I am Director of the Experimental Psychopathology Lab. My research interests include: learning and experimental psychopathology; the generalization of emotion; fear, avoidance and anxiety; behavioural and affective neuroscience; relational memory; gambling disorder; relational frame theory; and emotion-based decision-making.

  • BA (Hons), Applied Psychology, University College Cork
  • PhD, Applied Psychology (Behaviour Analysis), University College Cork

Areas of Expertise

  • Experimental psychopathology (fear and avoidance learning and generalisation)
  • Gambling disorder
  • Relational Frame Theory
  • Behavioural Neuroscience

Publications

  1. & Related to anxiety: Arbitrarily applicable relational responding and experimental psychopathology research on fear and avoidance.. The Behavior Analyst
  2. & Partial reinforcement of avoidance and resistance to extinction in humans. Behaviour Research and Therapy 96, 79-89.
  3. & “Watch out!”: Effects of instructed threat and avoidance on human free-operant approach-avoidance behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 107(1), 101-122.
  4. & Arbitrarily applicable spatial relational responding. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 107(2), 234-257.
  5. & The impact of arbitrarily applicable relational responding on evaluative learning about hypothetical money and shock outcomes. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 70(8), 1684-1699.

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Teaching

  • PS-M11 Generic Research Skills

    These seminars give students grounding in the skills necessary to complete the programme. These skills include: research evaluation strategies, meta-analysis and literature reviews, writing research reports, communication and presentation skills, project planning and development, ethical and legal issues, the use of computer software, and teamwork. These skills will be developed through workshop-style seminars, the conduct of practical tasks, and constructive peer evaluation. Students¿ skills are assessed by their application in project work and a portfolio containing work reflecting the research skills developed over the year.

  • 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).

  • PSY325 Independent Research Project - Joint Honours

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. 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.

  • PSY342 Applied Behaviour Analysis

    Applied behaviour analysis is the scientific application of behavioural principles to issues of social importance. This module provides an introduction to the main tenets of applied behaviour analysis, with an emphasis on practical skills such as direct observation, functional assessment, and matching treatment to operant function. Topics covered include assessment and treatment of problem behaviour, reinforcement-based behaviour reduction, and clinical behaviour disorders.

  • SRE703 Sport integrity, corruption and gambling

Supervision

  • The structure of Human Performance on Schedules of reinforcement (current)

    Student name:
    MPhil
    Other supervisor: Prof Phil Reed
  • Multi Agency Working with Substance misusing families: The effectiveness of prevention and early Intervention Services (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Paul Rees
  • Safety Behaviours, extinction and overgeneralisation (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Keith Lloyd
  • Assessing the impact of Gambling related problems on UK Armed Forces Veterans and their Families (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Alice Hoon
  • Neurobehavioural mechanisms of fear and avoidance generalization (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Frederic Boy
  • 'The experience and impact of supervised birth family contact with ‘looked after children’: perspectives, roles and purposeful use' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Paul Rees

Key Grants and Projects

  • Forces in Mind Trust 2017 - 2017

    Gambling Behaviour among post-National Service Veterans: Preliminary Evidence from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey of England (FiMT16/0202S); Role: Principal Investigator, £39,478

  • Responsible Gambling Trust 2016 - 2019

    PhD Studentship, Gambling on Civvy Street: Assessing the Impact of Gambling-related Problems on UK Armed Forces Veterans and Their Families, £60,000

  • National Center For Responsible Gaming 2016 - 2017

    Role: Principal Investigator. The goal of this project is to investigate the neurochemistry of cognitive control in gambling vulnerability using GABA MRS, $34,458

  • European Brief Therapy Association 2015 - 2016

    Role: Co-Investigator. The goal of this pilot project is to develop a brief therapy intervention for reducing overgeneralization of fear through solution-focused discrimination training, €3500

  • BIAL Foundation Scientific Research Grant (94/12) 2013 - 2015

    Role: Co-Investigator. The goal of this project is to identify prefrontal GABA MRS concentration and its relationship with disordered gambling and cognitive control, €40,000

  • Autism Speaks Pilot Treatment Grant (#8049) 2012 - 2015

    Role: Co-Investigator. The goal was to develop and validate a touchscreen tablet computer interface to facilitate emergent communication skills of nonverbal children with autism, £72,375.35

  • Wellcome Trust ISSF Grant 2013 - 2014

    Role: Co-Investigator. The goal was to see whether GABAergic brain stimulation promoted risk aversion in gambling, £33,000

  • Swansea Academy of Learning & Teaching (SALT) Project Grant 2011 - 2012

    Role: Co-Investigator. The goal was to develop an online learning resource based on the principles of ‘stimulus equivalence’ to teach neuro-anatomy concepts to medical students, £2,066

  • BIAL Foundation Scientific Research Grant (106/10) 2011 - 2012

    Role: Principal Investigator. The aim was to develop a virtual reality model of human conditioned suppression, €41,000

  • BIAL Foundation Scientific Research Grant (78-06) 2009 - 2011

    Role: Principal Investigator. The aim was to investigate EEG/ERP correlates of relational learning, €33,538

  • Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (WICN) Research Grant (WICI018) 2008 - 2008

    Role: Principal Investigator. The goal was to validate a behavioural task to determine the neural correlates of relational reasoning, £300

  • Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (WICN) Research Grant (WCS032) 2008 - 2010

    Role: Co-Investigator. The goal was to neuroimage risk markers of depression in young adults, £14,262

  • Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (WICN) Research Grant (WCS034) 2009 - 2011

    Role: Co-Investigator. The goal was to detect (with fMRI) the neural basis of hypersensitivity to emotions in bipolar disorder, £15,687

  • Welsh Office for Research & Development, Social Care Small Grant Scheme 2008 - 2010

    Role: Co-Investigator. The aim was to assess the impact of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) on services for people with learning disabilities, £15,000

  • Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (WICN) Program Grant (WBCS047) 2008 - 2011

    Role: Principal Investigator. The aim was to determine, with fMRI and MEG, the neural correlates of the near-miss effect in disordered gambling, £37,343

  • Welsh Office for Research & Development: Social Care 2008 - 2010

    Role: Co-Investigator. The ain was to develop interventions to increase mental capacity in relation to financial decision-making by people with learning disabilities, £86,256

  • Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (WICN) Research Grant 2007 - 2008

    Role: Principal Investigator. This study ran a computational model of ERP correlates of emotion-based learning, £3,000

  • Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (WICN) Research Grant (WCS009) 2007 - 2008

    Role: Principal Investigator. The aim was to identify, with fMRI, the neural correlates of relational reasoning, £8,190

  • BIAL Foundation Scientific Research Grant (78-06) 2007 - 2008

    Role: Principal Investigator. We ran a series of ERP studies on relational learning, €47,000

  • The British Academy Small Grants Scheme (SG42246) 2005 - 2007

    Role: Principal Investigator. The aim was devise a unique task to assess the flexible use of emotion in decision-making, £7,480