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Inaugural Lecture Series 2014-2015: causes of memory disorder in Parkinson's

Nicky Edelstyn will be giving her public lecture:

"Causes  of Memory Disorder in Parkinson's" on Tuesday 14th October at 6pm, in the Westminster Lecture Theatre, Chancellor's Building, Keele University.

"We still know relatively little about how the brain learns and remembers. Yet remarkable progress has been made in the understanding of normal memory through studying clinical populations with memory disorder. Although not traditionally associated with memory decline, Parkinson's research has helped both inform our understanding of normal memory and how it breaks down. In this lecture, I will provide a flavour of what's going on in this fast moving field, the contributions my collaborators and I have made, plans for the future and how such work translates into the clinical context and inform the management and rehabilitation of people with Parkinson's."

Science Writing Success

Out of 600 entries, Dr Richard Stephens, Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology, has made the top 10 shortlist in the “professional scientists” category of the Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize 2014, in association with the Guardian and the Observer.

Richard will attend a prestigious awards event at the Wellcome Trust on 22nd October 2014 at which the winners of the Science Writing Prize will be announced.

PhD opportunity at Keele University, starting 1st January 2015

One fully-funded PhD studentship (full- or part-time) is available in the Centre for Psychological Research at Keele.  Applications are welcome in any area of psychology where we have expertise: research in the Centre is organised into three groups (Brain & Cognition, Social & Developmental, Health & Ageing - see  Stipend offered at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time, full time £13,863 pa, fees £3,996, part time pro rata. For more details please see, reference HumSS2014/7.  Deadline for applications: 1st October 2014.

Task Switching & Cognitive Control.

Dr. Jim Grange (
Oxford University Press (USA) have published Dr Jim Grange’s (Lecturer in Psychology) edited book “Task Switching & Cognitive Control”, presenting the latest research regarding the activation, maintenance, and suppression of the mental representations that allow each of us to engage with the world in a goal-directed manner.

Chapters from an international cast of world-leading researchers (including two by Grange) investigate key issues, such as how we select relevant tasks when presented with distracting alternatives, to how we maintain focus on a task and switch to a new one when goals or external circumstances change. Chapters also explore the brain structures responsible for these abilities, how they develop during childhood, and whether they decline due to normal ageing or neurological disorders.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Jim Hartley has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Psychological Society. The award is for the significant contribution that Professor Hartley has made over the past 50 years in enhancing the quality of psychology education nationally and internationally. Professor Hartley was appointed to Keele University in 1964. Over the past 50 years he has published published 16 books, 30 book chapters and over 350 research articles. He continues to be extremely prolific, publishing a research article with colleagues approximately every two months. Recently he has begun to submit articles to the LSE Impact of Social Science Blog and one of his entries has attracted over 30,000 hits.

Outstanding Paper Award

The journal "Quality in Ageing and Older Adults" recently announced its Outstanding Paper of the Year Award. It is "Social engagement and healthy ageing in disadvantaged communities" by Dr. Roger Beech and Professor Michael Murray. The paper was selected by the journal editorial board on the basis research innovativeness, presentation, scientific rigour and relevance to policy and practice. The paper has been downloaded over 100 times in the past six months.

Research on Ageing Forum

Members of the School of Psychology helped to organise a Research in Ageing Forum with colleagues from Aston University and the University of Worcester. The event which took place at The Hub attracted almost 30 participants from the three universities. Papers presented included "Perceptions of Competence: Age Moderates Views of Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease" by Dr. Helen Williams; “I want a man”: Older people as life-story volunteers with university students" by Dr. John Hegarty, Jasha Tylman and Katie Wright-Bevans; and "Academic writing in retirement" by Professor Jim Hartley. Two of our PhD students - Katie Wright Bevans and Dan Herron also presented posters on their research.

Best Final Year Psychology Winners 2014!

Congratulations to this year's winners of the Best Final Year Psychology Poster:

    Chloe Dowding - Social Development, supervised by John Hegarty
    Chloe Firmstone - Health and Wellbeing, supervised by Emee Estacio
    Veronika Kubickova - Brain and Cognition, supervised by Donna Berry

Well done to all the nominees and special thanks to our judges, Jim Hartley, Hayley Gilman and Tom Shepherd.

WHO Health Literacy Network

Dr Emee Vida Estacio has recently presented her action research project at the World Health Organisation’s Health Literacy Network in Liverpool. The project entitled, ‘Action on Health Literacy in Stoke-on-Trent’ is part of a wider health literacy campaign commissioned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council which aimed to explore the impact of health literacy on effective diabetes management among young men and South Asian men.

The WHO Health Literacy Network is part of the Healthy Cities Movement which is a global movement that engages local authorities and their partners in health development. Within Europe there are over 90 Healthy Cities and 30 National Healthy Cities Networks with designated status from WHO Europe.

Dr Sue Sherman: Editor's Choice

Dr Sue Sherman and colleagues from the NHS have recently published an article in Cytopathology entitled "The invasive cervical cancer review: psychological issues surrounding disclosure."

This article was chosen as Editor's Choice and can be downloaded free during April and May from the Cytopathology website.

Please contact Dr Sue Sherman for more information:

Exploring children’s sense of musical self- identity

Geraldine Leighton and Dr. Alexandra Lamont

To enable the results of our research to have impact where it might influence children’s experiences of learning a musical instrument, a report was published in January in ‘ARCO’, the journal of the European String Teachers’ Association (British Branch). The project explored the musical self-identity of children from two ‘musical’ English, multi-cultural, inner-city primary schools, with a questionnaire asking about the children’s musical activities, both in and out of school. We also asked them to draw a picture of ‘a musician’.

These gave us insights into their concept not only of ‘a musician’ but also more specifically of themselves as musicians.

Keele Psychology moves up in league table rankings

Keele Psychology has moved up from 41 to 33 in university league tables, and overall student satisfaction has reached 4.0 (out of 5).

Head of School Professor Michael Murray says "This is excellent news and further evidence that our dedication to improving our students' learning environment is having an impact".

School of Psychology is awarded Athena SWAN Bronze Award

The School of Psychology at Keele was awarded a Bronze Departmental Athena SWAN Charter Award in the latest round of awards.

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in academia.

The School Athena SWAN Champion, Dr Sue Sherman, together with the School's Self Assessment Team (Michael Murray, Emee Estacio, Claire Fox, Sarah Jennings, Alexandra Kent and Andrew Knipe) submitted a 9,000 word application together with a detailed action plan to secure this prestigious award. For more information, please contact