People

Damian BirneyDr Damian Birney, Chief Investigator Damian Birney is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology, the University of Sydney and an Honorary Principal Research Fellow at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the University of Melbourne. He is an alumnus of the University of Queensland. He has held positions at Yale University and the University of New South Wales as Director of the Accelerated Learning Laboratory. Dr Birney’s research interests are in psychometric assessments and training of working-memory, fluid intelligence and cognitive flexibility.

 

 

 

 

 

Robert WoodProfessor Robert Wood, Chief Investigator Robert Wood is a Professor of Psychology at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and Professor of Management at the Melbourne Business School, the University of Melbourne. Prior appointments include Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Western Australia and visiting Professor at the Kellogg School, Northwestern University. Robert completed his PhD in organizational behaviour at the University of Washington (Seattle) and did post doctoral studies at Stanford University Psychology Department. Dr Wood researches the cognitive and motivational dynamics of learning and problem solving on complex tasks.

 

 

 

 

 

Sally WoodProfessor Sally Cripps, Chief Statistical Modeller Sally Wood is Professor of Business Analytics at the Sydney Business School, the University of Sydney. Previous appointments include the Melbourne Business School, the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) and the Department of Statistics at Northwestern University. Professor Wood’s research focuses on using Bayesian theory together with Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods to develop techniques for modelling complex data including learning behaviours in a flexible manner.

 

 

 

 

 

Vanessa LohDr Vanessa Loh, Postdoctoral Research Fellow Vanessa Loh works in the School of Psychology, the University of Sydney, where she is also completed her PhD in Psychology. Dr Loh has held postdoctoral positions in organisational psychology at the School of Psychology, Macquarie University, and the Ageing, Work and Health Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney. Vanessa’s PhD examined the role of cognitive and personality factors in learning from errors and feedback. Her postdoctoral appointments have shifted her focus to psychosocial and demographic determinants of healthy and productive ageing.

 

 

 

 

 

​​Klaude ThomasMr Klaude Thomas, Partner Investigator Klaude Thomas is Game Director at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He is partner investigator for our Australian Research Council Discovery Project investigating the possible benefits of cognitive training using the ABC’s Active Memory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KitSDoubleKit Double, PhD Candidate Kit Double is a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology, the University of Sydney, where he also completed his B. Psychology (Honours). Kit also holds a B. Business (UTS) and works on the development of intelligence tests with Psychological Assessments Australia. Kit’s previous research has examined the cognitive processes that underlie judgements and forecasts, working memory development in children as well as classroom and computerised interventions for working memory impairment and dyslexia. Confidence is one of the best non-cognitive predictors of cognitive performance and academic achievement. Little is currently known about how confidence leads to performance benefits or how confidence changes the way in which we approach a task, particularly with regards to persistence and insight. My work explores how self-assessment and confidence interact to produce performance outcomes in reasoning and intelligence tasks and how we can use self-report cues as a mechanism to encourage more effective decision making and performance trajectories when we reason and solve problems. My research interests include confidence, intelligence, decision-making and strategy selection.

 

Ms Shannon Webb, Master of Clinical Psychology/PhD Candidate Shannon Webb is a candidate for the combined Master of Clinical Psychology/PhD program at the University of Sydney, following completion of a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours) at the Australian National University in Canberra. Shannon has juggled interests in clinical psychology and neuroscience, with past research in the hemispheric lateralisation of symmetry processing, and work as a research assistant on the Canberra Computerised Cognitive Training Trial at the Centre for Research on Ageing Health and Wellbeing—a randomised controlled trial on the efficacy of an online cognitive training program for older adults with mild cognitive impairment and/or neuropsychiatric symptoms (such as depression and anxiety). Shannon is continuing to try to bridge the gap in dementia research regarding the effect of mood on the outcomes of cognitive training interventions through her PhD research, as while depression and cognitive impairment are extremely common co-morbid difficulties in older adults, and confers greater risk of conversion to dementia, there is currently little research on the effectiveness of training interventions for these individuals.

 

 

JoelEBatemanMr. Joel Bateman, PhD Candidate Joel Bateman is a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology, the University of Sydney, where he also completed his Bachelor of Psychology (Honours). Joel’s research interests are in working memory, reasoning, and the representation and processing of relations. His research is concerned with how we connect multiple representations within working memory. Joel is currently investigating how lower-level processes, such as visual perception, may inform us of higher-order abilities, such as reasoning. Joel also works as a market research executive applying his statistical skills to industry data.

 

Ms Natali Dilevski, Research Assistant Natali works as a Research Assistant in the Cognitive Training Lab at the School of Psychology. Her role is to assist in the Cognitive Training in Adults study. Natali is due to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Sydney at the end of the year. Her research interests include motivational and engagement aspects of cognitive training games.

 

Ms Sarah A Walker, Research Assistant Sarah works as a Research Assistant in the Cognitive Training Lab at the School of Psychology. Sarah’s primary role is assisting with the Cognitive Training in Adults study and sub-studies. Currently completing her Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology, Sarah is particularly interested in the research areas of intelligence, personality and individual differences.

 

Current PhD students:

  • Kit S. Double
  • Shannon Webb
  • Joel Bateman

 

Current Honours students:

  • Natali Dilevski
  • Eva Lo
  • Claire Burrows