Clare Press (Director) CV

My undergraduate and postgraduate training was undertaken at UCL, where my doctoral thesis, supervised by Cecilia Heyes, investigated the specificity of automatic imitation and the learning mechanisms that support it. Following my PhD, I held a postdoctoral fellowship at Birkbeck, mentored by Martin Eimer, to investigate with EEG how action influences perception. I held a second fellowship at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, mentored by James Kilner, examining properties of the mirror neuron system in humans with MEG, fMRI, and behavioural measures. I studied basic properties relating to mirror system dynamics and adaptation, the domain-generality of the learning mechanisms supporting its development and its functioning in individuals with autism. I took up a lectureship at the University of Reading in 2010, before moving to my current position at Birkbeck in 2012.

Rosy Edey (Postdoctoral researcher)

I studied Applied Psychology at Cardiff University and then obtained a Masters in Applied Paediatric Neuropsychology at UCL. I have just completed my PhD at Birkbeck, University of London under the supervision of Clare Press and Iroise Dumontheil, where I was investigating how differences in movement kinematics can influence social understanding. I was awarded funding from the Wellcome Trust ISSF, and am currently continuing working as a Researcher on the same themes from my PhD.

Daniel Yon (Postdoctoral researcher)

I studied Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford before coming to Birkbeck for a MSc and PhD with Clare funded by the ESRC. My PhD investigated how predictions generated during action influence perceptual processing. I am continuing these investigations as a postdoc funded by the Leverhulme Trust, examining how predictions shape perception in action and non-action domains.

James Chard (PhD student)

I completed my MSc in Psychology at Birkbeck College as a mature student in 2014, having previously completed a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, and worked as a lawyer for several years. My MSc project at Birkbeck was supervised by Dr Clare Press, and investigated influences of the motor system on visual perception of biological motion using a representational momentum paradigm. I joined the Action and Interaction Lab in 2015 as a part-time MRes/PhD student, and am planning a project involving assessing action-perception links in relation to older adults’ perception of emotion in visual stimuli.

Emily Thomas (PhD student)

I have previously completed an MSc in Brain and Cognition at Erasmus University Rotterdam, where I conducted research into the theory of Embodied Cognition. I am currently a PhD student under the supervision of Clare Press, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. During my PhD I will examine the influences of expectation on perception in action contexts.

Vanessa Zainzinger (Research Assistant)

Before joining the Action and Interaction lab I studied Psychology at the University of Derby and worked as a science journalist and editor for several years. Currently, I am working on a project examining the nature of mechanisms supporting our sense of agency, in a research assistant position funded by the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund.

Marie de Guzman (PhD student)

Recognised by leaders and organisations for her work in making strategic problem-solving and decision-making easier and better, Marie is an applied neuroscientist - actively implementing the links between brain physiology, human performance and corporate systems as they relate to strategic decision-making and planning.


Previous members:
  • Chithira Johnson (Research assistant)
  • Eva Berlot (Research Assistant)
  • Federica Biotti (Research Assistant)
  • Gordon Wright (PhD student)
  • Idalmis Santiesteban (PhD student)
  • Jeremy Hogeveen (visiting PhD student)
  • Lia Antico (Research Assistant)
  • Michel-Pierre Coll (visiting PhD student)
  • Anthony Haffey (PhD student)