Welcome to Psychology

From childhood to old age.

Psychology at Heriot-Watt focuses on providing
excellent learning experience combined with strong
and active research culture

Research Assistant

Clara has obtained a PhD in Psychology at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh (2016) and a Clinical Doctorate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Italy (2014). She also completed a PGDip in Cognitive Neuroscience at Oxford Brookes University (2010), as well as an MSc in Clinical Psychology (2008) and a BSc in Psychology (2006). She has been working in both research and clinical settings in the area of neuropsychology and clinical psychology since 2008 with a wide range of patients and conditions.

Clara is currently working as a Research Assistant for a project coordinated by Dr Mario Parra at Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh). The study aims to deliver novel tools for the assessment and intervention of people at risk of dementia. She works within a collaboration network which involves academics and NHS institutions across Scotland as well as international labs. Her job involves neuropsychological assessments and neuroimaging data collection in older adults with and without cognitive impairment. She is also involved in the design, implementation and application of a cognitive intervention programme which relies on Virtual Reality Technologies. This aims to incorporate state of the art VR and AI tools to create a tailored intervention program that responds to the needs of each individual living with dementia.


  • Guinea, S.F., Calia, C., García, A.F., Olazarán-Rodriguez, J., Sergio Della Sala, S. and Mario A Parra (2017, in press). Refining memory assessment of elderly people with cognitive impairment: insights from the short-term memory binding test. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Calia, C., Hoefeijzers, S., Parra, M.A. (2016). Is it time to change the way we detect Alzheimer’s disease and monitor its progression? Towards affordable and theory-driven approaches from cognitive neurosciences. JSM Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia, 3(2): 1028.
  • Settanni A., De Feudis G., Calia C., De Caro M.F., Dell'Erba G.L. (2016). Una nuova sottoscala della symptom checklist 90-r come strumento di screening nei soggetti con lesionicerebrali: la brain injury subscale. [Translation: A new subscale of symptom checklist 90-r as a screening tool in patients with brain injury: the brain injury subscales]. Cognitivismo Clinico, 12, 2.
  • Calia, C., Darling, S., Allen, R.J., Havelka, J. (2015). Visuospatial bootstrapping: aging and the facilitation of verbal memory by spatial displays. Archives of Scientific Psychology. 3,74–81
  • Mulatti, C., Calia, C., De Caro, M.F., Della Sala, S, (2014). The cumulative semantic interference effect in normal and pathological ageing. Neuropsychologia. 65, 125–130.
  • Della Sala, S., Calia, C., De Caro, M.F. & McIntosh, R.D. (2014). Transient involuntary mirror writing triggered by anxiety. Neurocase. 21(5):665-73.




Edinburgh Campus
Room 1.56D
William Perkin Building