2019 - 2020

    Coming soon ...


    2018 - 2019 Semester 2
    Week 3
    Date: Wednesday 23rd January
    Time: 2.15-3.15
    Location: PG304
    Speaker: Dr Dan Hale, Psychology, Heriot-Watt University
    Title: Systematic Reviews
    This talk will give guidance about how and why to do a systematic review.
    Host: Mary Stewart

    Week 4
    Date: Wednesday 30th January
    Time: 2.15-3.15
    Location: PG304
    Speaker: Dr Elena Gherri
    Title: Close to me: behavioural and electrophysiological investigations of peripersonal space
    Abstract: To facilitate everyday interactions with a complex world, our brain constructs distinct representations of the space surrounding our body. Processing of (multi)sensory information arising from the space within reach of the body (peripersonal space, PPS) is enhanced to facilitate both the rapid detection of potential threats to the body and the execution of actions towards reachable objects. Despite the increasing number of studies aimed at investigating PPS, fundamental questions still remains unanswered. In this talk I will present two very different studies investigating plasticity and individual differences in PPS. First, I will discuss electrophysiological evidence suggesting that plastic changes to PPS induced by the active use of long tools modulate directly brain activity in early somatosensory areas. Results revealed increased multisensory integration of stimuli presented at the tip of the tool, supporting the hypothesis that the representation of space surrounding the hand is extended by tool use. Second, I will present a study investigating the links between PPS and empathy. Although PPS has been defined as the space within which goal oriented actions are executed, it provides the setting for interactions with other human beings. Empathy is fundamental for such inter-personal interactions and existing evidence suggests that the empathic responses to emotional stimuli depends on the physical distance between emotional stimuli and the observer. We tested the hypothesis that the strength and size of PPS representations is linked to empathy. Results revealed an inverse relationship between empathy and PPS with highly emphatic individuals showing weaker representations of PPS. We speculate that empathic individuals might be better at evaluating others’ emotions thanks to their PPS plasticity which allows them to share theirs PPS with other individuals, incorporating them within their own PPS representation.
    Host: Anna Sedda

    Week 8 
    Date: Wednesday 27th February
    Time: 2.15-3.15
    Location: PG304
    Speaker: Dr Mark Elliot
    Title: Promoting behaviour-change using implementation intentions
    Abstract: Many people fail to behave in accordance with their prior intentions. For example, about half of the people who perform health-risk behaviours do so in spite of ‘positive’ goal intentions to the contrary. Implementation intentions (Gollwitzer, 1993) are IF-THEN plans that are designed to help people over-come this problem. In the IF component of an implementation intention people are required to specify a critical situation in which to perform an intended behaviour. In the THEN component of an implementation intention they are required to specify a goal direct response that helps to ensure the intended behaviour is performed when the critical situation is encountered. This programme of research was designed to investigate the extent to which implementation intentions constitute a useful strategy for changing risk taking behaviour in the context of driving. The presentation will outline a series of studies, which together show that implementation intentions can result in large-sized changes in behaviour, that implementation intentions ‘work’ by breaking the effects of habit, thereby allowing goal intentions to initiate desired behavioural responses, and that implementation intentions can generate behaviour-change not only in critical situations that are specified in the IF component of the plan but also in contextually similar situations, in line with a stimulus generalization effect. Practical implications for behaviour-change interventions will also be discussed. 
    Host: Terry Lansdown

    Week 11 
    Psychology showcase
    Date: Wednesday 20th March
    Time: 10:15-11:15
    Location: JN116
    Host: Mary Stewart
    2018 - 2019 Semester 1
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