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Centre Members

Centre Members

 

Professor Veena Kumari
Professor Veena Kumari
Professor (Psychology)
Professor Veena Kumari obtained a PhD in Psychology from Banaras Hindu University, India in 1993 prior to joining the Institute of Psychiatry, London for post-doctoral research. She became a Beit Memorial Research Fellow in 1999, a Wellcome Senior Fellow in Basic Biomedical Science in 2002, and a Full Professor in 2006 at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (formerly known as the Institute of Psychiatry), King’s College London, UK. She left King’s College London in 2016 to join the Sovereign Health Group (USA) as the Chief Scientific Officer and returned to the UK in 2018 to join Brunel University London as Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN). Her research interests include the neurobiological effects of pharmacological and psychological treatments in psychosis, neurobiology of violence in mental illness, psychobiology of addiction, and personality and brain functioning. Prof Kumari has over 250 publications in reputed psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience journals and received various national and international awards for her research including the Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance of Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, USA (1999), research fellowship from BEIT Memorial Foundation (1999-2002), the BAP (British Association of Psychopharmacology) Clinical Psychopharmacology Prize (2002), Wellcome Senior Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Science (2002-2009), and most recently the prestigious Humboldt Research Award (2014). Professor Kumari has supervised a large number of post-graduate and doctoral students and served in editor or editorial board member roles for a number of psychology and psychiatry journals.
Dr Elena Antonova
Dr Elena Antonova
Senior Lecturer (Psychology)
My main area of research interest and expertise is the neuroscience of mindfulness with the focus on investigating the effects of long-term mindfulness meditation practice using psychophysiology and neuroimaging methods with the application to the prevention and management of mental illness as well as promotion of mental health and wellbeing. I have been actively involved with the Mind and Life Institute since 2011 and Mind and Life Europe since 2013, organisations catalyzing inter-disciplinary scientific research into the effects of contemplative practices. In 2017 I was elected a Mind & Life Research Fellow for my contribution to contemplative science - the highest honorific recognition in my research field.
Dr Rachel Bennetts
Dr Rachel Bennetts
Lecturer (Psychology)
I am a lecturer in Psychology. My research interests focus mainly on face processing and disorders of face processing.
Dr Dan Bishop
Dr Dan Bishop
Senior Lecturer (Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences)
am a Researcher and Senior Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Psychology here at Brunel, a British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered Psychologist registered to practise with the HCPC, an Associate Fellow of the BPS, and a Fellow of Advance HE (formerly the HEA). I have worked in both public and private sectors, including local authorities, the NHS, investment banks, the health & fitness industry and Further Education. These experiences have given me a sophisticated understanding of the challenges faced in this diverse range of industries, which is why I continue to add value to the performance of various individuals and organisations - using established psychological principles to do so.
Professor Alex Blakemore
Professor Alex Blakemore
Professor (Biosciences)
Alex completed her first degree and PhD at the University of Sheffield. After a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from ARC (now Arthritis Research UK), she took up her first academic post as a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University in 1994. In 2001 she moved to Imperial College London where she was Professor in Human Molecular Genetics, in the Faculty of Medicine and she retains a visiting chair position there. Alex joined Brunel University London as Head of the Department of Life Sciences in January 2016 and is excited to be leading such a diverse and vibrant Department.
Dr David Broadbent
Dr David Broadbent
Lecturer (Sports Health and Exercise Sciences)
Dr David Broadbent is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Psychology in the Division of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences at Brunel University and is part of the LEAP Lab research team from the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience. David joined Brunel University London in 2015 following the completion of his PhD at Liverpool John Moores University. The focus of David's PhD was on the effect of different practice conditions for the training of perceptual-cognitive skills in sport through the use of video simulations. Whilst completing his PhD David worked for three years part-time at Everton Football Club in the Recruitment and Scouting Department and then as a 1st Team Performance Analyst.
Dr Annie Chan
Dr Annie Chan
Lecturer (Psychology)
Throughout my research career, I have worked with many exceptional scientists. At Bangor, as a PhD student of Dr. Paul Downing (funded by the 1+3 ESRC studentship), I have employed fMRI to investigate the underlying organizational principles of high-level visual cortex, specifically, testing the response properties in the cortex with an expansive range of categories. I then obtained post-doctoral training in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health (Bethesda, USA), working in the unit on Learning and Plasticity with Dr. Chris Baker, where I have used multi-variate fMRI analysis to examine the impact of experience on human cortex. Prior to joining Brunel University in spring 2018, I was an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. My research focuses on investigating multi-modal neural representations of body parts and faces in the visual, motor, and somatosensory domains, the interaction between these domains along the dorsal and ventral pathways, and how the representations are modified by learning (e.g. identity, location, viewpoint, size) and experience (plasticity following loss of input e.g. amputation, surgery, injury).
Dr Survjit Cheeta
Dr Survjit Cheeta
Senior Lecturer (Psychology)
I joined the Department of Psychology at Brunel University London as a Senior Lecturer after completing a three year Research Lectureship in the Department of Mental Health at St. George’s Medical School, University of London. My PhD was awarded by the University of Wales, Swansea in 1995 with my research focusing on the role of stressors in the etiology of depression and the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of antidepressant drugs. Following on from this I undertook six years of post-doctoral work. During this time, one notable position was held at King’s College London with Professor Sandra E. File, examining the role of the nicotinic and the serotonergic system in models of anxiety. Two career breaks for maternity leave: September 2007 - August 2008 & September 2009 - September 2010.
Dr Adam Cocks
Dr Adam Cocks
Lecturer (Sports Health and Exercise Sciences)
Adam is a Lecturer in Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences (Psychology). Following the completion of his BSc (Hons) and MSc degrees at the University of Central Lancashire, Adam joined Brunel University London as a PhD student on the Isambard Scholarship Scheme in October 2012. His PhD research focussed on applying theories relating to anxiety and performance to novel dynamic domains. This included investigating how anxiety influences anticipation judgements during sport as well as fall-risk-related behaviours in older adults. After being awarded his PhD, and completing a short term Research Assistant post in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Brunel, he began his current role in November 2017.
Dr Jennifer Corbett
Dr Jennifer Corbett
Lecturer (Psychology)
Dr Marco Davare
Dr Marco Davare
Reader (Physiotherapy)
My current research interests lie at the interface between movement and cognitive neuroscience. I study multisensory integration mechanisms underlying the control of skilled hand movements in humans as a window to find out how the brain controls our actions and generates perceptual representations of our environment.
Dr Bianca de Haan
Dr Bianca de Haan
Lecturer (Psychology)
Cognitive (neuro)psychologist/neuroscientist, who studies selective attention in various populations. I completed a combined BSc/MSc in Psychology at the State University of Groningen in The Netherlands. In 2002, I relocated to the UK to do a PhD at the University of Nottingham. This was followed by a 12-year stint at the University of Tuebingen in Germany, first as a postdoc and ultimately as a research group leader. In August 2017, I moved back to the UK to join the Division of Psychology at Brunel University
Dr Matteo De Marco
Dr Matteo De Marco
Lecturer (Psychology)
Dr Terry Dovey
Dr Terry Dovey
Reader (Psychology)
I am a behaviourist and specialist in feeding disorders (now called avoidant/restrictive eating disorders). This is an eating disorder that typically manifests before the age of 5 year old. I am also interested in the concept of developmental differences and responsiveness to social priming, or in real world speak – how food advertisements work. You may also find me writing on the topics of appetite regulation and overlap between gastroenterology and psychology. My academic education has taken me through multiple universities in the UK. I started my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminology at Teesside before moving to complete a MSc in Psychobiology at Surrey. My BBSRC funded PhD was on appetite regulation within the Kissileff Laboratory at Liverpool. Prior to starting at Brunel in 2013 I worked at Staffordshire and Loughborough Universities.
Dr Dominik Havsteen-Franklin
Dr Dominik Havsteen-Franklin
Professor (Practice Arts Therapy)
Dominik Havsteen-Franklin is a Professor of Practice (Arts Therapies) at Brunel University, with a Ph.D. in Art Psychotherapy and Metaphor. He is also head of the International Centre for Arts Psychotherapies Training (ICAPT) for Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Vice President for the European Federation of Art Therapy and a member of the Council for the British Association of Art Therapists. His research focuses on applying empirical methods to investigating and evaluating the use of arts to facilitate changes in health conditions. His recent research has centred on co-designing and investigating Arts-based Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (ADIT) for depression, Creative and Resilience Engagement (CaRE) for frontline healthcare workers, developing arts-based psychosocial practice in South Africa, and is a co-applicant for an NIHR funded large scale RCT (ERA) investigating the effectiveness of arts therapies for heterogenous groups in mental health services. Dominik supervises PhD students from a range of arts disciplines. He also continues to work as a consultant, an art psychotherapist and a clinical supervisor for the National Health Service.
Dr Ben Jennings
Dr Ben Jennings
Lecturer (Psychology)
My research is based in the field of human visual perception and predominately employs psychophysical and electrophysiological methods. A running theme in my research is the interaction of colour and luminance signals in the early visual system (for example, their influence on interocular suppression), through to high-level processing (for example, object recognition and visual working memory). In addition to basic research I am investigating the usefulness of traditional behavioral methods for monitoring the effectiveness of treatments in clinical populations with traumatic brain injuries and schizophrenia. I am also currently conducting a series of experiments that investigate emotion perception based on face stimuli, by employing both psychophysical and eye movement techniques.
Dr Elmar Kal
Dr Elmar Kal
Reader (Physiotherapy)
I am currently in charge of the posture and gait lab, with my current research focusing on the topic of falls in older adults and neurological populations. I am mostly interested in the influence of cognitive and psychological factors on postural stability during standing and walking in these populations. This requires the use of different measurement techniques to parcel out the complex mechanisms governing healthy and pathological balance control. Ultimately my goal is to use this knowledge to improve the effectiveness of specific motor learning interventions (e.g. implicit learning) to target specific impairments in posture and gait in these populations.
Dr Costas Karageorghis
Dr Costas Karageorghis
Reader (Sport Psychology)
Costas’s main research interest is the psychological, psychophysiological and neurophysiological effects of music in the domain of exercise and sport. This is a topic that he has examined systematically for over 25 years using a broad range of scientific approaches and methods. His programme of research has entailed the development of conceptual frameworks and grounded theory, the production and validation of measurement tools, laboratory-based experimentation (e.g. psychometric, EEG, EMG, fMRI, respiratory), and in vivo studies.
Dr Riccardo Manca
Dr Riccardo Manca
Research Fellow (Psychology)
Cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, ageing, diverse clinical populations, cognitive rehabilitation, MRI, neuroimaging, polygenic risk scores, neuropsychiatric symptoms, social isolation, multiple sclerosis
Dr Amir Mohagheghi
Dr Amir Mohagheghi
Senior Lecturer (Biomechanics)
n vivo examination of muscle and tendon architecture and mechanical properties: Muscle and tendon architectural and biomechanical properties can affect function. These characteristics are changed in clinical populations with neurological disorders (e.g. stroke, cerebral palsy). Dr Mohagheghi’s interest is focused on the effect of neurological disorders and efficacy of different therapeutic interventions on muscle and tendon properties and functional abilities. He has been a contributing author to the development of the UK national guideline for "Splinting for the prevention and correction of contractures in adults with neurological dysfunction" published 2015. Movement disorders and musculoskeletal injuries: many neurological and musculoskeletal disorders affect walking, balance, arm movement and coordination between limbs. In stroke survivors, we examine the effect of experimentation in a StartReact context on the recovery of arm movements. In patients who will be receiving foot arthrodesis (fusion) surgery, we examine the effect of surgery on walking and standing balance.
Dr Jaap Munneke
Dr Jaap Munneke
Lecturer (Psychology)
I am a cognitive psychologist broadly interested in the link between attention and visual perception. In particular, my work focusses on two main lines of research: First, I am interested in how our behavioural goals (e.g., finding your keys) interact with properties of the visual environment (a cluttered room) to define what we consciously perceive and act upon. This topic relates to the control mechanisms of visual attention. In addition, I investigate to what extent prior experience shapes attentional processes and subsequent perception. My research mainly focuses on the question: Which internal and external properties decide where we look and what we attend to when we navigate through the world. Second, part of my research is focused on the fate and function of visual information that is not attended and does not get processed consciously. What happens to this information? Is it simply discarded by the visual system or does it serve a function, potentially facilitating perception? Both lines of research are intimately linked and concern the interplay between visual and attentional processing.
Dr Ray Norbury
Dr Ray Norbury
Senior Lecturer (Psychology)
There is increasing evidence to suggest that late chronotype individuals (i.e. those that prefer to go to bed late and wake later in the morning) are at increased risk for developing depression. At present, however, the mechanisms underlying this risk remain to be determined. My own research that late chronotype individuals display negative biases in emotional processing (i.e. increased recognition of negative facial expressions), impaired emotion regulation and patterns of neural activity at rest and during simple emotional processing task that is similar to those seen in currently depressed patients. Future work will extend these findings with the ultimate aim of developing interventions to prevent the onset of depression in these vulnerable individuals.
Dr Alexander Nowicky
Dr Alexander Nowicky
Honorary Senior Research Fellow (MSc Neurorehabilitation)
My primary research area is in the use of noninvasive brain stimulation techniques to study human voluntary control of movement and neuroplasticity. Noninvasive brain stimulation involves either the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and direct current electrical stimulation (tDCS) and are used to examine motor learning and plasticity. These techniques are combined with the use of surface electromyography and are deployed to study changes in movement control in health and disease. Such stimulation techniques are applied over the scalp to activate underlying cortical areas. As these techniques are safe, noninvasive, and painless, these techniques are making important contributions to study of human motor neuroplasticity and cognitive function. Applications are far reaching and include possible use in neurorehabilitation following brain insult or injury, where together with conventional therapies they may enhance recovery of function.
Dr Justin O’Brien
Dr Justin O’Brien
Lecturer (Psychology)
Research Interests - I investigate normal and abnormal visual development, including motion perception and the susceptibility to visual illusions. I've worked on visual deficits in autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia, from low level visual form and motion integration to higher level face and emotion recognition. As a member of Brunel’s CCN, I use neuroimaging and psychophysical techniques to answer questions about how we recognise people.
Dr Andrew Parton
Dr Andrew Parton
Senior Lecturer (Psychology)
To survive we have to rapidly identify and select relevant the information from the world to guide behaviour. This requires the encoding of relevant sensory information into memory and its use to control the body. My research attempts to understand the cognitive and neurological bases of these processes using behavioural experiments, neuroimaging and examination of the effects of neurological disease (esp. Parkinsons Disease and Stroke). Current projects include examinations of motor sequence learning, the role of neural oscillations in coding cognition, and early cognitive deficits in Parkinsons.
Dr Mellissa Prunty
Dr Mellissa Prunty
Lecturer (Occupational Therapy)
Mellissa is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist and qualified from the MSc (pre-reg) programme at Glasgow Caledonian University in 2010. She previously completed a BSc (Hons) in Kinesiology at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, while on athletic scholarship for women’s basketball. She completed her PhD on handwriting difficulties in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), which she undertook at Oxford Brookes University under the supervision of Prof. Anna Barnett, Dr. Mandy Plumb and Dr. Kate Wilmut. Mellissa has worked in a variety of childrens' services since qualifying as an OT and specialises in working with children with coordination difficulties. She runs a research clinic at the university which investigates key skills and participation in childhood including handwriting, activities of daily living and cycling.
Dr Ignazio Puzzo
Dr Ignazio Puzzo
Lecturer (Psychology)
My current research focuses on understanding the interplay between affective, neurocognitive and social factors contributing to the development of aggressive and antisocial behaviour in children and adolescents as well as in adults mentally disordered offenders.
Dr Daniel Roberts
Dr Daniel Roberts
Lecturer (Psychology)
Dr. Roberts research is focussed on normal and disordered visual and language processing (e.g., word, object, and face recognition) using a variety of methods and techniques including neuropsychological investigations of brain-damaged patients, awake craniotomy, neuroimaging, and visual psychophysics. By adopting this convergent approach his research aims to advance our understanding of (1) the patterns of impairment following brain damage; (2) normal cognitive processes (e.g., healthy ageing); (3) how this knowledge can be used to translate evidence-based research into clinical practice (e.g., new diagnostic tools, interventions).
Dr Noam Sagiv
Dr Noam Sagiv
Lecturer (Psychology)
My research interests concern the cogntive and neural bases of human perception and consciousness. Specific research interests include cross-modal interactions and synaesthesia (a condition in which stimulation in one sensory modality is accompanied by experiences in additional, unstimulated senses). I am also interested in face perception and its disorders. Particularly, (1) Prosopagnosia – a condition in which individuals cannot recognise faces and may occasionally fail to recognise even close friends and realtives; (2) Prosopometamorphopsia – a condition in which faces appear distorted while other objects are not. The interest in such extraordinary perceptual symptoms and syndromes is also related to my interest in the neural correlates of consciousness (particularly, perceptual awareness).
Dr André Szameitat
Dr André Szameitat
Centre Deputy Director Reader (Psychology)
My work mainly falls into the fields of Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, and Neuropsychology. My main interest lies in how humans deal with multitasking, i.e. the capability to do two things at the same time. To investigate this question I use the paradigm of the psychological refractory period (PRP) and behavioural (response time measures) and neuroimaging (fMRI) techniques. This research focusses as well on functions of the lateral prefrontal cortex of our brain and the executive control functions of working memory. In a second line of research I investigate how people respond to brief unexpected delays in human-computer-interaction, so called system response times. Deputy Director of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN).
Dr Adrian Williams
Dr Adrian Williams
Lecturer (Psychology)
My research interests are broadly in the area of sensory perception, but with a primary focus on vision and the organization of the visual brain. I'm interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the underlying anatomy and functional organization of the visual brain that facilitate our sense of vision, primarily through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), but also using behavioural/psychophysical approaches.
Professor Taeko Wydell
Professor Taeko Wydell
Professor (Psychology)
Having completed my ESRC funded PhD in 1991 as a mature student, I worked on my research as a MRC Post-Doc Research Fellow at UCL until 1994. In 1994 I was the first psychologist to be awarded a four-year (1994-1998) Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship at UCL. While I was at UCL, I taught Intercalated Medical Students who completed their BSc in Psychology within a year. I was then offered a lectureship at Brunel, and was appointed as professor in 2004. I was an EU Invited Scientist to Helsinki University of Technology (2000-2003) conducting MEG research. I have several international collaborations (e.g. Australia, China, Finland, France, Japan, etc).
Annalena Venneri
Annalena Venneri
Professor (Psychology)

 

 

Doctoral Research Members

 

Luke Aldridge Waddon
Luke is Doctoral Researcher within the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience. He is interested in the interaction between mental illness and offending behaviour, and his PhD project aims to understand the links between symptomatology (e.g. personality disorder, psychopathy, schizophrenia) and atypical reward sensitivity and emotion decoding. Alongside his research, Luke holds an honorary research student contract within the West London NHS Trust (and also Broadmoor Hospital) and is a member of Psychology Services Limited. He graduated from the University of Bath with a BSc in Psychology in 2018.
Catherine Antalek
Catherine is currently an overseas full-time PhD student in the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Division of Psychology, researching bilingual cognitive processes under the supervision of Professor Taeko N. Wydell and Dr. Bianca De Haan. Catherine earned her undergraduate degree at the University at Albany SUNY and her Master's degree at Towson University in Balimtore, Maryland. Her thesis focused on semantic priming effects in second language learners.
Holly Cooper
Holly is Doctoral Researcher within the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience. She is interested in the individual differences in how we process social information. Her PhD is investigating the individual differences in processing emotions from faces and voices. Holly obtained a Psychology BSc degree from the University of Lincoln in 2020. Supervisory Team: Dr Rachel Bennetts, Dr Ben Jennings, Professor Veena Kumari.
Marie Hansen
Marie Hansen
Mojitola Idowu
Tola is doctoral researcher (PhD student) in the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Division of Psychology, researching executive function/dysfunction in the cognitively healthy and cognitively impaired older adult populations. Prior to this, Tola earned a MSc in Neuroscience and MPH in Public Health, both from King’s College London, as well a BSc (Hons) in Medical Biochemistry from Brunel in 2000.
Thomas Murray
During my PhD I investigated the neural processes involved in the perception of emotions from facial expressions, using functional MRI and representational similarity analysis, and how this perception changes across the adult lifespan. Since finishing my PhD I have started researching age-related changes in functional connectivity within the emotion processing network.
Martina Vanova
In my PhD project, I will investigate thoroughly the cognitive profiles of people within forensic mental health facilities, with a special focus on inhibition and reading skills. This knowledge will help us identify their special needs in the process of recovery and to identify potential risks which can influence the clinical outcome. The novelty of this research is that it focuses on both men and women with mental illness and that it will also put a special emphasis on their reading skills. Additionally, the neuroimaging data can help us to find the missing link between individuals with accentuated certain personality traits (e.g. higher psychopathy, higher schizotypal traits) and their inhibitory control, which is important in regulating potentially antisocial behaviour.
Yasmin RashidManesh
Yasmin RashidManesh
Amir-Hoseyn Yassari
Amir-Hoseyn Yassari