Read the latest news out about the Department of Psychology’s collaborative work with organisations outside of BU.
February 2023 - Dr Xun He awarded £741k BBSRC grant
Dr Xun He awarded £741k BBSRC grant
Dr Xun He has been awarded a £741k BBSRC grant (£32k to BU) entitled “ElectroTools: Powering the future of EEG research”. The project is with collaborators from the University of Leeds, University of Sheffield, and Manchester Metropolitan University, and will start in June 2023 and run for three years.
January 2023 - Dr Helen Bolderston delivers training event for consultant surgeons
On 19th January 2023, Dr Helen Bolderston and Mr Kevin Turner (consultant urological surgeon and visiting professor in the BU psychology department) delivered a half-day's training to consultant surgeons based at hospitals in Sussex including Worthing, Brighton, and Chichester. The training was based at Worthing Hospital. There were 8 surgeons at the event, which was focussed on training them to be First Responders, which is a peer support role where surgeons offer support to colleagues who have been involved in serious adverse surgical events. The training was in line with recommendations from a set of good practice guidelines on supporting surgeons after adverse events - the guidelines were the result of a collaboration between the BU Surgeons Wellbeing Research Team and the Royal College of Surgeons, England.
January 2023 - Dr Fay Sweeting presents to Greater Manchester Police
On the 23rd of January Dr Fay Sweeting presented to 100 senior police officers at Greater Manchester Police about abuse of position for a sexual purpose and internal sexual misconduct in the police. This was to launch a series of new initiatives developed by GMP to assist in the early identification of police perpetrators. This event was also attended by the Police Federation and IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct).
December 2022 - Dr Laura Renshaw-Vuillier talks about understanding emotional wellbeing at Café Scientifique
The abstract reads:
“Society tells us that we should always try to be happy. But life isn't perfect and expecting constant happiness can actually be unhealthy. Negative emotions, like sadness or anger, are a normal part of life - we all experience these. The problem arises when we try to suppress them in order to only feel 'happy' emotions. In doing so, negative emotions paradoxically become more overwhelming and we might turn to harmful behaviours to make us feel better. In this talk I explored practical tips, based on research, to help us better understand, accept and manage our emotions.”
You can watch a recording of the event here.
November 2022 - Dr Andrew Mayers features in Men's Health Magazine
Dr Andrew Mayers recently featured in Men’s Health Magazine, focusing on fathers’ experiences of witnessing birth trauma. This popular publication has a very wide reach globally, so will bring this important subject very much to the forefront https://www.menshealth.com/uk/mental-strength/a41557427/birth-trauma-ptsd-men/
In Andrew’s role as Patron for Dorset Mind, Andrew will be opening the “Courageous Conversations” event at Lighthouse Poole on November 18th. The event will interactive explore methods to get more people talking about mental health, especially men. It helps mark International Men’s Day and falls within Men’s Mental Health Month https://dorsetmind.uk/press-releases/press-release-courageous-conversations-conference/
October 2022 - Dr Reece Bush-Evans and Professor John McAlaney attended the ICRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction in Las Vegas
Dr Reece Bush-Evans and Professor John McAlaney attended the ICRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction in Las Vegas between the 9th and 10th of October, where they presented results from the EROGamb2 project and the Gaminnovate project, funded by GambleAware and the ICRG respectively. These projects focus on the role of transparency , participatory design and behaviour change principles in promoting responsible gambling.
October 2022 - Dr Helen Bolderston delivers training at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
On the 13th October Dr Helen Bolderston and Mr Kevin Turner (consultant urological surgeon and visiting professor in the BU psychology department) and I delivered a half-day's training to consultant surgeons at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London. There were ten surgeons at the training event, which was focussed on training them to be First Responders, which is a peer support role where surgeons offer support to colleagues who have been involved in serious adverse surgical events. The training was in line with recommendations from a set of good practice guidelines on supporting surgeons after adverse events - the guidelines were the result of a collaboration between the BU Surgeons Wellbeing Research Team and the Royal College of Surgeons, England.
October 2022 - Dr Laura Renshaw-Vuillier delivers workshop to Whitehall
Laura delivered an emotion regulation workshop to Whitehall for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the 19th October, where over 170 people attended. In that presentation, Laura talked about the danger of seeking happiness at all costs, and I offered help on what to do with unpleasant emotions. This is what the organiser said "I thought it was a fantastic presentation – reminding us why being mentally healthy is definitely not about being happy all the time, how understanding our full emotional spectrum can support our wellbeing, how we can be more granular with identifying our emotions and techniques to help manage difficult emotions, which although can be really hard to apply theory in the moment when experiencing these emotions, can get easier with practice over time."
October 2022 - Dr Rachel Mosely at ESRC event
Dr Rachel Moseley teamed up with Dr Max Gee (Media and Communication) for an ESRC public engagement event on the 22nd of October. Spicing up autism acceptance with a science-fiction twist, the team asked members of the public to identify which of our colleagues from the 22nd century was human and which was a robot. We broke down their decision processes to examine biases in the way the media portrays certain ways of communicating and expressing emotion as more 'human', a bias which disadvantages neurodivergent minorities who socialise differently. The event was really positively received, with the team running sessions back to back all day.
Rachel has also been busy promoting and creating impact around mental health and menopause in autistic people, the latter which is a collaboration with Professor Julie Turner-Cobb. Rachel contributed to the development of training videos for GPs on the topics of ageing, menopause and suicidality in autistic people, and delivered a training session for social workers on the same topics. Rachel and Julie also gave a webinar for the Scottish Women's Autism Network (SWAN), which focused on their previous work on menopause and their ongoing collaboration with Canadian researchers, 'Bridging the silos' . With 175 sign-ups, the topic really appealed to the audience, leading to a great discussion of their questions.
August 2022 - Changhong Liu gives lecture at University of Tokyo
Dr Changhong Liu gave online public lecture at University of Tokyo on 1st Aug., with the title ’The Psychology of Face Perception’. The lecture was given in Japanese. See: https://hmc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ja/open-seminar/2022/75-psychology-of-face-perception/
May 2022 - Dr Kari Davies and Dr Terri Cole win £42k bid from the Dawes Trust
The team will explore whether likelihood ratios can be used to demonstrate whether certain behaviour is more likely to co-occur in linked offences (behavioural consistency) compared to unlinked offences (behavioural coincidence). This will be useful in terms of demonstrating, at a theoretical level, the use of likelihood ratios compared to other approaches to calculating behavioural consistency in linked compared to unlinked offences. The project will involve creating a tool for the Behavioural Investigative Advisers at the National Crime Agency to use as part of their case linkage analysis practice. This study is being conducted with Professor Jessica Woodhams (University of Birmingham), Dr Matthew Tonkin (University of Leicester), Dr Matthew Brett, and Lee Rainbow from the National Crime Agency.
March 2022 - Dr Reece Bush awarded research grant by the Academic Forum
Dr Reece Bush was awarded a research grant by the Academic Forum for the Study of Gambling to carry out a longitudinal study on narcissism and online gambling. The research title is: Gambling, Personality and Wellbeing, £3000.
February 2022 - Dr Martin Vasilev is awarded grant from the Experimental Psychology Society
Dr Martin Vasilev was awarded a £9,990 grant from the Experimental Psychology Society on a project entitled "Inhibition of eye-movement control by unexpected sounds". This project will investigate how unexpected sounds in our environment affect the way people move their eyes during complex everyday tasks such as reading and scene viewing. The project is done in collaboration with Dr. Julie Kirkby (BU), Prof. Fabrice Parmentier (University of Balearic Islands, Spain), and Prof. Antje Nuthmann (Kiel University, Germany).
January 2022 - Dr Constantina Panourgia and MSc student, Tara Walker, present their work at International Research Day
Dr Constantina Panourgia, as a part of her research collaboration with UCLy (Lyon, France), was invited to the International Research Day organised by the Department of Psychology at UCLy on 20th January.
Constantina and her MSc student, Miss Tara Walker, presented their research work on the challenges of implementing inclusive practices in education; they also focussed on the personal resources that educational professionals employ to cope and how these experiences could be utilised for the development of teachers’ training.
This project was conducted in 2019/20 within the Department of Psychology in collaboration with Dr Emily Arden-Close.
Walker, T., Arden-Close, E., & Panourgia, C. (2022). Coping strategies and the challenges of inclusion in education professionals. In: International Research Day, UCLy-Lyon, France, 20 January 2022.
December 2021 - Cultural Psychology unit wins BU’s Excellence in Education in Sustainable Development (EESD) Award
The Cultural Psychology (CUPS) unit recently (in August 2021) won BU’s Excellence in Education in Sustainable Development (EESD) Award. On 14 December 2021, EAUC (The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education, which is the sustainability champion for universities and colleges in the UK) organised an event to showcase BU’s excellence in embedding sustainability into curricula. The unit leader of CUPS, Dr Xun He, delivered a presentation on behalf of the CUPS team, sharing the vision and practice in the unit. The unit CUPS was envisioned and designed by Xun (running from the 2018-2019 academic year), and became awarding-winning and visible at a national level thanks to the excellence of the team, including Dr Ching-Yu Huang (currently at Keele University), Dr Laura Renshaw-Vuillier, Dr Emma Portch, Prof John McAlaney, Dr Rachel Skinner, Dr Bernhard Angele, Dr Eleonora Vagnoni, Dr Jacqui Taylor, Dr Sarah Hodge, and Dr Chloe Skipper. Without all their great contribution, the unit would not have been possible.
November 2021 - Dr Rachel Moseley's research on suicide in autistic peope
Dr Rachel Moseley is presenting her research on suicide in autistic people at the Australasian Society for Autism Research's 2021 conference
Following on from her talk in the ESRC Festival, 'The Science of Suicide', Dr Rachel Moseley is presenting her research on suicide in autistic people at the Australasian Society for Autism Research's 2021 conference, titled "Mental Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention in Autism". Rachel will also be sitting on a post-conference round-table discussion, consisting of researchers and autistic people with lived experiences. This is aimed to generate a roundtable paper, a report, as well as policy documents that will be used to inform and advocate for improved mental health services for autistic people.
October 2021 - Dr Shanti Shanker helps lead Mental Health Awareness Camp in Chiplun
Dr Shanti Shanker helps lead Mental Health Awareness Camp in Chiplun, Maharashtra India
During the Mental Health Awareness day (October 2021) in India – Dr Shanti Shanker and colleagues tailored a camp that addressed some of the core issues the community face.
Shanti said “Chiplun, a city in the Ratnagiri district in the state of Maharashtra. This is the hub for our collaboration and a key to providing more mental health support and well-being in the rural area within the region.
This week during the Mental Health Awareness day in India - we tailored a camp that addressed some of the core issues the community face.
Severe flooding is a key issue in this region, we trained over 70 Mind Buddies (or Manas Mitra - in Hindi) integrated first-aid training and mental health and well-being aspects.
We hope to create support for these people and provide them with more skills training and build the capacity of community volunteers across the region.”
September 2021 - Dr Catherine Talbot speaks on The Ageing Scientist podcast
Dr Catherine Talbot spoke on The Ageing Scientist podcast
The podcast is hosted by Dr Clarissa Giebel and discusses everything around ageing and science. Catherine appeared on Season 2 Episode 1 which focuses on inequalities in dementia. Catherine spoke about digital inequalities in dementia and ageing, and shared her latest research into how COVID-19 has affected digital technology usage in dementia.
You can listen to the podcast for free on Spotify.
August 2021 - successful proposal to the SIA Game-Changing Research Concepts call by Dr Xun He and Dr Ellen Seiss
Dr Xun He and Dr Ellen Seiss just had success with their proposal to the SIA Game-Changing Research Concepts call
This funding call is part of BU’s SIA scheme, which stands for Strategic Investment Area. The purpose of this call was to put forward the concepts for which BU will be known in the years to come. Our proposal is one of three winning concepts, which will be prioritised for strategic development and be tailored institutional support to turn the research idea into a reality. The research concept being proposed is “Multimodal Immersive NEuro-sensing (MINE) for natural neuro-behavioural measurement ”, which aims at developing a pioneering multimodal and immersive system for the measurement of human behaviour and neural activities in realistic and controlled environments. The team is led by Dr Xun He, and comprises Dr Fred Charles (Department of Creative Technology), Dr Ellen Seiss (Department of Psychology), and Dr Emili Balaguer-Ballester (Department of Computing and Informatics). There are nine collaborating team members from Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, BU Clinical Research Unit, Faculty of Media & Communication, Institute of Medical Imaging & Visualisation, and Ageing & Dementia Research Centre. Enthusiastic supports also came from multiple faculties.
April 2021 - Dr Xun He secures new funding
Dr Xun He secures new funding
Dr Xun He was successful in getting an Innovate UK Smart Grant as a co-investigator. This project is led by Dr Fred Charles (Department of Creative Technology) on the topic “Believable agent behaviour (BAB) for data-driven real-time VR”. The project will run for 15 months (funding value: £117k).
March 2021 - Dr Catherine Talbot voted in as early-career rep for the BPS Research Board
Dr Catherine Talbot has been voted in as the early-career rep for the BPS Research Board. Catherine will be representing early career researchers on the board in discussions of science, research policy, funding, and the promotion and advancement of psychological science.
February 2021 - BU Psychology staff continue to build a working relationship with Cheshire Constabulary
Over the last six months, Dr Sarah Hambidge has developed a working relationship with Cheshire Constabulary. As part of this relationship, they have agreed to provide police data to BU Masters students on the MSc Investigative Forensic Psychology course. The data covers all types of policing/criminal activity, but examples include county lines, exploitation of children, domestic violence and rape.
The Master's project findings help police to improve their understanding and inform their working practices. Dr Terri Cole has an established relationship with Dorset Police who provide BU students with similar data for their project unit. Terri and Sarah have nurtured the relationship between both constabularies so they have agreed to share data between forces, which enhances the data received by students and the impact of their project outcomes.
January 2021 - Dr Andy Mayers speaks at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists conference
Dr Andy Mayers invited to speak at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists online conference
Dr Andy Mayers has been invited by the prestigious Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to speak at their online conference on 29 January. He has been asked to focus on fathers’ mental health during Covid-19. This is a major platform as the College is highly respected and influential in developing perinatal support services nationally.
Following Andy’s growing national reputation, he has been asked to help develop the fathers’ mental health support services at Southern Health NHS, to complement their community perinatal mental health provision. Read more about Andy’s work.
November 2020 - Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Research Centre (INRC) event and the ESRC Festival of Social Science
The Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Research Centre (INRC) at BU did hold its well-attended and perceived opening event on 2 November 2020.
Five years ago, Ben Parris, Jan Wiener and Emili Balaguer-Ballaster founded a heterogeneous research group in neuroscience involving members of multiple departments and faculties. Last year Emili Balaguer-Ballester, Peter Arabaci-Hills, and Ellen Seiss did successfully re-apply for a research centre status for the INRC. Together with Prof Hana Burianova, they form the current research centre steering group.
The INRC showcases our common strength in neuroscience research such as our high-quality research outputs and interdisciplinary research environment which give us opportunities to conduct our well-recognised and innovative research and apply for interdisciplinary grants. Members of this research centre offer a wide range of expertise.
The key aim of this opening event was to bring people together to encourage collaborations at BU and with external stakeholders such as hospitals and companies. During this event, we discussed many of the available research methods and skill sets such as, for example, EEG and physiological measures, brain stimulation techniques and neuroimaging methods (in collaboration with Poole Hos-pital and the Institute of Medical Imaging and Visualisation), eye-tracking, VR applications, and com-putational modelling.
In addition to neuroscience research, we constantly widen our teaching profile by delivering neuro-science-oriented MSc programmes and units in UG and PG courses across disciplines. We are also offering BSc, MSc, and MRes projects and practically train students in neuroscience methods and research skills.
Find out more about the research centre.
Please follow us on twitter: @neuroscience_BU
If you would like to contact us because you are interested in our work or because you would like to join our research centre, please email: [email protected].
“Reading the room: How your brain judges the mood of a crowd” - ESRC Festival of Social Science 2020
On 14 November 2020, Dr Xun He, Dr Fred Charles (Department of Creative Technology), and Prof Changhong Liu hosted an online event as part of ESRC Festival of Social Science 2020. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is one of the main research funding bodies in the UK supporting social science research. This public event series is an annual celebration of the social sciences disseminating findings to the general public. In this event named “reading the room: how your brain judges the mood of a crowd”, Xun, Fred, and Changhong used interesting examples and demonstrations to showcase research on phenomena and brain activities of face perception, and how face perception research is carried out to measure brainwaves in virtual environments. The event was very positively received. With the number of excellent questions coming in from the audience, the event was extended from the planned 2 hours to 3 hours.
August 2020 - Dr Sarah Collard - Public Engagement Event – ‘Living Well: Epilepsy and Exercise’
Dr Sarah Collard Holds Online Public Engagement Event – ‘Living Well: Epilepsy and Exercise’
Dr Sarah Collard was awarded a £1200 grant from the research impact fund. This was going to be an in-person public engagement event held at BU that discussed her research, personal experience of living with epilepsy and findings from previous research. As a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, it was switched to an online event (July 27th) via Zoom! To present some of the findings, Sarah presented edited videos created from a video she made a couple of years ago for the Festival of Learning of individuals with epilepsy talking about their experiences of exercising with the condition.
The event was titled “Living Well: Epilepsy and Exercise”. Working with the UK charity Epilepsy Action, we were able to promote the event quite widely and had a good uptake of individuals who had epilepsy, was a parent for someone with epilepsy and health professionals signing up for the event. Using the funding Sarah was awarded, a media and communication student was hired from BU to edit the previously created video. This was an original length of around 35 minutes and had 5 participants. The video was edited to create 5 videos between 2-4 minutes each to increase the subsequent impact. There was wonderful praise and discussion throughout the event via the chat as well as post-event via email and survey.
This was a very inclusive event that also had a question and answer time to allow the attendees to ask Sarah and an Epilepsy Action representative questions on the content discussed in the event as well as their own separate needs that had not been addressed by those in a sport and exercise or medical profession. The questions asked as well as enthusiasm of the content of the event have further shown the need to continue research within this area. In particular, educating medical professionals about the benefits of exercising for people with epilepsy as well as discovering what are the best types of physical activity or exercise programmes for people with epilepsy.
June 2020 - Dr Constantina Panourgia leads new project
Dr Constantina Panourgia leads new project ‘Understanding resilience in mental health psychology practitioners during the Covid-19 pandemic’.
The Psychology Department QR supported a longitudinal study on the impact of Covid-19 on mental health in psychology practitioners. The research team, led by Dr Constantina Panourgia and includes Dr Alla Yankouskaya, Miss Agata Wezyk, Miss Zoe Taylor (Bournemouth University), Dr Annita Ventouris (University of West London), and Dr Amanda Comoretto (UCLY, Lyon Catholic University, France), has launched a project, ‘Understanding resilience in mental health psychology practitioners during the Covid-19 pandemic’.
The Covid-19 pandemic has put a lot of pressure on societies and led to considerable changes in everyday life and high levels of uncertainty. As this is likely to increase demand for mental health care, the emotional and mental overload in psychologists/counsellors/psychotherapists is predictable but unavoidable. There are urgent needs in developing efficient strategy and policy changes to support the mental health staff and encourage opportunities for efficient coping and personal growth in post-Covid times.
The project aims to estimate the impact of the pandemic on mental health psychology practitioners’ resilience and identify individual and environmental factors critical for the development of resilience in this group of professionals. The aim will be achieved by using a mixed-method approach and the state-of-the-art computational procedures allowing to define an optimal predictive model that will help to estimate the impacts of the pandemic. The project has the potential to identify prospective areas of training and to inform future organisational provisions of support for mental health psychology practitioners.
May 2020 - Prof. Sarah Bate becomes Leverhulme Trust Fellow
Prof. Sarah Bate becomes Leverhulme Trust Fellow
Prof. Sarah Bate was awarded a second Fellowship last month; this time from the Leverhulme Trust. Sarah has also recently been made associate editor at the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.