ARU Centre for Mind and Behaviour

A hand holding a simulation of the brain with the sunset as a backdrop

The Centre for Mind and Behaviour at ARU (ARU-CMB) is concerned with advancing our understanding of cognition in the healthy human brain and the nature of impairment in clinical populations.

We also conduct applied research in order to improve diagnosis and clinical management of people with developmental and acquired psychological and neurological disorders.

Primary areas of interest include intelligence, memory, cognitive development and ageing, bodily self-consciousness and psychometric assessment. Our research incorporates multiple methods, including classic experimental cognitive approaches, EEG and fMRI, cortical stimulation and functional near infra-red spectroscopy.

Research activities are centred on the following groups, all of which draw in additional staff from across the centre and the school:

We offer a Psychology PhD. We have also identified a range of innovative research project opportunities for postgraduate researchers.

For enquiries and further information, please contact either of the Centre’s Co-Directors: Prof Peter Bright at [email protected] or Dr Sharon Morein-Zamir at [email protected].

Congratulations to Dr Sinead Rocha who has had a paper accepted: Rocha, S. & Addyman, C. (in press). Assessing sensorimotor synchronisation in toddlers using the Lookit online experiment platform and automated movement extraction. Frontiers in Psychology. A preprint is available

Congratulations to Prof Peter Bright who has had a paper published in BMJ Open: Wyman, D. L., Butler, L., Cooper, C., Bright, P., Morgan-Trimmer, S., & Barber, J. (2022). Process evaluation of the New Interventions for independence in Dementia Study (NIDUS) Family stream randomised controlled trial: protocol. BMJ Open, 12(6), 54613.

Congratulations to PhD student Utkarsh Gupta, supervised by Dr Jane Aspell and Prof Peter Bright, who has been awarded a Brain Travel Award of £600 by the Guarantors of Brain. This will fund his attendance at the annual meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness in Amsterdam, where he will present his latest research findings.

In June 2022 Dr Debora de Vasconcelos e Sa and Associate Professor, Dr John Lambie, (Clinical and Wellbeing group) presented an outreach talk to CPFT Eating Disorders Carers’ Support Group entitled 'How to cope with emotions: for carers and their loved ones'.

Matt Gwyther gave a poster presentation at the Phenomenological Methods in Neuroscience & Consciousness Research workshop in Zurich (April 2022).

We had two events at the 2022 Cambridge Festival: Associate Professor, Dr Jane Aspell, gave a talk entitled 'Losing and Finding the Self in the Brain', and Matt Gwyther, Utkarsh Gupta and Dr Jenny Todd presented an interactive showcase of some of the group’s recent research.

A Special Issue on the topic 'Mindfulness, Interoception and the Body', guest edited by Dr Jenny Todd and Dr Jane Aspell, has been published in Brain Sciences.

Research co-authored by Prof Peter Bright has found that multilingual acquisition is not detrimental to cognitive and linguistic development and has been summarised in an article for the Institute of Education No harm to cognitive and linguistic development for second language learners. The full text is published by Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology and entitled 'Trajectories of verbal fluency and executive functions in multilingual and monolingual children and adults: A cross-sectional study'.

Dr Jane Aspell was interviewed about her research on the BBC Radio 4 programme 'All in the Mind'. (December 2021)

ARU recently hosted the online event European Workshop on Imagery and Cognition (EWIC), organised and led by Dr David Pearson (Co-Lead for the Cognition group). In addition to exciting oral and poster presentations from across our international community, we were pleased to have additional keynote talks by Robert Logie (University of Edinburgh) and Michel Denis (CNRS & Université Paris-Saclay).

The following edited collection has been published as a Frontiers eBook: Filippi, R. & Bright, P., 2021. Cognitive Reserve and Language Experience: Can Long-Term Use of Multiple Languages Protect Our Brains from the Effects of Aging? Lausanne: Frontiers Media.

A recent paper co-authored by Prof Peter Bright and Dr Ian van der Linde has been summarised in an article in Physician's Weekly (June 2020)

Prof Peter Bright has recently published a co-authored paper with colleagues at UCL focused on developmental trajectories in the control of verbal and non-verbal interference in speech comprehension:

Filippi, R., Ceccolini, Periche-Tomas, E., Papageorgiou, P. & Bright, P., 2020. Developmental trajectories of control of verbal and non-verbal interference in speech comprehension in monolingual and multilingual children. Cognition.

Sharon Buckland, recent PhD graduate under the supervision of Prof Peter Bright and Dr Emma Kaminskiy, published a study on the psychological repercussions of acquired brain injury, not only on the person with the injury, but also the wider family unit. The study is entitled 'Individual and family experiences of loss after acquired brain injury: A multi-method investigation'.

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