Welcome to Dan Leach, new PhD student in the lab

The CIA Lab is happy to welcome Dan Leach to the lab as a new PhD student, working with Andrew and Zoe Kolokotroni. Dan completed an MSc here at Leeds Beckett and worked with Andrew on his dissertation. Dan trained people’s handwriting and recorded their performance on a tablet; we then analysed the data using the lognormal model as part of a project to evaluate these metrics for assessing handwriting performance (mixed bag, so far).

Dan will be studying learning and transfer of learning using coordinated rhythmic movement as a task. We will be investigating the 50s cliff (where learning rates in this task plummet in the 50s; see Coats et al (2012), Coats et al (2014) and Ren et al (2015) for details), and we will be using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as a new method for investigating all these effects.

Welcome to the CIA Lab, Dan!

Liam submitted his PhD and takes a job!

Our first PhD student, Liam Cross, has just submitted his thesis after a blur of hard work over the last few months. His dissertation is entitled ‘Moving In Time Together:  How coordinated rhythmic movement affects our social behaviours and cognitions’. Liam has been using Andrew’s coordinated rhythmic movement task to investigate the mechanisms causing coordination to affect social cognition.

Liam defends his thesis in the new year; he has moved away to take a maternity cover post in Lancaster. Papers from the thesis should start rolling out once he’s done defending!

Professor post at Leeds Beckett Psychology

We are advertising for a new Professor to strengthen and consolidate one of a few areas in our group. The ad is here (if this link is broken for any reason, go here and search for ‘Psychology’). The deadline is the 11th January, 2016.

The post is open but the group is especially looking for a Professor in Health or Cognitive psychology. These are the two existing areas of research strength in the group that need senior representation and specific leadership.

Our interests are obviously in the cognitive theme! What we need is a research active experimental cognitive psychologist who can help us develop, articulate and implement a strategy for making experimental psychology a key part of the research here. We have a good critical mass of individuals doing cognitive/biological work (Andrew, Sabrina, Anna, plus Kata Pauly-Takacs, Therese Shepard, Zoe Kolokotroni, Danielle Selby and others) and we are all developing our own research and helping each other out as we go. We need someone to help make us a strong research presence in the University and to represent our interests to management. Good experience in applying for and getting funding would help too, as we could all use both the mentoring and an informed critical eye on our funding applications.

If you are an experimental psychologist and would like to help create something exciting here, get in touch! Prof. Brendan Gough is the primary contact, but you are always welcome to email any of us as well (Andrew, Sabrina, Anna).

Andrew’s new paper on affordances for throwing in press at JEPHPP

Andrew has a new paper just in press at JEP:HPP using simulations of projectile motion to quantify the affordances of a target to be hit by a long distance throw. This paper has been 5 years in the making, since the first data collection in 2010, and involved filming expert throwers in Leeds and Wyoming over two experiments with high speed cameras, measuring the release kinematics and then explaining how these varied with target location using the affordance simulations. This was a mammoth undertaking and Andrew is thrilled to finally see it in press!

Wilson, A. D., Weightman, A., Bingham, G. P., & Zhu, Q. (in press). Using task dynamics to quantify the affordances of throwing for long distance and accuracy. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.  Download (pre-publication version), Supplemental Material