Congratulations to Simon Ferneyhough, second year PhD student in Psychology (SciTech), for obtaining funding from both the Santander Mobility Award scheme (£1000) and the British Psychological Society Postgraduate Study Visit scheme (£400). In combination, these funds will be used to support a two week research placement at the University of the Balearic Islands, working with long-standing laboratory collaborator and newly appointed Visiting Professor in Psychology, Dr. Fabrice Parmentier.
Simon’s PhD research examines the impact of normal cognitive ageing on a specific aspect of working memory performance known as feature binding: the ability to integrate different features of objects and events (e.g., colour, shape, sound, location) into unified episodic representations. While existing research indicates that we will all face decline in feature binding performance as we get older, not all types of feature binding seem to decline equally – memory for objects in locations, for instance, appears to be particularly impaired; while memory for an object’s intrinsic features (such as colour and shape) appears to be relatively preserved. Simon will use the visit to collaboratively develop a paradigm widely used in the auditory distraction literature to study auditory-spatial feature binding (that between a sound object and its location in space) across younger and older adult samples.
Simon’s PhD is supervised by Dr.Jane Elsley (Psychology) and Dr. Andrew Johnson (Psychology).