When people do two or more things at the same time, i.e. multitasking, they usually become slower and make more errors. One reason for this might be that multitasking demands additional control processes which coordinate the concurrent performance of two tasks.
One line of projects aims at investigating the nature of these additional control processes in more detail. While multitasking is generally understood quite well in terms of well-controlled paradigms in Cognitive Psychology, it is less well understood in terms of everyday behaviour.
Another line of projects aims at transferring our knowledge of the mental mechanisms of multitasking to everyday behaviour. Several projects in these domains are available, and students can suggest their own topics in this area. The projects are situated in the area of Cognitive Psychology (using quantitative behavioural experiments) and/or the area of Cognitive Neuroscience (using brain imaging research, such a functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI).
Candidates will have a UG degree and preferably also a PGT degree in Psychology or related disciplines.
Please contact the supervisor before starting to write a research proposal.
How to apply
If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:
- Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
- Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
- Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.
This is a self funded topic
Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.
Meet the Supervisor(s)
- Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience. Brief CV: After my general study of Psychology I conducted my PhD at the MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Neurology. In 2003 I joined the University of Surrey as a post-doc. After this post-doc position I went back to Germany to work in Munich as lecturer in the international Master’s program Neurocognitive Psychology. I joined Brunel University London as a Reader in September 2013.
2011 Habilitation, venia legendi in Psychology, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich/Germany
2002 PhD in Psychology, Max Planck Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Leipzig/Germany
1999 Diploma (Dipl.-Psych.; MSc equiv.) in Psychology, Technical University Braunschweig/Germany
Research area(s) -
Executive Control and Prefrontal Cortex
Multitasking, Working Memory
Brain Imaging (fMRI) & Behavioural Methods