The Department of Psychology has an overarching theme of ‘Psychology of Health and Wellbeing’ that defines its research strategy. Groups of research specialism are based within three areas: Health, Nutrition and Well being; Cognition and Communication and Evolution, Perception and Behaviour.
Cognition and Communication
Research is concerned with cognitive development and communication in both healthy and clinical populations.
The Cognitive Research group unites researchers who use behavioural, oculomotor, and neuroimaging research methodsto investigate human cognition and language. Actively researched themes include cognitive development, attention and perception, ageing, working memory, visual processing, embodied and situated approaches to cognition and communication, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
The Research and Practice in Developmental Disabilities (RAPIDD) works in multi-disciplinary and systemic ways, with a range of organisations, to undertake research, consultancy, workforce development and develop clinical applications relevant to children and adults with developmental disabilities, including those with an intellectual disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The Psychology and Communication Technologies Lab (P@CT) seeks to understand the psychology of human interactions through digital technologies, human interactions with digital technologies and dissemination of information via digital technologies. Researchers are particularly concerned with issues of privacy, security and trust and the impact of technology on our health and well being.
Health, Nutrition and Well Being
Research investigates bio-psycho-social interactions in health and wellbeing. The group has expertise in both Health and Occupational psychology and is concerned with the assessment of sleep, wakefulness and sleep-related disorders; the psychobiology of stress; nutrition and mental health. The group develop bespoke interventions and assess their feasibility and efficacy in healthy, clinical and occupational populations.
The group applies novel methodologies to assess the psychological (e.g., personality, mood, coping), behavioural (e.g., healthy and health compromising behaviours such as recreational drug use, diet and social support) and biological (e.g., sleep architecture, nervous, endocrine and immune system function) processes using state of the art laboratories and real-world assessment techniques. Facilities include The Northumbria Sleep Research Lab, has a purpose-built two-bedroom and observation facility.
The Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre (BPN) hasan international reputation for its research into the effects of nutritional interventions. This Centre has a huge portfolio of controlled trials investigating the cognitive mechanisms and mood effects of herbal extracts, nutraceuticals and food supplements.
Evolution, Perception and Behaviour
The group's main research objectives are to use evolutionary theory to approach human perception and behaviour, and to understand perception and behaviour within clinical settings.
PEBL (Perception, Evolution and Behaviour Lab) Current research activities include investigations into eating disorders, inequalities in health and ageing, interpersonal relationships, mating behaviours and preferences, and movement. By taking an evolutionary perspective, the Evolution, Perception and Behaviour Group unites researchers in a multidisciplinary approach to ask not only how, but why humans perceive and behave the way they do. In this attempt we draw ideas and expertise from cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, physiology, evolutionary biology, and animal behaviour.
The Hoarding Research Group (HRG) aims to foster a better understanding of Hoarding Disorder and address the impact of this disorder on the individual and society. It also investigates the concept of digital hoarding and its impact on cybersecurity.