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External engagement

Read the latest news out about the Department of Psychology’s collaborative work with organisations outside of BU.

September 2019

Tim Slattery gave a talk at Café Scientifique

Dr Tim Slattery presented about his research in a Café Scientifique talk on Tuesday 3rd of September to a packed house at Café​ Boscanova. Café Scientifique is a monthly event with talks about scientific research followed by a discussion around the topic. This month, Tim discussed how research in eye movement can help us understand mental processes behind everyday tasks, such as reading and navigation. The movements of your eyes can reveal a lot about what you’re thinking and how you are processing information in the world around you. He presented the audience with an array of various visual illusions to highlight the fact that our perceptions of the world around us are not 100% accurate. Then he described the anatomy of the eye and why we need to move our eyes to better see the objects that capture our attention. Alongside a talk, Tim and colleagues gave interactive demonstrations to show what state of the art eye tracking technology is capable of. He also discussed how eye tracking is already being used and what the future may hold when eye tracking becomes more widespread, even embedded in our personal devices. In fact, in 2017 Apple purchased SMI (SensoMotoric Instruments) which manufactured eye tracking equipment and as of this year there is a third party app (hawkeye) which allows users to track their movements while looking at newer iphones and the ipad pro. This recent advancement holds both promise for eye tracking research and problems related to personal data protection. The audience was very engaged in a lively debate on these issues.

If you missed this opportunity, you can see Tim's Powerpoint presentation here.

Collaborations and public engagements

August 2019

Bournemouth University contributes to Government science on eyewitness testimony

Dr Peter Hills from the Psychology department at Bournemouth University contributes to Government science - Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Note on Eyewitness Testimony. 

“Individuals who give witness testimony can include victims of crimes, bystanders or all emergency services. Stakeholders, including psychologists, police officers and legal professionals, agree that witness testimony can provide useful evidence for investigations. Witness testimonies are often seen as a strong form of evidence by police, judges and jurors. However, as with any evidence, the reliability of witness testimony decreases if it is not carefully obtained, managed and handled during investigations and prosecutions.” 

Fabiola Creed from the University of Warwick, in partnership with the Wellcome Trust, and together with stakeholders and other academic peer reviewers like Dr Peter Hills, completed the analysis published by the ‘Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology’ titled: Improving Witness Testimony. The document discusses questions like: How reliable is witness testimony? What are the latest developments in testimony gathering?

More information about the document can be found here:

July 2019

Department of Psychology hosting the Experimental Psychology Society

On the 10th -12th of July, the Department of Psychology hosted the summer meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society. The meeting was organised by Dr Andrew Johnson and Dr Peter Hills, and included the 47th Frederic Bartlett Lecture by Professor Dorothy Bishop, with an accompanying symposium organised by David Shanks. The meeting also included a locally organised symposium Current Trends in Identity and Emotion Processing in Faces (Convener: Dr Alla Yankouskaya) and the British Science Association/EPS Undergraduate Project Prize talk by one of the joint winners, Gwydion Williams of UCL. Over 130 delegates attended from across the UK (with some delegates even travelling from France, Germany, and Israel). Delegates were treated to 50 talks (and 44 posters) across the 3 days; all washed down with candy floss and souvenir rock.

June 2019

Department of Psychology receives Athena SWAN award

We are delighted to announce that BU’s Department of Psychology has received the Athena SWAN bronze award, in recognition of their commitment to working towards gender equality in higher education. This was a great team effort of the SAT team which was led by Prof Sine McDougall.

Dr Ellen Seiss (Senior Lecturer), the new Athena SWAN lead for the department, said: “The Department of Psychology has worked hard to improve our policies and practices, striving to offer a supportive and inclusive environment for all staff and students.”

“We are delighted that this work has been recognised via the Athena SWAN bronze award, and are already working hard to ensure the action plan we submitted as part of the application is implemented.”

BU’s Equality and Diversity Adviser Dr James Palfreman-Kay said “I‘m really pleased to see the work the department has undertaken on gender and more broadly on equality and diversity being recognised through the achievement of a departmental Athena SWAN bronze award.”

The award is valid for four years and during this time the department will continue to raise awareness of gender equality within their teams and demonstrate how their action plan is making a positive difference to achieving gender equality. 

BU now has three departmental awards, with the Department of Life & Environmental Sciences achieving their bronze award earlier this year and the Department of Media Production gaining the same last year. In addition to the departmental awards, BU as an institution was also successful in our submission for an Athena SWAN bronze award in May.

BU’s commitment to equality and diversity is an area of focus in BU2025 and you can take a look at the institutional SWAN actions for 2019 on page three of the Athena SWAN newsletter. As part of these actions, we will be supporting all academic departments to make their own submissions for this important award.

One of the objectives within BU2025 is that we are aiming for at least half of all departments to gain a bronze award by 2021 and all departments by 2025. More information about Athena SWAN can be found on the Advance HE website.

May 2019

Emotions in Eating Disorders Conference

Dr Laura Renshaw-Vuillier organised a conference on Emotions in eating disorders in collaboration with James Palfreman-Kay (Equality and Diversity Adviser), Bournemouth University Student Union and Dorset Healthcare University Foundation. It was attended by 100 people and speakers attended from all over the country. Students were also given the opportunity to present their work as a poster during the conference. For an example, here is a short interview with Psychology student, Ana Texeira, who provided an excellent summary of her work.

April 2019

A recent review paper on gaming experience written by Lazaros Michailidis, Dr Emili Balaguer-Ballester, and Dr Xun He was featured in an article on Forbes (“Why Is Everyone So Excited About 'Borderlands 3'?”, 3 April 2019). This review article, published in Frontiers in Psychology (2018), discussed important conceptual issues about flow and immersion in gaming experience. The first author, Lazaros Michailidis, is currently an EngD student supervised by Emili Balaguer-Ballester (Associate Professor in Computational Neuroscience) and Xun He (Senior Lecturer in Psychology), with Xun being the main corresponding author of this review.

Michailidis, L.Balaguer-Ballester, E., & He, X. (2018). Flow and immersion in video games: The aftermath of a conceptual challenge. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1682. 

March 2019

Professor Jan Wiener gave a talk entitled ‘Navigation, Ageing and Dementia: minimising spatial disorientation in the built environment’ at the Bournemouth Natural Science Society (BNSS), as part of their Science Week series of events.

The talk covered the perception and information processes involved in human navigation behaviour, how our environment and our age impact on this process and the different experiments used to investigate it.

February 2019

BU Cyberpsychology Research Featured on Radio 5

​​Research conducted by Dr Sarah Hodge, Dr Jacqui Taylor, and Dr John McAlaney exploring the relationships between video gameplay and adolescents’ moral development was featured in i newspaper and the Bournemouth Echo. Find out more in the BU news story. In addition, Sarah was interviewed on Radio 5 and Wave 105. You can also listen to this interview.

January 2019

MSc Student Visits Metropolitan Police and Action Against Abduction Charity

Investigative Forensic Psychology MSc student Amanda Potter-Stow travelled to London to meet with the Metropolitan Police and charity Action Against Abduction to discuss an evaluation of their ‘Clever Never Goes’ project delivering inputs to teachers and children in schools in relation to safety.

December 2018

The Science of Sex

Liam Wignall took part in a podcast, "The Science of Sex", discussing his research on pup play.

Current Trends in Forensic Science, Forensic medicine & Toxicology

Dr Terri Cole chaired the Session for the Forensic Psychology Session and presented a key note at the 9th International Conference on Current Trends in Forensic Science, Forensic medicine & Toxicology (IAMLE, 2018) in Pune, India. She was supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Research England funded Project (PIs Dr Shanti Shanker and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen). 

November 2018

ESRC Festival of Science

In November, two free events for The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science were hosted by academics from psychology.

Professor Sarah Bate hosted a session entitled “Are face ‘super-recognisers’ useful to the police?”. This session explained the cognitive underpinnings of human face recognition, and discussed recent research findings on the identification and real-world abilities of super recognizers.

Dr John McAlaney and Dr Emily Arden-Close co-hosted a session with Professor Raian Ali (computing) and Dr Elvira Bolat (marketing) entitled ‘Becoming more in Control of Online Gambling’. This session showcased the project EROGamb by Bournemouth University and GambleAware, which stresses the importance of providing gambling behaviour data to gamblers and their surrogates in real time and in an easy format. 

BU academic awarded NIHR Clinical Trials Fellowship

Dr Samuel Nyman has been awarded a NIHR Clinical Trials Fellowship that will begin in January 2019. These fellowships are designed to provide further advanced research methods training in clinical trials. They provide hands-on experience with several trials at different phases of progression and are to be based in a clinical trials unit. Samuel will be based at PRIMENT, the Clinical Trials Unit at UCL with expertise in trials conducted in primary care and to do with mental health, including Samuel’s research area of dementia. This will help Samuel consolidate the experience he has gained so far and training from completing an MSc in Clinical Trials, with further hands-on experience in dementia trials at a leading trials unit.

October 2018

Dr Ching-Yu Huang visits Beijing Police University

On invitation by the Beijing Police University as one of the only two external presenters, Dr Ching-Yu Huang embarked on a trip to China and presented at the second biennial conference on police interviewing technology in China. The conference had more than 150 regional chief police investigators and officers from the Chinese national criminal investigation bureau (equivalent of the CPS in the UK) in the audience. Ching-Yu’s presentation was on interviewing children in the criminal investigation context, educating investigators about the importance of cognitive and developmental issues children face in the criminal justice system. She also gave a guest seminar to the master students in the Beijing police university on this topic, educating the police officers-to-be in the audience.

BU academic awarded British Psychological Society Book Award

Dr Terri Cole’s co-written book Forensic Psychology: Theory, Research, Policy and Practice (2015), with Professor Jennifer Brown (London School of Economics) and Dr Yvonne Shell, has won the British Psychological Society Book Award 2018 in the Textbook category. The Society’s Book Award recognises excellent published work in psychology and recipients will be presented with a commemorative certificate at the Society’s Annual Conference. The text book provides a comprehensive analysis and reflection of the key concepts, debates, and theories from key professionals working in practice.

September 2018

Soap Box Science by the Sea

On 29th September SoapBox Art & Science was part of the Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival. The new Soapbox Art & Science 2018 event capitalized on Soapbox Science’s current strengths to widen the audiences exposed to science carried out by women and will facilitate communication and collaboration between the arts and science communities. Soapbox Science came to Bournemouth for the very first time, and it added a new and exciting element to engaging the public in exciting, innovative and engaging ways. This is a forum where UK’s women in Science take to their soapbox to showcase their science to the general public!

BU researcher wins best short paper prize at the 12th International Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies

Centre for Digital Entertainment Research Engineer Ifigeneia Mavridou and her supervisory team (Dr. Emili Ballaguer-Balester, Dr Ellen Seis, Dr Alain Renaud, and Dr Charles Nduka), won the best short paper prize at the 12th International Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies (ICDVRAT) 2018 for her work with Emteq's VR platform for emotion recognition. The paper was titled “Towards valence detection from EMG for Virtual Reality applications”.

August 2018

Young at Art

Over the past year, Dr Ben Hicks and Dr Shanti Shanker have been running a range of public outreach seminars, funded by the British Psychological Society, to explore identity and raise awareness of issues related to the brain and neuropsychology. Part of this work included a series of graffiti workshops for people living with dementia both in the community as well as an Assisted Living Facility in Brighton. These workshops sought to use this art form as a means to engage people with dementia and explore their sense of ‘self,’ whilst providing them with an opportunity to participate in new, meaningful activities and continue their life-long learning.

As part of the project this work was filmed and the final piece is now available for public dissemination. If you are interested in the work, please take a look at the video which details the 2-day graffiti workshop at the Assisted Living Facility, Brooke Mead in Brighton. The graffiti workshops were delivered by Angela El-Zeind from GraffInc. and the video was produced by James Skinner from Skinner Productions.  

Psychology taster session for Y12 students as part of the Bournemouth University Summer Breaks programme

Summer Breaks is a widening participation initiative at Bournemouth University to give prospective students an opportunity to get a taste of the university experience during a 4-day visit. Dr Natalie Mestry delivered a Psychology taster session to students which included an overview of Psychology as a science, the research process, and a more in-depth discussion of research in face processing using activities and demonstrations to outline the challenges for psychologists. Students also found out about the Psychology course at Bournemouth University and spoke to final year Psychology students about their experiences.

July 2018

Funded by Santander Staff Mobility scheme, Dr Bernhard Angele visited Prof Jinmian Yang at Fudan University, Shanghai in June 2018. Prof Yang is one of the leading experts on eye movements during reading in Chinese, and some extremely productive time was spent working on a collaborative eye-tracking study which will be implemented and run shortly. Fudan University is one of the most prestigious and selective universities in China with a more than 100 year-long history. It is continually ranked as one of the top three universities in China (together with Peking University and Tsinghua University) and as one of the top 20 universities in Asia. Further collaborations include preparation for grants during Prof Yang’s visit to BU this summer, and further collaborative work will Prof Xingshan Li from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Prof Chuanli Zang and Prof Guoli Yan from Tianjin Normal University. During his stay in China, Bernhard also presented a talk (and was a co-author on another talk and a poster) at the 8th China International Conference on Eye Movements (CICEM) in Nanjing. 

BRANES: Increasing brain awareness from Bournemouth to Kenya

BRANES (Building Awareness and Resilience through Neuropsychological Education in the Society) is a project led by Dr Shanti Shanker and Dr Ben Hicks from Bournemouth University. Its disparate activities are drawn together by the project’s primary ambition to increase public awareness of the neuropsychology of such conditions as stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain injury and dementia. With the objective that knowledge will help build resilience.

The project has undergone much work including running workshops at the Festival of Learning in London and in Bournemouth, providing interactive public awarness in Brain Awarness Week in 2017 and also running further workshops with care home residents under the title "Tag your identity" to help dementia sufferers challenge public perceptions of their identity. BRANES has had tremendous impact and has now managed to reach as far afield as Kenya and India. Shanti and the team have been given the opportunity to work with senior Kenyan prison officers (through the African Prison Project). The team discussed the concepts behind BRANES and discussed how it could be adapted to increase resilience in inmates. You can find more details of the story on The British Psychological Society website.

May 2018

Prof. Katherine Appleton was part of the organising committee for the 42nd Annual Meeting of the British Feeding and Drinking Group, an International Conference held this year in April in Lyon, France. She and Dr Emmy van den Heuvel presented work at the conference. Katherine's attendance at the conference was funded by her involvement in the Organising Committee, Emmy's attendance was funded by a bursary from the conference, and EU project FoodSMART. Katherine will also be a Guest editor for a supplement in the journal Appetite that will cover the conference.

April 2018

Dr Andrew Johnson

Dr Andy Johnson talked about the science of scents with the Naked Scientists podcast. You can listen to the interview on their website.

March 2018

Brain Awareness Week - Taking neuro-education to Bournemouth square with Dr Shanti Shanker and Dr Rachel Moseley, and listen to Dr Rachel Moseley for her inspiring talk on autism.

February 2018

Promoting Science and exploring collaboration in India: Global Festival of Learning 2018

Dr Shanti Shanker

Dr Shanti Shanker, Lecturer, Dept. of Psychology (part of the GFoL Team), this team included other staff and students from Bournemouth University 

Read below for outcomes of the visit:

1. Engage as an academic – Global festival of Learning

A) Symbiosis, Pune (13th Feb): Dr Shanker lead a interactive lecture/workshop for 3rd year students in psychology. Out of a group of 30, 5 students were keen to consider BU for their M.Sc. and a couple were exploring possible PGR opportunities.

B) I Teach Schools, Pune: is a new initiative to make a difference in Schools within Pune. Dr Shanker connected with the Founder/CEO and is exploring possibility to explore internship opportunities (for summer/year-long placements) for our 2nd and/or 3rd year students (possibly for 2019-20 academic year).

C) Pint of Science & Soap Box Science: As an alumnus for both these public engagement forums, Dr Shanker engaged with students and relevant academics and corporates to explore potential collaborators to launch either of this program in Pune/Mumbai and/or Delhi. This will contribute to some impact case studies of increasing academic presence in the community.

D) Private Education (16th February): Met with the Vice-President – Education, GEMS International School. During the panel discussion – I shared some of the best practices followed in teaching by Psychology and she was very keen to connect. Possibly another avenue to explore collaborations in the near future and also potential summer placement opportunities for Psychology. 

2. India Recruitment: Delhi

As part of Festival of Learning – ½ day on the 15th of February was dedicated to recruiting students at the British Council Delhi. Activities include:

A) Meeting in-person with the Agents, was very helpful. They will be in touch for us to have online sessions (annually) to clear any questions, interact with prospective applicants who want to make an application to BU for Undergraduate courses.

B) Two schools (Delhi) are interested in providing us with the space and students to run a Public Engagement workshop (BRANES: Building Resilience Awareness through Neuropsychology Education in the Society). This would allow us to gain familiarity and peak interest of students and parents considering UK Education. Both of these are private schools.

C) Mr Tom Birtwistle, Director North India, British Council. Dr Shanker met with the Director, who mentioned that currently, Psychology books are the most sought after at the British Council Libraries. So, he is keen to organize few open sessions for Public and/ Schools in Psychology. This will be planned for some time in August/September 2018, when Dr Shanker will be in India. This would allow us to a) increase our awareness within the society; b) showcase our unique selling point – an inbuilt placement within the taught M.Sc. which is a huge advantage over a number of UK University courses in Psychology.

D) Dr Shanker has spoken to few stakeholders, who have mentioned that having few talks in Schools (Std. XII) and providing sessions on interesting facts would be an excellent approach.

3. Building on existing collaborations and co-applying for relevant grant applications. a. Centers for Wellbeing and Research, India:

A) The intention to work with the grass-root levels (i.e. tier 2/3 cities, smaller towns and village) to build more mental health and neuropsychology awareness has been on the agenda for a long time.

B) During this visit, Dr Shanker connected with Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen (HSS) and we are writing pilot grant to work on need-based assessment. Following which we plan to submit a proposal for a Welcome trust grant to support pilot research in India (aimed for early/mid 2019).

C) During this visit, we also connected with 3 other medical doctors in India who will be interested to collaborate on this project/initiative.

D) Dr Shanker will be planning a workshop with Prison Officers in Aug-Sep 2018. Having connected with Hariharan Krishnan, a well-known film maker – he was very interested in exploring possible collaboration from public awareness perspective.

International collaboration and knowledge exchange with partner universities in China

Dr Bernhard Angele just returned in January 2018 from a four-month visit to the Institute of Psychology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. The visit was funded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' President's Fellowship Initiative (PIFI). During his visit, Bernhard collaborated with Prof Xingshan Li on several studies on eye movements in reading. Martin Vasilev, a PhD student in our department, was also able to visit the Institute of Psychology at CAS during the month of December, where he collaborated with Bernhard Angele and Prof Xingshan Li on a study on auditory background input while reading Chinese. This visit was funded by the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS). During his time in China, Bernhard also visited Tianjin Normal University in Tianjin (together with Martin Vasilev) and Shandong Normal University in Jinan, where he gave talks on recent research projects. Additionally, Bernhard gave workshops on Advanced Statistics using the R Software at the CAS Institute of Psychology and Tianjin Normal University, as well as a workshop on academic publishing at Shandong Normal University, which were very well received.


Psychology continued support to young people through registered charity Fixers

Dr Rachel Moseley

On 30th January, Dr Rachel Moseley and two students from the Clinical and Developmental Neuropsychology MSc course, Rosamunde Wadsworth and Milla Räsänen, took part in the 'Feel Happy on the Spectrum' event in London - a day which brought together young people with autism to talk about the big issues in their lives related to education, home life, the media, work and health. The students facilitated workshops in the morning and in the afternoon helped the young Fixers on the spectrum to present their views to policy-makers and stake-holders. It was a fantastic feel-good event that showcased some very talented young people in the cause of raising understanding and acceptance of autism. In the words of one speaker: “I want all autistic people to accept their differences and be proud of who they are. You’re all amazing, you’re all wonderful and you’re a gift. *Dr Andrew Mayers and Dr Rachel Moseley have been working with the Fixers, a company and registered charity who support young people (aged 16-25) to creatively raise awareness of topics they are passionate about, like drug trafficking, mental illness, cyberbullying and other issues that affect young people.

December 2017

One-day conference at BU announced

Dr Ching-Yu HuangDr Ching-Yu Huang met with the head of Center for Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Research at National Chi-Nan University and set up a one-day conference on 28 February 2018 at BU.

This conference will involve the research team’s visit from Taiwan, forensic psychologists and scientists at BU and local charities working on child abuse and rape prevention.

Dr Ching-Yu Huang delivers seminar in Taiwan

Dr Ching-Yu Huang gave a seminar to the pediatric team at Datung Hospital in Taiwan, and met with the chief prosecutor in the Kaohsiung District court. In the seminar, she shared the knowledge and practice for interviewing child witnesses/victims, and how the medical professionals can utilise these techniques to prevent biases and misleading practices in child abuse investigation.