Research in the Department of Psychology

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Find out more about our Research Centres and Units

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The Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths is a thriving centre of excellence in research. Following the 2014REF the Times HE rated the department's research intensity in the top 10 of UK Psychology departments, with 72% of its research and 100% of its impact case studies judged as internationally excellent or world-leading. The QS World University subject-level rankings placed the department 18th in the UK, and just outside the top 100 worldwide. Research in the department is structured around four main researchcentres and a number of more focused research units.

The Centre for Cognition and Neuroscience (CCN) investigates cognition and its underlying neurobiological mechanisms, variability in these mechanisms among the individuals, across the lifespan, and between cultures, applications of these mechanisms to real-world problems and their potential modulation in neurological disorders.

The Centre for Developmental and Educational Science (DES) conducts scientific research into the development of cognitive, perceptual, social and emotional processes from infancy into childhood and adolescence. We focus on the translational aspects of how concepts from developmental science can be applied to the education context to further the healthy development of individuals from typical and atypical populations.

The Centre for Forensic and Clinical Science (FCS) is a dynamic hub for research, specialist teaching, and consultancy within the area of forensic and clinical psychology. We seek to advance psychological theory and knowledge in legal and wellbeing contexts, and to address real-world issues by developing and testing evidence-based interventions and solutions. Psychologists in the Centre work closely with local and international external agencies such as police forces, prisons, and NHS Trusts.

The Centre for the Science of the Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) investigates the cognitive and neural bases of music, dance and visual arts, not only in order to understand these domains per se but also to provide a window onto perceptual and motor learning processes, creativity, aesthetic appreciation and therapeutic applications.

Research units

The Unit for School and Family Studies is headed by Dr Alice Jones. Its aims are to pursue research in the areas of social and emotional development, particularly as they affect children in school, and families. Recent research areas include antisocial behaviour in schools; social exclusion; and evaluations of interventions for children experiencing difficulties at school. It is currently leading an ESRC-funded Indian-European research network on bullying and pupil well-being.

InLab is the International Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Investigations into Individual Differences in Learning and is a collaborative research group, dedicated to understanding the origins of differences in people's learning. In cross-cultural research, it combines different disciplines, including experimental and other areas of psychology, genetics, neuroscience, and education. Headed by Dr Yulia Kovas, the group has had many active associate members in other leading UK institutions, as well as China, Russia, Kyrgyzia, US, and Canada with an ultimate goal of understanding the complex interactions between genetic, social, and cultural factors in their effects on learning and cognition.

The Sensorimotor Development Research Unit (SDRU), headed by Professor Andy Bremner investigates the typical and atypical development in early infancy and childhood, of the multisensory, cognitive and motor abilities which enable us to perceive, understand, and act with our bodies within the context of our environments. The SDRU includes the Goldsmiths InfantLab which uses behavioural and EEG methods to examine sensorimotor development in infancy.

The Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit (APRU), headed by Professor Chris French, aims to explain ostensibly paranormal experiences in terms of known psychological and physical factors. Recent projects have investigated memory for anomalous experiences and the psychology of alien contact, conspiracy theories and haunt-type experiences.

The Department has a strong reputation in digital consumer research,and has formed a "spin-out" company, i2 media, which aims to understand the digital media experiences and needs of consumers. The company's research runs alongside related academic projects within the Department.

The resources underpinning our ability to carry out these many and varied types of research include state-of-the-art research facilities here at Goldsmiths, as well as well-established connections with other universities and research groups both in this country and internationally, and with a wide range of agencies and organisations in the public and private sectors, including hospitals, schools, prisons, charities, government bodies and commercial organisations. These links provide excellent opportunities for you to become involved in collaborative research in many different settings.

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