Cognitive Science Research Group

Members

NamePositionEmail
Alex BalaniSenior Lecturerbalanial@edgehill.ac.uk
Geoff BeattieProfessorbeattieg@edgehill.ac.uk
Rowan BrooksPhD Studentbrooksr@edgehill.ac.uk
Paul EllisonLecturerpaul.ellison@edgehill.ac.uk
Joyce HumphriesSenior Lecturerhumphrij@edgehill.ac.uk
Themis KaraminisSenior Lecturerthemis.karaminis@edgehill.ac.uk
Andy LevyReaderandy.levy@edgehill.ac.uk
Damien LitchfieldSenior Lecturerdamien.litchfield@edgehill.ac.uk
Stergios MakrisSenior Lecturerstergios.makris@edgehill.ac.uk
David MarchantReaderdavid.marchant@edgehill.ac.uk
Philip MurphyProfessormurphyp@edgehill.ac.uk
Joanne PowellSenior Lecturerjoanne.powell@edgehill.ac.uk
Adam QureshiSenior Lecturerqureshia@edgehill.ac.uk
Felicity WolohanSenior Lecturerwolohanf@edgehill.ac.uk
Motonori YamaguchiReaderyamagucm@edgehill.ac.uk

Projects

Drug Misuse and Cognitive Deficits

Professor Philip Murphy’s research focusses on the effects of such drug misuse on different aspects of working memory (i.e. memory which helps us cope with the immediate world around us), with particular attention to executive processes such as the ability to update our representations of what is happening in the light of incoming information, and the ability to switch the focus of our attention. These findings in this field have been published in high profile journals around the world, presented at international conferences, and have received much media attention at times.

Relationship between theory of mind, executive function and schizotypy

Dr Adam Qureshi is currently engaged in a project aiming to explore the relationship between theory of mind, executive function and schizophrenia by studying nonclinical individuals who vary in schizotypy and hence not in nonspecific effects of psychiatric illness. Schizotypy proposes a spectrum of experiences and behaviours that can be defined as psychosis-related. Schizophrenia lies at one end of this spectrum, but within the spectrum are the paranoid, schizoid or schizotypal personality disorders.

Neuroanatomy, functional connectivity and behaviour in individuals with Low Functioning Autism (LFA), High Functioning Autism (HFA), Intellectual Disability (ID) and healthy controls.

Only a handful of studies have explored brain structure using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in individuals with low functioning autism [LFA].Dr Joanne Powell will investigate: 1. differences in neuroanatomy between those with LFA, high functioning autism [HFA] i.e. those with an ASD without an ID), ID and healthy controls; 2. whether ASD symptomology is correlated with functional connectivity; and 3. the distinguishing autistic and behavioural characteristics between individuals with LFA, HFA and ID. MRI can help inform our understanding of the psychopathology of ASD and ID, by exploring which neural structures and brain systems involved and impaired in these disorders

Motor planning and the issue of affordances.

Dr Stergios Makris aims to provide evidence about the modulation of the affordance effect under different types of attention and vision (i.e. “subliminal” affordances). Furthermore, how the ability of detecting affordances is acquired and developed through age. The methodological approaches for the aforementioned studies involve a series of behavioural, eye-tracker and brain-stimulation (single-pulse TMS, rTMS, tDCS) techniques.

Neural and cognitive underpinning of superior action prediction abilities.

Dr Stergios Makris is engaged in this project which consists a series of investigations looking at the causative role of visual and motor action representations in the ability to predict the outcome of actions. This involves investigating cases of every day actions (such as reaching and grasping an object), as well as cases of actions in sports and how professional athletes are better than novices into simulating and predicting the outcome of observed sport actions. The studies involve behavioural, eye-tracker and brain-stimulation (TMS, tDCS) techniques.

How autistic individuals make predictions.

Dr Themis Karaminis current work focuses on the social interaction and communication profiles of autistic individuals, and especially autistic children. This research examines how autistic individuals use knowledge accrued from their recent experiences (‘prior knowledge’) to predict what is in the environment. The project “‘I predict therefore I am!’: The predictive social mind, prior knowledge and autism” is funded by Edge Hill University’s Research Investment Fund and consists studies based on child-friendly ‘computer-games’ and eye-tracking and computational modelling techniques.