Sophie is in the first year of her DPhil, supervised by Dr Susannah Murphy and Professor Kia Nobre. Sophie’s research investigates the relationship between emotion and attention in older adults. Anxiety is marked by an attentional bias to threatening information in the environment, thereby consequentially reinforcing anxiety. Yet, as the nature of this cognitive bias in late adulthood has thus far yielded inconclusive results, an ecologically valid measure is needed to provide a clearer picture of the development of selective attention in old age.
Attention research has demonstrated the role of implicit and explicit long-term memory systems in biasing visual attention through a variety of established paradigms, such as contextual cueing paradigms. Yet, the extent to which emotion modulates such attention biasing remains unclear. Thus, Sophie’s research aims to bridge emotion and attention research by adapting a contextual cueing paradigm for the purpose of studying selective attention in older adults.
Sophie received a BA in Psychology from McGill University and recently completed an MSc in Psychological Research at Oxford.