their scientific advisory board on projects developing driver assistance system for semi-autonomous vehicles, with the potential to affect hundreds of thousands of road users. His research on children’s roadside judgements has led to him becoming a trustee (the sole academic member of the board) for Bikeability Trust which distributes £12m p.a of UK Government funding into children’s cycle training which engages 52% of primary school children in England.
We investigated the relationship between fundamental aspects of human visual processing and the scenarios in which road accidents are most likely to occur. This research helped drive the highly successful national campaign to lower urban speed limits, particularly where child pedestrians are present. More than 40 local authorities have now adopted 20mph speed limits in residential streets, affecting over 10 million residents. These changes have the potential to prevent over 500 accidents leading to a death or serious injury.