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Areas of research interest


My lab has two main aims: our first aim is to unravel the cognitive and neural mechanisms behind emotional vulnerability to disorders such as anxiety and depression; our second aim is to target those mechanisms through adaptive cognitive control training interventions designed to boost resilience to protect against the effects of anxiety and depression on performance and well-being, and aid in the efficacy of treatments such as mindfulness and CBT that rely on processing efficiency.

Neurocognitive mechanisms behind anxiety and depressive vulnerability

Boosting cognitive immunity against anxiety and depression

Building everyday resilience



Successful applications:

  • 2015 - 2018: 1 + 3 ESRC studentship and ISSF/Welcome Trust grant: Building blocks of resilience in women affected by breast cancer. (ISSF funding: £38K)
  • 2015-2017: The British Academy.  Co-PI Reducing worry in generalised anxiety disorder using neurocognitive interventions (£10,000)
  • 2014 - 2017: 1 + 3 ESRC studentship: Training attentional control to improve motor skill performance in tennis.
  • 2013 - 2016: The Australian Research Council. Co-PI with Colin MacLeod (UWA). 'The relationship between attention bias for threat and impaired attentional control in predicting elevated vulnerability to anxiety and depression.' ($967,572 AUS dollars)
  • 2012 - 2013: The British Academy. PI with Anne Richards (co-applicant). Does Cognitive Load attenuate or enhance interference from negative information in anxiety? (£9,546)
  • 2012 - 2015: The Flemish Research Council. The role of attentional flexibility during emotion processing in resilience and emotional disorders. Co-applicant with Ernst Koster and Gilles Pourtois. (260,000 euros)
  • 2007: The Royal Society. The cognitive and neural markers of attentional control in anxiety and depression International Joint Project Grant with Ernst Koster at Ghent University in Belgium. (£12,400)
  • 2006: The ESRC. Anxiety, Processing Efficiency, and Cognitive Performance (with M.W. Eysenck). (£171,436)
  • 2006 and 2007: Birkbeck Faculty of Science grant. (£10,000)
  • 2005: Birkbeck Start-up fund for setting up laboratory. (£10,000)
  • 2002: BIAL Foundation. Mapping the time course of emotion processing in anxious and repressive individuals with Ottmar Lipp, University of Queensland, Australia. (50,000 euros)
  • 2002: The Australian Research Council. Biased information processing in anxiety and defensiveness. ($25,000 AUS dollars)
  • 2001: University of Leeds start-up funds. (£12,000)
  • 2000 - 2004: The Royal Society. Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship. (£200,000)