School of Psychology

Research Interests and Centres

Our research collaborations across themes, different Schools within the University, and colleagues from other Universities produce ground breaking research that furthers psychological knowledge and engenders a spirit of enquiry into Psychology from the most junior undergraduate to the most senior professor.

Our research is organised around four Research Interest Groups that reflect the expertise and interests of current staff and contemporary themes in Behavioural Science. These groups are:

  • Animal Behaviour, Health and Wellbeing
  • Cognition, Development and Education 
  • Identities, Groups & Social Change
  • Perception Action Communication

These research interest groups reflect the expertise and interests of current staff, PhD students and contemporary themes in Psychology. This structure allows management and strategic planning of our research activities and encourages cross-disciplinary and inter-institutional research collaborations which respond to societal needs nationally and internationally. Staff may contribute to more than one theme.

Our Research Interests

Animal Behaviour, Health and Wellbeing

ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, HEALTH AND WELLBEING

This group undertakes fundamental and applied research that explores how early influences impact on subsequent behaviour.

It also researches treatment and pathways to improve wellbeing. Research has led to a greater understanding of factors that influence behavioural development and the development and delivery of effective interventions to improve health and welfare in animals and humans.

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COGNITION, DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION

The focus of the group is on cognitive, developmental, and educational research. Some of our work concerns high-level cognitive processes such as memory and thinking in adults.

The aim of our developmental research is to increase understanding of how cognition in children changes as they get older. Our facilities include a child-friendly developmental laboratory, specialised equipment for eye-tracking research and measuring balance/motor skills, and an EEG laboratory specially configured for testing children.

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IDENTITIES, GROUPS AND SOCIAL CHANGE

This Research Interest Group aims to advance the understanding of some of the key challenges facing society from the perspective of social and political psychology.

Our research focuses on the role of identity in explaining attitudes and behaviour, and examines intergroup relations in a variety of contexts both within and beyond Northern Ireland.

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PERCEPTION, ACTION, COMMUNICATION

We undertake research in perception and motor control, perceptual processes, interceptive action, motor performance, rehabilitation and the neural plasticity of the motor system.

The group has a special focus on developing and applying novel movement enhancement programmes (including balance) for elite athletes, older adults, and people suffering from movement related disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Our Research Centres

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MOVEMENT INNOVATION LAB

Cutting edge training and intervention programmes

The aim of this lab is to make use of both our expertise and state-of-the-art technology to help understand and improve different kinds of performance.

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FETAL BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH CENTRE

Researching the behaviour of the fetus

Research undertaken by the Centre will lead to a greater understanding of the behaviour of the fetus which can be used to better and improve the care and well-being of the individual.

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CENTRE FOR IDENTITY & INTERGROUP RELATIONS

Advancing the academic and public understanding of key societal challenges

Our research focuses on the role of identity in explaining attitudes and behaviour, and examines intergroup relations in a variety of contexts both within and beyond Northern Ireland.

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Animal Behaviour Centre

ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR CENTRE

Leading exciting and novel research programmes on both fundamental and applied aspects of domestic and zoo animal welfare.

The Animal Behaviour Centre is involved in a diverse range of innovative research programmes involving dogs, cats, primates and other species. Our research has focused on laterality and animal welfare, environmental enrichment, pets and human health and animal olfaction.

Animal Behaviour Centre