Dr. John Everett Marsh

Guild Research Fellow in Psychology

School of Psychology

Subject Areas: Psychology

Full Profile

Dr. John Everett Marsh is currently working as a Guild Research Fellow in Psychology.

Dr. Marsh's research is mainly focused on the accuracy and fluency of memory retrieval and the modulation of recall and recognition performance by distraction and task interruption. Although the majority of his research is behavioural, Dr. Marsh has begun to explore brain mechanisms of distraction. Along with Dr. Lea Pilgrim, Dr. Marsh was granted funds to set up B.I.L (Brain Imaging Laboratory) at the University of Central Lancashire. The facility is primarily teaching focused but will also be used for research. Following a research visit from Dr. Tom Campbell, Dr. Marsh, Dr. Lea Pilgrim, and Dr. Phil Beaman are in the preparatory stages of addressing how the brain responds to different varieties of auditory distraction. Dr. Marsh is also researching how distraction may be used as a tool to infer the structure of semantic knowledge and the specialisation of hemispheric function in language processing (with Dr. Colleen Crangle and Dr. Dan Veksler).

Currently active projects include "Exploring hemispheric differences in semantic processing: Using auditory distraction to understand lateralisation of cognitive function" (with Dr. Lea Pilgrim and Dr. Patrik Sörqvist), "Investigating the mechanisms underpinning auditory distraction in short-term memory" (with Dr. Jeannie Judge, Dr. Paul Taylor, and Dr. Robert Hughes), and "Understanding the vulnerability of child cognition to auditory distraction" (with Dr. Pamela Qualter and Dr. Robert Hughes) which have drawn internal sources of funding. Moreover, Dr. Marsh with Dr. Faye Skelton and Dr. Charlie Frowd, have drawn Leverhulme/British Academy funding to assess the role that distraction plays in impairing the retention of complex visual information: Work that is being undertaken in collaboration with Prof. Sebastien Tremblay and Dr. Francois Vachon. Dr. Marsh also has an interest in the role of inner speech in short-term retention and is collaborating with Dr. Fabien Mathy, Dr. Lucie Laurent and Dr. Robert Hughes on a project that utilises the specialised technique of laryngeal electromyography.

An additional sample of on-going projects include: An investigation into distractibility under conditions of stress in fire-fighters (with Dr. Sarita Robinson and Dr. Jesscia Ljungberg); how knowledge about distraction can be used effectively within media settings (with Dr. Robert Potter and Dr. Nick Perham); establishing techniques to prevent distraction on complex cognitive tasks (with Niklas Halin and Dr. Patrik Sörqvist), disruption produced by task-interruption on the fluency and accuracy of memory retrieval (with Dr. Helen Perham) and emotion-attentional biases (with Dr.Pam Qualter and Dr. Nick Perham). Dr. Marsh and Dr. Paul Seager are planning research on stereotype effects associated with person recognition and Dr. Marsh and Dr. Nicola Graham-Kevan are planning research into false allegations, particularly those that accompany custody and parental contact issues. Dr. Marsh also has an active collaboration with Prof. Axel Buchner, Dr. Susanne Mayr, Dr. Raoul Bell and Dr. Jan Röer. Dr. Marsh and Prof. Buchner have established an ERASMUS scheme between Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany, and the University of Central Lancashire.

Dr. Marsh has been integral to the setting up of P.R.E.S (Psychology Research Experience Scheme) and shares responsibility with Dr. Sarita Robinson for running this research participant pool in the School of Psychology.


Frowd, Charlie, Jones, Sharrome, Fodarella, Cristina, Skelton, Faye Collette, Fields, Steve, Marsh, John Everett, Nelson, Laura, Greenwood, Leah, Khan, Humaira, Kearley, Kevin, McIntyre, Alex H and Hancock, Peter J B (2013) Configural and featural information in facial-composite images. Ergonomics, - (-). ---. ISSN 0014-0139

Marsh, John Everett, Sörqvist, Patrik, Beaman, C. Philip and Jones, Dylan M. (2013) Auditory Distraction Eliminates Retrieval Induced Forgetting. Experimental Psychology (formerly Zeitschrift für Experimentelle Psychologie), 1 (1). pp. 1-8. ISSN 1618-3169

Marsh, John Everett, Beaman, Phillip, Hughes, Rob and Jones, Dylan M. (2012) Inhibitory control in memory: Evidence for negative priming in free recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38 (5). pp. 1377-1388. ISSN 0278-7393

Jones, Dylan M., Marsh, John E. and Hughes, Robert W. (2012) Retrieval from memory: Vulnerable or inviolable? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38 (4). pp. 905-922. ISSN 0278-7393

Hughes, Robert W., Hurlstone, Mark J., Marsh, John E., Vachon, François and Jones, Dylan M. (2012) Cognitive control of auditory distraction: Impact of task difficulty, foreknowledge, and working memory capacity supports duplex-mechanism account. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance . ISSN 0096-1523

More publications

Teaching Activities

PS1200 lectures: “Psychobiology and Cognition”.

PS3900 supervision: "Psychology 3rd Year Project".

Dr. Marsh is secondary supervisor to three PhD students (Jingqi Yang, Montanna Mullen, and Ann Winsper) and director of studies for one student (Rachel Thorley). He is also a member of the Ethics Committee and Research Degrees Sub-Committee.

Research Interests

Bioinformatics approach to memory

Child cognition and language development

Distractibility and stress

False memory genesis (including source- and modality-confusion)

Hemispheric differences in information processing

Novel applications of laryngeal electromyography

Retrieval failures (episodic "blocking") and memory for produced events

Structure and function of semantic memory

Varieties of auditory distraction

Person recognition

Reseach Projects

There are many projects under above research activities. If you would like more details, or would like to help out as a voluntary research assistant, please contact: jemarsh@uclan.ac.uk

External Activities

Dr. Marsh has also acted as a referee for many articles from scientific journals and grant applications: namely:

  • European Journal of Cognitive Psychology;
  • Experimental Psychology;
  • Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition;
  • Journal of Memory and Language;
  • Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology;
  • Social Science & Medicine;
  • WOTRO Science for Global Development.

Full Profile

Qualifications and experience

Ph.D. Cognitive Psychology, Cardiff University - Wales, United Kingdom, 2006.

BSc (Hons) Psychology with Biology, University of Abertay, Dundee – Scotland, 2002.

Prior to joining UCLan, Dr. Marsh received a first class B.Sc (hons) in Psychology with Biology at the University of Abertay Dundee. He completed his PhD in Cognitive Psychology (entitled: "Auditory Semantic Distraction: A Process-Based Account) under the supervision of Prof. Dylan Jones at Cardiff University. He started his research career at Cardiff University undertaking post docs in his primary research area of semantic distraction, and also on short-term memory. Dr. Marsh along with Dr. Phil Beaman and Prof. Dylan Jones continue to publish research within this area. Towards the end of 2011 and early in 2012, Dr. Marsh spent several months working at the University of Gävle, Sweden, with Dr. Patrik Sörqvist, Dr. Robert Ljung, Dr. Helena Jahnke, Prof. Staffan Hygge, Prof. Anders Kjellberg, Anatole Nöstl, and Niklas Halin. There are several on-going projects with the Gävle group with PhD candidates and staff members benefitting from exchange visits. Dr. Marsh is also a "Visiting Researcher" at the University of Gävle, Sweden.