My research centres on modulating and measuring neural activity. I have a particular interest in plasticity and how our brains adapt and develop as part of the ageing process. Through the use of behavioural paradigms, neuroimaging techniques and brain stimulation methods, I aim to investigate age-related changes within specific brain regions and diffuse neural networks in both health and disease.

  • BSc (Hons), Psychology, Swansea University
  • MRes, Brain Imaging & Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Birmingham
  • PhD, Psychology (Advanced Neuroimaging Methods), Cardiff University

Areas of Expertise

  • ageing
  • brain stimulation
  • cognitive neuroscience
  • inhibition & cognitive control
  • neuroimaging

Publications

  1. & Transcranial modulation of brain oscillatory responses: A concurrent tDCS–MEG investigation. NeuroImage
  2. Commentary: Systematic assessment of duration and intensity of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation on primary motor cortex excitability. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 10
  3. & Stimulating somatosensory psychophysics: a double-blind, sham-controlled study of the neurobiological mechanisms of tDCS. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 9

Teaching

  • PS-M09 Theoretical Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience

    Cognitive neuroscience is the study of how the brain gives rise to mind and behaviour. Using a variety of imaging and sensing techniques, it is now possible to measure the functional activity of the brain during mental processing. Married with good experimental design, and including insights from clinical populations, this approach holds great potential for illuminating mind and behaviour. This course will begin with a brief description of cognitive neuroscience techniques and an overview of basic structural and functional brain organization. Each week, a current research issue (e.g. the nature of consciousness, the link between perception and action, the representation of objects) will be discussed in detail via the use of recent journal articles. Class participation in presenting and critiquing these papers will be expected. The module will be assessed via written assignment.

  • PS-M15 Special Research Skills

    Specialists from a variety of fields in psychology discuss the methods used in their own research area. The subject areas will vary from year to year depending upon the current research interests and activities of the staff. Each seminar is grounded by showing the application of these methods to a particular theory or issue in psychology. Students select two options from those presented (one in TB1 and TB2) and write an essay after consultation with the presenter on a topic geared to their own research interests.

  • PSY212 Development Across the Lifespan

    The first half of the module will explore age related changes in cognitive and moral development from early infancy to late adolescence. It will also consider the other major changes that occur in adolescence including social, biological, and neurological changes and how this might impact on normative development in this sensitive period. The second half will deal with health ageing in comparison to age-related disorders such as mild cognitive impairment and dementia. These issues will be considered in terms of brain anatomy and function as well as the effect on the individual and society. Current methods in ageing and developmental research will also be discussed.

  • PSY302 Development Across the Lifespan

    The first half of the module will explore age related changes in cognitive and moral development from early infancy to late adolescence. It will also consider the other major changes that occur in adolescence including social, biological, and neurological changes and how this might impact on normative development in this sensitive period. The second half will deal with health ageing in comparison to age-related disorders such as mild cognitive impairment and dementia. These issues will be considered in terms of brain anatomy and function as well as the effect on the individual and society. Current methods in ageing and developmental research will also be discussed.

  • PSY305 Psychology Work Placement Module

    This module starts with a 3-day intensive employability boot camp covering the key skills that are essential in the work place (Self-management, business and customer awareness, team-working, communication, problem solving & psychological literacy). Following this, a work-placement (35+ hours) will be undertaken which can be spread-out over a number of weeks (e.g., one day per week) or over a shorter time period (alternative working patterns can be made in agreement with the module leader). A limited number of local placements can be provided or self-sourced placements can be accommodated (judged on a case-by-case basis for suitability). Please note that, students who apply to this module are applying for any number of placement opportunities in general and not applying to one specific placement of their choice. Eligibility/ selection criteria for the module: 1. Completed Bronze Swansea Employability Award (students who have yet to complete the Bronze level of the Swansea Employability Award can do so here: https://myuni.swan.ac.uk/employability/swansea-employability-award-overview/ by the end of June) 2. Statement explaining why you would like to take part in this module and what you hope to gain from it (300 ¿ 500 words). 3. Attendance record throughout your degree (If mitigating circumstances have affected your attendance, this will be considered during selection).

  • PSY319 Final Year Independent Research Project

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. The research topic is decided in conjunction with supervisors and Research topics. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

  • PSY320 Dissertation

    This optional module provides students with the opportunity to conduct an extended literature review to discover what is currently known about an interesting, but less well known, area of psychology that is not taught as part of the psychology curriculum in Level 5 or 6. Students work independently, guided by their dissertation supervisor, to research a topic of their choice. In recent years students have written dissertations about `political psychology¿, `positive psychology¿ `why people take part in extreme sports¿, `does cannabis use cause schizophrenia¿ and many other diverse lines of enquiry.

  • PSY362 The Ageing Brain

    The module provides a comprehensive overview of how the human brain develops across the adult lifespan; focusing on patterns of structural, functional and neurochemical change in health and disease. Topics covered during the lecture series include: the biological consequences of ageing, use of cognitive neuroscience research methods to study the ageing brain and the influence of innate and external factors in determining the onset of cognitive impairment and dementia.

Supervision

  • A Multimodal Investigation of the effects of fronto-cerebellar transcranial stimulation (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Hana Burianova
    Other supervisor: Dr Claire Hanley
    Other supervisor: Dr Frederic Boy
    Other supervisor: Dr Hayley Young

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Work Shadowing Lead - Athena SWAN – Career Progression Group, College of Human & Health Sciences

    2016 - Present

  • Member - Innovation & Engagement – Swansea Memory Clinic, Department of Psychology

    2016 - Present

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2010 2012 Research Assistant Medical Research Council – Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge University

Research Groups

  • Dementia Research Group

    The Psychology Department Dementia Research Group is composed of staff and PhD students actively engaged in a wide range of research investigating subjective cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment and various aetiologies of dementia.