our people

A/Prof Troy Visser, Lab Director

 

Troy has been researching human attention and multi-tasking for nearly two decades, using a variety of tools including eye-tracking, electrophysiology, brain stimulation, fMRI, and computer simulation.

Some of his recent research has looked at  individual and group differences in attention and multi-tasking.  In addition, many of his projects have been translational, examining how performance in tasks like driving and submarine track management is impacted by limits in human cognitive capabilities. 

Troy is the head of the UWA node of the Human Performance Research Network (HPRnet), a large-scale collaborative research project funded by the Australian Army to enhance the capabilities of military personnel.


Dr. Angela Bender, Research Associate

 

Angela recently moved to UWA to take up a postdoctoral research associate position after completing a PhD at the University of Queensland. During her PhD, Angela investigated whether two decision-making processes - the selection of task-relevant responses (response selection) and the inhibition of task-irrelevant responses (response inhibition) - are two distinct cognitive operations. Specific interests in her current role are the mechanisms of attentional control and whether cognitive training can improve performance on a range of cognitive control abilities such as multitasking.


Dr. Michael English, Research Associate

 

Michael recently finished his studies as a student of UWA, which started with a BSc in Psychology in 2008 and ended with his PhD thesis in 2017, completed under the supervision of A/Prof Troy Visser and A/Prof Murray Maybery.

 

Now a postdoctoral research associate working with his PhD supervisors, Michael continues the line of research he began during his PhD. His research centres on the role that autistic-like traits play in the allocation of attention, with specific interests in attentional lateralization, global/local processing, and emotion processing.


Mr. Ashton Roberts, M.A./Ph.D. Student

 

Ashton is currently completing a combined Masters/PhD in Clinical Psychology. His research is focused on the effect that social status has on basic cognitive and perceptual systems. Given the concept of social status is a ubiquitous facet of humanity; bias towards status may have affected how people visually pay attention to one another and how people interact with each other. Ashton is using both behavioural and electrophysiological tools to research this topic, and he hopes to understand how the attentional systems of both neurotypical and individuals with autism are biased by social status.


Mr.  Jayden Greenwell-Barnden /Ph.D. Student

 

Jayden commenced his PhD in 2018 after completing a Diploma of Science in psychology and Honours at UWA. In collaboration with his supervisors A/Prof Troy Visser and A/Prof Shayne Loft, Jayden’s research examines individual differences in cognitive processes, including multitasking, and asks whether automation systems which are aimed at assisting such cognitive processes may be beneficial. This may lead to a new approach to Human-Automation-Interaction in which the design of automated systems are focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the individual operator to better assist performing tasks.   


Ms. Min Quan H, M.A./Ph.D. Student

 

Min is currently working towards a combined Masters / PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology, under the supervision of A/Prof Troy Visser, A/Prof Murray Maybery and Dr. Michael English. Her research examines atypical patterns of attention found in individuals with high levels of autistic-like traits. Specifically, it will identify differences in attention related to visual orienting amongst individuals with high and low autistic-like traits. Another line of Min’s research involves looking at how atypical attentional patterns in orienting may relate to the different characteristics of autism, by investing the different autistic trait dimensions independently. Taken together, her research hopes to expand present attentional accounts of visual orienting impairments that are highly prevalent in autism.