Patric Bach -- Lab Leader


Patric studied Psychology at the Ludwigs-Maximillians-University at Munich, Germany. During his PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience in Munich and Leipzig, he tried to uncover commonalities between the understanding of language and actions of other people, in a project with Wolfgang Prinz, Guenther Knoblich, Thomas Gunter and Angela D. Friederici, using electrophysiology (ERPs) and behavioural measures. After that, he worked in a 5-year post-doc position in Steve Tipper's lab at Bangor University, Wales, UK to investigate embodied social cognition and how it is affected by attention, using both behavioural methodologies and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). He is now, since 2009, Senior Lecturer at Plymouth University.

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James Colton -- PhD student

James started his PhD in in 2015 and is just about to enter his final year. He spends much of his time playing with modern statistical modelling techniques in R and staring in bewilderment at his ever growing to-do list. His research concerns the psychology of willed action; how goals and intentions influence our behaviour as we interact with the world. More broadly, he is interested in more esoteric ideomotor phenomena, such as Chevreul’s Pendulum or the use of a Ouija board, and how they relate to recent developments in action control research.


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Katrina L. McDonough -- PhD student

Katrina began her PhD in January 2016, after completing her BSc in Psychology at Plymouth under the supervision of Matthew Hudson and Patric Bach, investigating human predictive social perception and how expectations of action efficiency bias social perception. During this time, Katrina pursued an additional placement year working in Haline Schendan's neuroimaging lab investigating the brain basis of human visual cognition, combing sophisticated behavioural paradigms of cognitive psychology with the human neuroscience methods of EEG and ERPs. Katrina's research interests lie action understanding and predictive social perception, examining the cognitive mechanisms that allow humans to make these predictions, on what kind of information they rely on, and how they interact with subsequent processes to drive perception and action. 

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Helen Sharps -- PhD student

Helen began her PhD at Plymouth University in 2014, after completing her undergrad and Masters degree here, and after being involved in several projects including; what makes up reaction times,  how nystagmus waveforms affect visual acuity and how empathy in normal and deviant populations differ. In addition, Helen is mildly obsessed with children’s games and has been running a study using card games and rock-paper-scissors for more than five years. This has spilled over into her PhD, the focus of which is to investigate the effects of top-down contol on automatic imitation. Helen uses several behavioural measures including: reaction time, action observation judgements, representational momentum and is currently developing a project on automatic imitation in virtual reality. 




Eleanor Ward -- PhD student

Eleanor completed her BSc in Psychology at Plymouth University in July 2016, and began her PhD in October 2016. During her undergraduate degree, Eleanor was awarded a Wellcome Trust Summer Studentship, and worked in collaboration with Dr Magdalena Ietswaart of Stirling University, and Dr Patric Bach, exploring action prediction in children with autism, using eye-tracking technology. Eleanor’s PhD investigates visual perspective taking, and to what it is enhanced by socially relevant stimuli (e.g. emotional expression, mutual eye gaze). In the future, this project will explore whether whether perspective taking is required when lying to another person, or when attempting to detect lies. Eleanor’s PhD is being co-supervised by Patric and Giorgio Ganis