It is not always possible for staff to agree to supervise all students who wish to work with them. The main reason for this is the desire of staff to ensure that all students get appropriately intensive supervision.
If staff has too many students, all the students suffer. For this reason we recommend that you contemplate topics from more than one staff member in the early phases of discussion.
To speak with any staff members about potential supervision, please email them for an appointment or follow any specific directions they have provided below.
Students should note that not all of the following staff will be available in a particular year.
W/Professor David Badcock
The way we see determines how we are able to interact with the environment. The focus of my research is on human visual performance. My current research examines both the contribution of early visual pathways to individual tasks and the extent to which common neural and perceptual processes are involved in motion, pattern and position coding. The processes are investigated using both normal and clinical groups of observers. Currently the laboratory group is running long term projects examining how humans perceive both the speed and direction of the type of motion produced by moving through the environment, the processes that allow us to determine the location of objects within the environment, the processes that help us to detect and group large scale structure in the visual world and also one aiming to determine the nature of the long-lasting changes that arise as a consequence of migraine headaches. I also have a collaborative project with Murray Maybery on visual processing in Autism.
Dr Donna Bayliss
Working memory is an active memory system that is closely linked with educational achievement in children and also a range of cognitive abilities in adults including reasoning ability and fluid intelligence. It has also been implicated in a number of developmental disorders such as ADHD.
Asst/Professor Uta Bindl
Emotion regulation at work. There is an opportunity for 1-2 honours students to write their theses on the topic of how employees regulate
their emotions at work, including what impact these emotion regulation strategies have with regards well-being and performance outcomes. One honours thesis will mainly focus on identifying and validating different emotion strategies at work (via interviews and surveys). The second thesis will focus on a dynamic investigation of emotion regulation with well-being and performance outcomes at work, using an experience sampling methods design. Organizational access for data collection has been secured. Co-supervisor will be Professor Mark Griffin.
Honours students must have a co-supervision arrangement with a School of Psychology staff member.
Dr Romola Bucks
My research addresses aspects of how age and disease affect our cognitive and emotional skills. I work with people who have short term conditions, such as a cold, or those with longer term changes in ability either as a result of normal ageing or of degenerative conditions such as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Parkinson’s.
Projects that I will offer for 2012 are:
Associate Professor Sue Byrne
My research interests lie in the field of clinical psychology. I have a particular interest in eating and weight disorders and I have a strong background in both research and clinical work in this area. My current research includes major projects which aim to identify causal pathways to eating disorders and obesity, and to test new treatments for these disorders.My research team provides evidence-based psychological treatment for eating and weight disorders in children, adolescents and adults. Honours projects I have supervised in the past have included those focusing on psychosocial consequences of obesity in children and adolescents, binge eating and other eating disorder psychopathology in children and adolescents, testing various causal models of bulimia nervosa, outcomes of group cognitive-behavioural therapy for obesity in adults, the role of the media in the development of disordered eating, the relationship between fast food consumption and mental health, body image in males, predictors of drop out from treatment for eating disorders and the relationship between obesity and depression in children, adolescents and adults.
Dr Patrick Clarke
Models of anxiety disorders consistently implicate the role of low-level information processing biases in the development and maintenance of psychological dysfunction. These models particularly emphasise the roles of selective attention for threatening information and negative resolutions of ambiguity. Current research carried out by our Cognition and Emotion Research group, within the School of Psychology’s Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion, uses cognitive-experimental paradigms to examine the role of these information processing biases, and focuses on several related questions including: Which particular attentional and interpretive biases govern the expression of these emotions? How do the biases associated with emotional vulnerability change across the lifespan? How and why does the readiness with which individuals acquire certain patterns if information processing biases serve to predict changes in their anxiety vulnerability across time? Which particular forms of processing selectivity characterise heightened, rather than compromised, levels of emotional resilience? To what extent can these biased patterns of processing selectivity be intentionally controlled, and does restricted cognitive control capability elevate emotional vulnerability. How can an understanding of selective attention and interpretation assist people to act in an adaptive way when faced with potential threat? An overarching issue that pervades much of this work concerns identifying which cognitive biases causally contribute to which facets of emotional vulnerability. To address this issue we seek to determine how various manifestations of emotional vulnerability are influenced by directly manipulating differing aspects of selective information processing.
Mr Patrick Dunlop
My current research interests lie in the following two areas:
The use of psychometric assessments, such as cognitive ability tests and personality questionnaires, in the context of personnel selection. Within this broad domain, I am very interested in understanding the socially desirable responding or 'faking' that is thought to occur when people undertake personality tests in high-stakes settings, such as when applying for a job. I am also currently interested in exploring 'retesting effects', which describe the impact of repeated exposure to psychometric tests on performance. Lastly, although testing technology advances quickly (e.g. unproctored internet tests and computer-adaptive testing), there remain many unanswered research questions relating to the use of these new tests in practice, which I am interested in exploring. Those interested in working within these areas should consider co-supervision with Professor David Morrison.
Understanding the processes of decision making when people are in stressful situations. In particular, I wish to explore the manner in which individuals interpret and focus on the information they receive during emergency situations. At present, I am undertaking this research in the context of bush fire emergencies, in a research position funded by the Bushfire CRC. As a second project in this area, I am also interested in exploring the factors that predict community members’ preparedness for disasters. Those interested in working within these areas should consider co-supervision with Dr Illy McNeill or Professor David Morrison.
I can be contacted on email@example.com or 6488 3958 to discuss potential research supervision.
Dr Ullrich Ecker
My research interests lie in the field of memory, in particular:
Interference and consolidation accounts of forgetting: Neuroscience has postulated a special neural process called “consolidation” that supposedly protects memory traces from forgetting. In contrast, cognitive models of memory explain forgetting with reference to interference and (temporal) distinctiveness. My research is currently contrasting predictions from these two traditions of memory research, including:
Memory updating and the continued influence of outdated misinformation: When people are given a piece of information (e.g., John is guilty) but are then told that this information is incorrect (i.e., John is innocent), they will to a certain degree continue to refer to John’s guilt in their reasoning. I am currently investigating a number of factors that influence this failure of memory updating, including pre-existing attitudes, personality traits, and the effects of repetition. Potential projects include:
Feature binding in memory (in collaboration with Murray Maybery). Different parts of the brain process and store different aspects of information (e.g., the colour and shape of an object) and this information needs to be bound to allow for coherent perception and memory. Experiments in this area would look at memory for such bindings, and how it is influenced by factors such as feature discriminability or prototypicality of colours.
Associate Professor Nicolas Fay
My research investigates human communication, a fundamental aspect of everyday life: whether giving a speech, chatting with a neighbour or participating in a management discussion. Current projects include:
ERPs can provide valuable additional information about how people process stimuli, particularly in cases where overt behavioural responses cannot be reliably obtained.
Projects currently underway include investigation of the long-term effects of aging, development, and substance abuse on cognitive functioning, as well as delineation of the nature of the processes contributing to error-monitoring, inhibition, memory, and perception using ERPs.
Research topics might include performance monitoring and maturation of auditory temporal processing, and I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0439 945 784 to discuss potential research supervision.
Dr Linda Jeffery
My research focuses on how we process faces. Faces are rich in social information and our ability to extract this information at a mere glance is crucial to human social interaction. Faces help us determine an individual's identity, sex, ethnicity and attractiveness, as well as providing insights into how people are feeling and what they are attending to. Yet all faces are remarkably similar as visual patterns, so we rely on very subtle differences and variations between them to make all these judgements. Trying to understand the mechanisms underlying an ability we usually take for granted is fascinating in its own right and may also provide insights how such processes break down, as in autism. I have a particular interest in determining how the mechanisms of face perception mature in children but also supervise projects working with adult participants.
I am interested in:
how we integrate information provided by different cues in the face (e.g. eye-gaze direction and facial expression) and how other bodily cues interact with facial cues (e.g. facial expression and vocal expression
studying whether individual differences in face perception skills are related to other underlying abilities, such as empathy, autism-like traits and general cognitive ability
using face aftereffects to probe the mechanisms underlying face perception in adults and childrenW/Professor Carmen Lawrence
Interested students should contact me on ext3015 or via e-mail – email@example.com
W/Professor Stephan Lewandowsky
Have you ever wondered why you forget a stranger’s name within seconds of them being introduced to you? Are you interested in how we become expert at classifying stimuli (e.g., X-rays) into categories (e.g., healthy or abnormal)? Have you ever wondered why so many people continue to believe stuff that’s quite obviously false (e.g., that President Obama was not born in Hawaii)?
If so, you might be interested in the research currently being pursued in the Cognitive Science Laboratory:
I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 6488 3231 to discuss potential research supervision.
Associate Professor Shayne Loft
I have several areas of cognitive and applied cognitive (human factors) research that are suitable for honours and masters projects. For PhD students, please arrange to see Shayne to talk about research possibilities. Shayne has PhD scholarships available for PhD students to start in 2012 or 2013. Further details of Shayne’s research can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/uwashayneloft.
Email (Shayne.Loft@uwa.edu.au) or call Shayne anytime (08) 6488 4610 to discuss any of the honours, masters or PhD research possibilities below.
Asst Professor Alexsandra Luksyte
My research interests revolve around two areas: 1) overqualification and 2) diversity in the workplace.
Honours students must have a co-supervision arrangement with a School of Psychology staff member.
My research interests span a range of areas within clinical psychology and human performance. Particular areas of interest include insomnia and the factors that influence sleep; attitudes towards psychological disorders such as depression and the impact of attitudes on help seeking; the impact of perfectionism on performance in sport and performing arts; the nature of ADHD and the validity of ADHD diagnosis; and the cognitive processes and social/cultural factors underlying disorders of appetite.
I am also interested in the factors the inhibit people from adopting and maintaining exercise and the psychological and cognitive benefits of exercise
Dr Illy McNeill
I have two main areas of research that are suitable for honours projects. The first of these projects may be co-supervised by Mr Patrick Dunlop.
I can be contacted on email@example.com or 6488 4856 to discuss potential research supervision.
For PhD opportunities, please visit http://www.psychology.uwa.edu.au/research/bushfire/studentopportunities
Dr Lies Notebaert
Models of anxiety disorders consistently implicate the role of low-level information processing biases in the development and maintenance of psychological dysfunction. These models particularly emphasise the roles of selective attention for threatening information and negative resolutions of ambiguity. Current research carried out by our Cognition and Emotion Research group, within the School of Psychology’s Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion, uses cognitive-experimental paradigms to examine the role of these information processing biases, and focuses on several related questions including: Which particular attentional and interpretive biases govern the expression of these emotions? How do the biases associated with emotional vulnerability change across the lifespan? How and why does the readiness with which individuals acquire certain patterns if information processing biases serve to predict changes in their anxiety vulnerability across time? Which particular forms of processing selectivity characterise heightened, rather than compromised, levels of emotional resilience? To what extent can these biased patterns of processing selectivity be intentionally controlled, and does restricted cognitive control capability elevate emotional vulnerability. How can an understanding of selective attention and interpretation assist people to act in an adaptive way when faced with potential threat? An overarching issue that pervades much of this work concerns identifying which cognitive biases causally contribute to which facets of emotional vulnerability. To address this issue we seek to determine how various manifestations of emotional vulnerability are influenced by directly manipulating differing aspects of selective information processing. In collaboration with the Bushfire CRC, a particularly pertinent research question concerns how this relation between emotional vulnerability and selective information processing contributes to adaptive or maladaptive behaviour when facing a chronic threat.
Professor Andrew Page
My interests concern clinical psychology, but specifically the disorders of anxiety and depression. I aim to improve treatments by understanding how therapies bring about their effects and the nature of the clinical conditions. Specific research questions include:
Professor Sharon Parker
I am an organizational psychologist and have supervised many PhD students and honours students over the years. Ilustrative research interests include: job design, proactivity, innovation, creativity, employee self-efficacy, and organisational change. See Website: https://sites.google.com/site/profsharonparker/. I have potential projects in 2011 in these topics as part of the Accelerated LearninI am an organizational psychologist and have supervised many PhD students and honours students over the years. Ilustrative research interests include: job design, proactivity, innovation, creativity, employee self-efficacy, and organisational change. See Website: https://sites.google.com/site/profsharonparker/. I have potential projects in 2011 in these topics as part of the Accelerated Learning Laboratory (with Professor Griffin & Dr Uta Bindl), or more applied projects in organisations. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Honours students must have a co-supervision arrangement with a School of Psychology staff member.
Associate Professor Romina Palermo
My research aims to understand the perceptual, cognitive, and neural mechanisms underlying person perception. This often involves studying faces, as they provide information about the identity, age, sex, race, attractiveness and mood of other people, but also involves studying the perception of bodies and voices. In addition to our work with typically developing children and adults, my lab also investigates person perception in children and adults with atypical development, psychopathology, or brain injury. This includes studies of developmental disorders affecting face processing (congenital/developmental prosopagnosia and autism); neuropsychological studies of people with brain injuries affecting face identity recognition (acquired prosopagnosia) and expression recognition (amygdala/orbitofrontal cortex lesions); and investigations into psychopathology affecting person perception (social anxiety, borderline personality disorder, callous-unemotional traits).
Our research to date has addressed three main questions:
1. What is the role of visual attention in face perception?
2. Why can't some children and adults recognise facial identity?
3. How do we discriminate facial expressions?
Please see the Person and Emotion Perception Lab (PEPLab) website (https://sites.google.com/site/drrominapalermo/) for more details.
W/Professor Gillian Rhodes
Faces convey a wealth of information that guides our social interactions. At a glance we can assess a person’s identity, gender, ethnicity, age, attractiveness, emotional state and focus of attention. This fluency is remarkable given the difficulty of the discriminations required. We aim to understand the mechanisms (perceptual, cognitive, neural and evolutionary) of person perception and how they relate to other cognitive abilities and social functioning. A major focus is on how person perception skills emerge during typical development and in children with the neuro-developmental disorders of autism and developmental prosopagnosia. Our long-term goal is to develop interventions to enhance person perception, and ultimately, social functioning and quality of life in individuals with person perception difficulties. Our work is conducted in the FaceLab, which is part of a national Center of Excellence in the Study of Cognition and its Disorders
Dr Werner Stritzke
Current research focuses on the development of a model of craving applicable to a broad range of appetitive behaviours including addictions and eating disorders. Specifically, the role of ambivalence in understanding and treating excessive appetites is emphasised.
Associate Professor Troy Visser
Information processing is surprisingly limited. That is why we often have trouble focusing on driving while talking on the phone, or studying while others are watching television or playing a video game. Because we can only process a limited amount of information, the role of selection processes - mechanisms that choose what we will attend to - have a huge role in all facets of our behaviour and conscious awareness. My research involves studying how selection is accomplished by the brain and the implications of these processes for areas such as perception, awareness, social behaviour and mental health.
In the Learning, Attention and Behaviour Lab, we use combinations of behavioural testing, online survey data, and computer-based simulation to study human information processing. The focus of our lab is on studying the relationship between selection and human behaviour to understand a variety of phenomena from the areas of perceptual, cognitive, social, and clinical psychology. Current projects include: a) investigating whether computer-based training can make people less distractible and increase cognitive control; b) the mechanisms underlying "cognitive distraction" that occurs when we are lost in thought and thus fail to perceive key perceptual information; c) the effects of mental-health diagnoses on stigmas towards adults and youth; d) the role of group membership in co-operative behaviour with others.
This is a broad field with the opportunity for projects to be conducted in many areas of interest within psychology. My goal is to work cooperatively with students to create an honours project that is of interest to both of us and executed in a supportive, goal-oriented, collegial environment.
Dr Michael Weinborn
My current research interests are focused on prospective memory functions in healthy aging, as well as in a number of clinical groups (e.g., individuals with substance abuse and depression). A particular interest is the linkage of laboratory measures of prospective memory and other executive functions to aspects of day-to-day functions, including medication management. Additionally, assessment of symptom validity in neuropsychological assessment is an ongoing research interest.
Specific projects likely for next year include: