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School of Psychology Seminar Series - 2 April, 2014

Dr Mark Wetherell
Northumbria University

1pm Wednesday 2nd April
DH0.31 Dorothy Hodgkin Building
All are welcome.
For further information please contact Dr. Lauren Owen (

Assessing the Psychobiological Mechanisms of Anticipation and Demand.

In response to a challenging situation cortisol is secreted via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and serves, in the first instance, to mobilise resources.  In this regard, appropriate secretion of cortisol is adaptive and allows the host to deal with the initial threat. In addition, cortisol is responsible for the regulation of a range of metabolic, immune and circadian process.  To these ends, cortisol typically follows a distinctive profile; values increase in the hour immediately following awakening (the cortisol awakening response, CAR) and, in the absence of significant external stimulation, decline throughout the day reaching a nadir around midnight.

 It has recently been suggested that levels of cortisol and magnitude of reactivity during the CAR period also represent an adaptive response to maximise day-to-day functioning and play a role in preparing for forthcoming demand.  In this seminar I will present evidence from the literature in support of the CAR (and other components of the diurnal profile) as an anticipatory mechanism, and share a programme of studies that attempt to examine this suggestion through the assessment of diurnal cortisol secretion and the manipulation of forthcoming anticipation and demand.

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

Digital Signage

We are looking at (yet) another Digital Signage system in Psychology - all in the name of research! The current one is good yet we experienced issues with it on Android (and other) devices. As mentioned we wish to deploy more than one digital sign around Psychology. Our thinking was that Android devices may be a better option than the current PC based system for this space, literally!