Interested in joining our lab as a voluntary research assistant, PhD student or postdoctoral researcher? Please read this before contacting us.

Picture of our lab members in November 2021
Our lab in November 2021 on our lab retreat, just having (not) made it out of an Escape Room. We felt though that solving puzzles is a victory on its own!
From left to right: Jiawei Xie, Hakan Atis, Rob Udale, Shuangke Jiang, Claudia von Bastian, Eleanor Hyde, and Billy Aryanto. Not in the picture: Rosie Parody.

Principal Investigator

Picture of Claudia von Bastian

Dr Claudia von Bastian is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sheffield. Her research focuses on cognitive individual differences and how cognitive abilities can change through experience.

Claudia obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Zurich in 2012, where she worked with Klaus Oberauer. During her PhD, she also spent a year at the University of Bristol as a visiting researcher in Chris Jarrold's lab. Afterward, she returned to the University of Zurich as a Research Associate and Lecturer. Before joining Sheffield in 2017, she was a Research Associate in Akira Miyake's lab at the University of Colorado Boulder, working in close collaboration with Mike Kane, and later a Lecturer in Psychology at Bournemouth University.

Most of Claudia's teaching is on cognitive psychology (e.g., PSY1002 Cognitive Psychology I), research methods (e.g., workshops on Organizing, Preprocessing, and Aggregating Data in R and Conducting Computer-Based Studies Online and Offline with Tatool Web), and professional skills (e.g., PSY6231 Professional Skills).

Claudia is currently co-leading the local UK Reproducibility Network (together with Jim Uttley) and the departmental Open Science Lead which involves informing, coordinating, and providing training in recent Open Science developments. Together with André Locher, Claudia also develops Tatool, an open-source and freely available software for creating and running experiments.

Get in touch:

  • Twitter
  • Google Scholar
  • ResearchGate
  • Academia
  • LinkedIn
  • GitHub
  • OSF

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Picture of Rob Udale

Dr Rob Udale is a Research Associate in Psychology at the University of Sheffield. Rob uses computational modelling and behavioural experiments to understand cognitive abilities, such as working memory, attention, and decision making. In our project funded by the ESRC Open Research Area VI Call, entitled "Cognitive Training Effects Across the Adult Lifespan: A Diffusion Modelling Approach", he is currently investigating how attentional training might improve speed of processing, and how its benefits might change across the lifespan. This project is conducted in collaboration with Prof Tilo Strobach (Medical School Hamburg, Germany) and Prof Sylvie Belleville (Université de Montréal, Canada).

Rob’s previous research has investigated the decision-making components and strategies involved in memory retrieval, how memory resources are allocated, and how resource capacity and eye-movements interact to determine memory retrieval.

Rob completed his PhD at the University of Bristol in 2017 under the supervision of Dr Chris Kent and Prof Simon Farrell, after which he was a research associate in Prof Masud Husain’s lab at the University of Oxford, before joining Sheffield in 2021.

Get in touch:

  • Twitter
  • Google Scholar

Postgraduate Research Students

Picture of Christ Billy Aryanto

Christ Billy Aryanto is a PhD student in Psychology at the University of Sheffield. In his PhD project, Billy investigates the role of active and receptive music uses on executive functions. Billy's PhD is funded by the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). His co-supervisers are Dr Emma Blakey and Professor Renee Timmers.

Before joining our lab as a PhD student, Billy worked as Assistant Professor in Educational Psychology at Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia. Before becoming an Assistant Professor, Billy gained two Master degrees. He first completed the Psychology of Music MA program at the University of Sheffield. In his thesis (supervised by Dr Victoria Williamson), Billy investigated the effects of music with lyrics on writing fluency and quality. Billy then also gained an MSc in Educational Psychology from the Universitas Indonesia. In his thesis, Billy investigated the effect of Western Classical Music compared to Indonesian Traditional Music on college students’ spatial reasoning, supervised by Dr Linda Primana and Dr Julia Suleeman.

Get in touch:

  • Twitter
  • ResearchGate
  • LinkedIn

Picture of Hakan Atis

Hakin Atis is a PhD student in Psychology at the University of Sheffield. In his PhD project, Hakan investigates the effects of working memory training on attention. His co-superviser is Dr Dan Carroll.

Before joining our lab as a PhD student, Hakan completed the Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology MSc program at Birkbeck University. In his thesis (supervised by Professor Richard Cooper), Hakan investigated the effects of secondary-task interference on performance in the Wisconsin Card Sorting task.

Get in touch:

  • Twitter

Picture of Eleanor Hyde

Eleanor Hyde is a PhD student at the University of Sheffield. In her PhD project, Eleanor investigates how expertise in video gaming relates to cognitive abilities. Her co-superviser is Dr Robert Schmidt. In addition to her PhD, Shuangke is currently also a Research Assistant coordinating our ESRC Open Research Area VI project on "Cognitive Training Effects Across the Adult Lifespan: A Diffusion Modelling Approach".

Before joining our lab as a PhD student, Eleanor completed the Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging program at the University of Sheffield. In her thesis, she investigated the benefits of playing Counterstrike: Global Offensive on processing speed and task switching.

Get in touch:
Personal website: www.eleanorhyde.com

  • Twitter
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Picture of Shuangke Jiang

Shuangke Jiang is a PhD student in Psychology at the University of Sheffield. In her PhD project, Shuangke investigates the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and training on working memory. Her co-superviser is Dr Myles Jones. In addition to her PhD, Shuangke is currently also a Research Assistant coordinating our ESRC Open Research Area VI project on "Cognitive Training Effects Across the Adult Lifespan: A Diffusion Modelling Approach".

Before joining our lab as a PhD student, Shuangke completed the Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging MSc program at the University of Sheffield. In her thesis (supervised by Dr Chris Martin), Shuangke investigated the effects of tDCS on brain activity, neurovascular coupling and neuroimaging signals in an animal model. Afterward, Shuangke supported our lab as a Voluntary Research Assistant working on a literature review of tDCS effects on working memory.

Get in touch:

  • Twitter

Picture of Kubra Ulusoy

Kubra Ulusoy is a PhD student in Psychology at the University of Sheffield. In her PhD project, Kubra investigates how adolescents respond to social and non-social threats. Her co-superviser is Dr Liat Levita.

Before joining our lab as a PhD student, Kubra completed the Mental Health Studies MSc program at King's College London. Kubra conducted a systematic review of the literature on patients’ experience of living with the anorexic voice.

Get in touch:

Picture of Jiawei Xie

Jiawei Xie is a PhD student in Psychology at the University of Sheffield. In his PhD project, Jiawei investigates the role of memory in procrastination. His co-superviser is Dr Chris Martin.

Before joining our lab as a PhD student, Jiawei completed the Applied Psychology MSc program at the South China Normal University. In his thesis (supervised by Professor Lei Mo), Jiawei investigated the effects of stress on emotional relapse.

Get in touch:

  • ResearchGate

Master Students

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Muchen Niu is an MSc student in the Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging programme. In his thesis, he investigates how playing action video games is related to cognitive performance.

Get in touch:

Picture of Jake Wilson

Jake Wilson is an MSc student in the Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging programme. In his thesis (co-supervised by Rob Udale and Shuangke Jiang), he investigates how age-related differences in processing speed relate to everyday cognition.

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Visiting Researchers and Research Assistants

Picture of Dilara Steenken

Dilara Steenken is a visiting MSc student from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich supported by a Network of European Neuroscience Schools (NENS) Exchange Grant governed by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS). During her research stay, Dilara will investigate how current mood is related to information processing speed under consideration of trait anxiety and depression. Her research stay project is part of the our ESRC Open Research Area VI project on "Cognitive Training Effects Across the Adult Lifespan: A Diffusion Modelling Approach".

Prior to her MSc in Neuro-Cognitive Psychology at the LMU Munich and her current research stay with us, Dilara had already supported us as a Voluntary Research Assistant 6 months in 2021. Dilara has gained a BSc in Psychology from Akdeniz University, Turkey.

Get in touch:

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Picture of Natalia Wnuk

Natalia Wnuk supports our lab as a Voluntary Research Assistant across multiple projects including our ESRC Open Research Area VI project entitled "Cognitive Training Effects Across the Adult Lifespan: A Diffusion Modelling Approach". Natalia is currently studying toward an MA in Cognitive Studies.

Get in touch:

  • LinkedIn

Picture of Qiaodan Zhu

Qiaodan Zhu supports our lab as a Voluntary Research Assistant in our ESRC Open Research Area VI project entitled "Cognitive Training Effects Across the Adult Lifespan: A Diffusion Modelling Approach" as well as some of the other current projects in our lab. Qiaodan is currently studying toward a BSc in Psychology degree at the University of Sheffield.

Get in touch:

  • LinkedIn

Co-Supervised Postgraduate Research Students

Bashirat Ibrahim (University of Sheffield) investigates the effects of virtual simulated intergroup contact. Her primary supervisor is Dr Chantelle Wood.

Poppy James (University of Sheffield) investigates refugees' emotional distress and health. Her primary supervisor is Professor Tom Webb.

Vidya N (Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Kochi, India) investigates neuropsychological functioning, emotional processing and quality of life in patients with benign brain tumors treated with CyberKnife. Her primary supervisor is Dr Gitanjali Natarajan.



Lab Alumni (2017 and later)

Dr Amy Atkinson was a Visiting Researcher in our lab as part of her ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Leeds to work on large-scale data from the Born in Bradford longitudinal birth cohort study. Amy is now a Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at Lancaster University.

Nilosmita (Akira) Banerjee supported our lab as a Voluntary Research Assistant in a project applying diffusion modelling techniques to training effects on switching between tasks. Before joining our lab, Akira completed the Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience MSc program at the University of Sheffield.

Robin Cafferata completed the Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging MSc program at the University of Sheffield. In his thesis, he conducted a pre-registered systematic review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of cognitive stimulation for dementia. After completing his degree, Robin took on a position as Assistant Psychologist.

Dr Carla De Simoni received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Zurich in 2017. In her PhD project, Carla investigated the effects of working memory training in young adults with a particular focus on candidate mechanisms proposed to drive training and transfer effects. After completing her PhD, Carla took on a position as Customer and Business Analyst at Möbel Pfister AG, a large furniture retailer in Switzerland.

Fred Garvey completed the Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging MSc program at the University of Sheffield. In his thesis, he investigates the relationship between removal efficiency and accuracy of substitution in working memory updating. His thesis was co-supervised by Dr Gidon Frischkorn (University of Zurich).

Dr Sabrina Guye obtained her PhD in Psychology at the University Research Priority Program Dynamics of Healthy Aging at the University of Zurich and as a Fellow of the International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course (LIFE) PhD program in 2018. In her PhD project, Sabrina conducted a study on the effectiveness of working memory training in healthy older adults, with a particular focus on context factors such as personality, motivation, and everyday life activities. After completing her PhD, Sabrina took on a position as a Real World Data Scientist completing the StarTrack: Data Science to Personalised Healthcare Programme at Roche, Switzerland.

Raphael Hornjak completed his MSc at the RWTH Aachen, Germany. He investigated the reliability of congruency-sequence effects in tasks involving cognitive conflict. His primary supervisor was Professor Iring Koch.

Rehneesa Inez completed the Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging MSc program at the University of Sheffield. In her thesis, she investigated metacognitive processing in working memory training.

Peter Karakostas supported our lab as a Voluntary Research Assistant working on a project investigating training effects on quantity and quality of representations in working memory. He also supported us in a meta-analysis on the effects of bilingualism on meta-linguistic awareness. Peter studied for a BSc in Psychology degree at the University of Sheffield.

Daniel Landinez supported our lab as a Visiting PhD Student usually based at the Universidad San Buenaventura Medellín, Colombia. In his PhD, Daniel studied the effects of working memory training on instrumental activities of daily living in people with ischemic stroke.

Tyler Mari completed the Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience MSc program at the University of Sheffield. In his thesis, he investigated the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on working memory. His thesis was co-supervised by Dr Myles Jones. After completing his degree, Tyler took on a position as Demonstrator and PhD student at the University of Liverpool.

Alex Montgomery completed the Psychological Research Methods with Data Science MSc program at the University of Sheffield. In his thesis, he investigated the relationship between expertise in playing Overwatch and performance in executive functions tasks.

Rosie Parody supported our lab as a Voluntary Research Assistant in our ESRC Open Research Area VI project entitled "Cognitive Training Effects Across the Adult Lifespan: A Diffusion Modelling Approach" as well as some of the other current projects in our lab. Rosie completed a BSc in Psychology degree at the University of Sheffield.

Alex Patterson completed the Psychological Research Methods with Advanced Statistics MSc program at the University of Sheffield. In his thesis, he investigated individual differences in the focus of attention in working memory and how they relate to fluid intelligence. After completing his degree, Alex started a PhD at the Data Analytics & Society ESRC Centre for Doctoral Training.

Lisa Rudram completed the Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging MSc program at the University of Sheffield. In her thesis, she investigated potential cognitive benefits of being bilingual using ex-Gaussian distribution analysis.

Fiona Stewart completed the Psychological Research Methods MSc program at the University of Sheffield. In her thesis, she investigated the relationship between cross-cultural skills and shifting between mental sets. Fiona also supported us as a Research Assistant in a White Rose Collaboration project examining functional ability in older adults. After completing her degree, Fiona took on a position as Senior Administrator in Digital Learning at the University of Sheffield.

Kristina Xhaferaj completed the Psychological Research Methods with Advanced Statistics MSc program at the University of Sheffield. In her thesis, she investigated processing speed practice effects using diffusion modelling. Kristina also supported us as a Voluntary Research Assistant in a project on the relationship between cross-cultural skills and shifting between mental sets, and as a Research Assistant in a White Rose Collaboration project examining functional ability in older adults. After completing her degree, Kristina took on a position as Trainee Developer at Cloud2 Ltd.

Dr Sisi Yang obtained her PhD in Psychology from the University of Sheffield in 2021. She investigated the temporal mood-regulation dynamics of procrastination. Her primary supervisor was Dr Fuschia Sirois.

Agnieszka (Agnes) Zajac supported our lab as a Voluntary Research Assistant in a project on the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on working memory. Agnes studied Bioengineering at the University of Sheffield.

Hao Zheng completed the Psychological Research Methods program. In her thesis, she investigated practice effects on prioritisation of representations in working memory.