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My research is focused primarily on how our motivational goals influence attention, and how these goals can both block and induce distraction by affective stimuli. To do this I use behavioural attention tasks to explore how models of top-down attention can be integrated with models of automatic attentional biases observed in addiction and anxiety. The results of these experiments consistently suggesting that our current voluntary goals can paradoxically induce involuntary attentional biases to goal matching affective stimuli, and abolishing distraction when they don’t match our goals. Building on this line of research, I am currently exploring how these goals are represented in working memory and which contexts and affective states result in these attentional goals being prioritised.

My research also encompasses individual variation in attention, specifically, how variation in cognitive factors (e.g. working memory capacity) and personality traits (e.g. trait anxiety) determine attentional control over internal and external attention.

Education/Academic qualification

Cognitive Psychology , PhD, PhD, University of Sussex

Award Date: 1 Jun 2018

Psychological research methods, MSc, University of Exeter

Award Date: 1 Sept 2014

Psychology, BSc (Hons), University of Exeter

Award Date: 1 Jun 2013

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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