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Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience (PCN) Research Group

The Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience (PCN) Research Group is comprised of a group of active researchers working on a variety of projects investigating aspects of perceptual and cognitive processing along with their neural correlates.

The group is built around a set of first-class experimental facilities and we use cutting-edge, scientific methods and analytical techniques. We are committed to research excellence and we disseminate our scientific findings via presentations at high profile conferences and publications in internationally recognised, peer reviewed journals.

We are a friendly and vibrant group of colleagues and the PCN Group provides an intellectually stimulating environment in which to carry our research. If you are interested in forming a collaboration, in joining the group during a research visit or a sabbatical, or you are a prospective Ph.D. student who may be interested in working as part of the team, please contact a group member by email.

The study of human cognition within the School is characterised by applied research with a strong theoretical basis, including but not limited to executive and memory processes in illicit drug users, social cognition including the experience of loneliness in adults and children, reading development and reading difficulties, face recognition and the construction and utilization of facial composites, and individual differences in reasoning and decision making.

Stemming from previous work with ‘Sure Start’, Hutchinson developed partnerships with Sure Start Children’s Centre staff, Blackpool’s Children, Families and Adult Services, and Blackpool Educational Psychology Services in an ‘early years’ intervention. As part of the Early Learning in Families Project, she trained staff to deliver a dialogic (interactive) story reading intervention to parents of ‘very hard to reach children’. Despite starting with very low vocabulary skills the educational outcome for these children was much improved: catch-up in receptive and expressive vocabulary and progress across a range of developmental measures e.g. play and eye-hand co-ordination, good attendance at nursery, increased ability to pay attention for sustained periods, increased parental engagement with their children’s learning and improved behaviour management skills. To disseminate the findings, UCLan co-hosted a conference for early year’s practitioners across North West England.

Dr Oliver Kannape’s research is to understand the functional and neuronal contributions of human action and (action) awareness to body perception and self-consciousness. He has had an article published on The Conversation, entitled Here’s how to convince the brain that prosthetic legs are real

The Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience research group holds an exciting programme of seminars presented by guest speakers or members of the School’s own staff and student research community.

Seminars are held on Wednesdays at 4:00 pm (unless advertised otherwise) in the DB254 Room, Darwin Building. Currently, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we run the seminar series online.

We have a mailing list we use to advertise the seminars and to communicate any change in the programme. Please contact Dr Federica Degno ( if you would like to join the mailing list.

2020/2021 Programme

4th November 2020, 4:00pm. Dr Adam Parker, University of Oxford (UK). Effects of reading and spelling ability on return-sweep behaviour.

4th November 2020, 4:00pm. Dr Martin Vasilev, Bournemouth University (UK). Return-sweeps and oculomotor targeting during reading.

18th November 2020, 4:00pm. Dr Alexandre Marois, Thales Research and Technology Canada, Quebec City (Canada). Eyes have ears: A systematic examination of the pupillary dilation response as an index for auditory attentional capture.

18th November 2020, 4:00pm. Professor François Vachon, Université Laval, Quebec City (Canada). The Semantic Deviation Effect: A New Form of Auditory Distraction?

9th December 2020, 4:00pm. Dr Eleanor Ratcliffe, University of Surrey (UK). Nature as a means to support social and creative flourishing

9th December 2020, 4:00pm. Professor Terry Hartig, Uppsala University (Sweden). Attention restoration in natural environments: Mixed mythical metaphors for meta-analysis

16th December 2020, 4:00pm. Dr Yoed Kenett, Technion Israel Institute of Technology (Israel). Mapping the creative mind and brain.

16th December 2020, 4:00pm. Dr Roger Beaty, Pennsylvania State University (USA). Mapping the creative mind and brain.

13th January 2021, 4:00pm. Dr Katherine Labonté, McGill University (Canada). Action slips in a procedural task: The effect of interruption complexity and modality.

13th January 2021, 4:00pm. Helen Hodgetts, Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University (UK). Studying the mechanisms involved in the resumption of an interrupted dynamic task.

27th January 2021, 4:00pm. Dr Chuanli Zang, University of Central Lancashire (UK). A Guide to Calculate Power Analysis and Effect Size.

10th February 2021, 4:00pm. Dr Kayleigh Warrington, Nottingham Trent University (UK). A Beginners Guide to Bayes Factor Analysis.

10th March 2021, 09:30am. Professor Xingshan Li, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China).

10th March 2021, 09:30am. Professor Simon P. Liversedge, University of Central Lancashire (UK).

10th March 2021, 09:30am. Dr Chuanli Zang, University of Central Lancashire (UK).

24th March 2021, 4:00pm. Professor Patrik Sörqvist, University of Gävle (Sweden).

24th March 2021, 4:00pm. Dr Jiaying Zhao, University of British Columbia (USA).

19th May 2021, 4:00pm. Dr Daniel Jolley, Northumbria University (UK).

19th May 2021, 4:00pm. Dr Gordon Pennycook, University of Regina (Canada).


PhD students

  • Petar Atanasov
  • Laura Campbell 
  • Jodie Rebekah Ellis
  • Christine Green
  • Zoe Danielle Huges
  • Ruth Hurley
  • Rohanna Sells