Dr James Macdonald

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  • Position:Senior Lecturer in Psychology
  • Department:HAS - Health and Social Sciences
  • Telephone:+44 (0)117 32 83121

About me

I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology with expertise in cognitive neuroscience and I am based in the Department of Health and Social Sciences.

Please note that I am not working on Wednesdays this term (Autumn 2018).

Teaching:

I am the co-module leader for the second-year undergraduate psychology module, Mind, Brain, and Development with Nancy Zook. I am also the co-module leader for the third-year undergraduate module, Methods in Neuroscience with Caroline Brown, and the module leader for the Master's level module, Conducting and Evaluating Psychological Research, which is taken by all students on the MSc Health Psychology, MSc Occupational Psychology, and the MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology programmes.

Research:

My research aims to relate human electroencephalogram (EEG) activity to both low-level sensory and high-level cognitive functions. In particular, I am interested in the ability of the human brain to manage the influx of external sensory information, and generate internal experiences in the absence of corresponding external sensory input, for example, memories, thoughts, and mental imagery. I am interested in the neural mechanisms underlying these two systems, and how they complement and conflict with one another: how cognition shapes or inhibits perception, and vice versa. I am also interested in the ways in which high-level goals and plans can influence perception and cognition, and how these systems are managed appropriately in order to achieve such goals. Finally, I seek to uncover the influence of brain state and neural architecture on these systems. For example, do different patterns of neural activity within individuals, or differences in neural function between individuals, lead to differences in perceptual and cognitive function, or the effectiveness or manner in which these systems are managed?

Area of expertise

Cognitive neuroscience; Visual attention; EEG

Publications

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