The Self Lab is a research group based at Abertay University and the University of Dundee, working on self-processing biases in children and adults.
Our primary research focus is an ESRC-funded project exploring the educational applications of self-reference effects.
Additional projects include examining the early development of self-biases, the effects of self cues on attention and working memory, and the impact of clinical disorders on self processing (details below).
For information, to participate in research, or to apply for postgraduate opportunities within the research team, please contact email@example.com.
Research Fellow, Abertay University
Research Assistant, Abertay University
Our research shows that self-referencing can be harnessed to support learning and education, work that is now part of an ambitious three-year project funded by ESRC.
Leverhulme Trust-funded project
We are exploring the development of self-processing biases in memory in children aged three to ten years, and their relationship with other aspects of development. This 'Me in Memory' project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and is being run in collaboration with Dr Jacqui Hutchison (University of Aberdeen)
Self-processing can vary across individuals, and particularly in children who are diagnosed with developmental disorders such as autism and ADHD. In collaboration with Dr Karri Gillespie Smith and Dr Sinead Rhodes (Edinburgh University), we are examining the extent and nature of these variations.
A focus of our research on the self in cognition is studying the effects of self-cues on visuo-spatial and verbal working memory, and how these effects might link to information processing (e.g., in mathematical operations). This work is the subject of a Zahra Ahmed's PhD project, as well as a collaborative project led by Dr Joshua March with Dr Kevin Allan (University of Aberdeen) and Dr Danielle Kelly ((DeMontfort University).
Cues of self-relevance have significant effects on the attention system, affective processing, binding and memory, partly driven by their high position in the goal hierarchy. In collaboration with Dr Doug Martin (Aberdeen University), and Dr Julia Vogt (Reading University) we are testing these cognitive effects and the conditions under which they are likely to be evoked.
[June 2021] A multi-experiment paper reporting data from our Leverhulme-funded 'Me in Memory' project has been published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology - https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2021.105197
[March 2021] We look forward to presenting our Research at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) biennial meeting next month - presentations available on request :)
[Jan 2021] Warm welcome to Charlotte Wilks, who joins us from Stirling University as a Research Fellow on the ESRC project. Welcome Charlotte!
[Sept 2020] Lab PI Sheila Cunningham has been elected to the British Psychology Society Developmental Section committee, where she will serve for three years.
[July 2020] New article published for teachers, on the applications of self-referencing in learning: available here.
We are leading research into the positive effects of self-processing biases on children's learning. We can advise on strategies and methodologies to improve children's task engagement and performance, by capitalising on self-cues. For more details, please contact Dr Sheila Cunningham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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