Name of RKEU lead Dr. Caroline Horton

E-mail address

Core Members

Thomasin Nicholds

Martin Smith

Vy Nastajus

Teresa Garrod

Anthony Bloxham

Zoe Nye

Kay Purle

Katya Bozukova

Jo Cormack

Overview of research interests and projects as part of the RKEU

The Psychology, Health and Wellbeing RKEU encompasses much of the research activity within the discipline of Psychology and contributes to the Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience REF Unit of Assessment. In addition, projects in the fields of Special Education Needs and Inclusion, Health and Social Care and Counselling (all in relation to psychology) are supported and encouraged within this Unit.

Projects cover a broad range of approaches and interests, from intervention studies (e.g. mindfulness, Dunn; pets as therapy, Dimolareva) to meta-analyses (animal assisted interventions, Dimolareva; effect of sleep on autobiographical memory, Horton), lab-based experiments (virtual reality to explore episodic memory, Nastajus; targeted memory reactivation in sleep for procedural memory consolidation, Bloxham) to interview studies (lived experience of pregnancy loss, Garrod; experiences of parents of picky eaters, Cormack) to psychometric explorations of personality (The Dark Triad, Blanchard).

Conventional academic peer-reviewed publications are produced, along with more creative knowledge exchange and impact events, including podcasts (e.g. The Sleep Science Pod), webinars, consultancy work and presentations.

PhD and other research opportunities within Psychology, Health and Wellbeing

There are a number of ways to engage with our research, as both a participant and a researcher. In the first instance, please contact if you are interested. We are currently running a number of wellbeing-related projects exploring sleep; mindfulness; pets as therapy; and parental anxiety over their child's eating behaviours.

Current BGU students have the opportunity to join an existing research team via the Student Research Internship scheme. For current live project opportunities, please contact Dr. Caroline Horton.

Full-time and part-time PhD opportunities are also available. Current project opportunities include (but are not limited to):

  • Sleep-dependent autobiographical memory consolidation (project supervised by Dr. Caroline Horton, within DrEAMSLab)
  • Exploring the nature of "switching off": Cognitive and emotional factors underpinning the wake-sleep transition (project supervised by Dr. Caroline Horton, within DrEAMSLab)
  • Psychometrics, personality (psychopathy; the dark triad), evolutionary psychology (Dr. Alyson Blanchard)
  • Mindfulness interventions (Dr. Tom Dunn)
  • Experiences of cancer survivorship (Dr. Gianina Postavaru)

Two recent PhD completions from the DrEAMSLab showcase the successes of our doctoral community. Dr.s Anthony Bloxham ("Does dreaming relate to sleep-dependent memory consolidation?") and Vy Nastajus ("Exploring the use of virtual reality in episodic memory research") successfully defended their vivas in May 2021.

Recent indicative publications

Blanchard, A. E., Kibowski, F., & Dunn, T. J. (2020). Existential Threats of Immigration and Terrorism Predict Voting for Brexit and Trump. Evolutionary Psychological Science (in press)

Blanchard, A. E., Dunn, T. J., & Sumich, A. (2020). Borderline personality traits in attractive women and wealthy low attractive men are relatively favoured by the opposite sex. Personality and Individual Differences, (December 2019), 109964.

Brelsford, V.L., Dimolareva, M., Gee, N.R., & Meints, K. (2020). Best Practice Standards in Animal-Assisted Interventions: How the LEAD Risk Assessment Tool Can Help. Animals, 10(6), 974. DOI: 10.3390/ani10060974

Cormack, J., Rowell, K. & Postavaru, G. (2020) Self-determination theory as a theoretical framework for a responsive approach to child-feeding, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. ISSN: 1499-4046 (IF 2.86; SNIP 1.09; SJR 0.89)

Dimolareva, M., & Dunn, T. J. (2020). Animal-assisted interventions and autism spectrum disorder: a meta-analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Dimolareva, M., Gee, N.R., Pfeffer, K., Marechal, L., Pennington, K., & Meints, K. (2018). Measuring Cortisol in the Classroom with School-Aged Children- A systematic Review and Recommendations. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15 (5), 1025. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15051025

Elliott, H., Winder, B., Manby, E., Edwards, H., & Lievesley, R. (2018). “I kind of find that out by accident”: Probation staff experiences of pharmacological treatment for sexual preoccupation and hypersexuality. Journal of Forensic Practice, 20(1), 20-31. DOI 10.1108/JFP-09-2017-0036

Garrod, T., & Pascal, J. (2019). Women’s Lived Experience of Embodied Disenfranchised Grief: Loss, Betrayal, and the Double Jeopardy. Illness, Crisis, & Loss. 2019; 27(1): 6-18. DOI: 10.1177/1054137318780582

Horton, C.L. (2020) Key concepts in dream research: Cognition and consciousness are inherently linked, but do no not control “control”! Frontiers in Human Neuroscience: Cognitive Neurosciences. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2020.00259

Horton, C. L., & Llewellyn, S. (2021) Editorial: Cognition during sleep: Hyperassociativity, associativity and new connections. Frontiers in Psychology. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.641547

Jeffery, T., & Whiteside, S. (2019). Templates and temporality: An investigation of rhythmic motor production in a young man with Down Syndrome and hearing impairment. Psychology of Music.

Klapilová, K., Demidova, L., Elliott, H., Flinton, C., Weiss, P., & Fedoroff, P. (2019). Psychological treatment of problematic sexual interests: cross-country comparison. International Review of Psychiatry. doi: 10.1080/09540261.2019.1591353

Lievesley, R., Harper, C., & Elliott, H., (2020). The internalization of social stigma among minor-attracted persons: Implications for treatment. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-019-01569-x

Malinowski, J.E., & Horton, C.L. (2020) Dreams reflect nocturnal cognitive processes: Early-night dreams are continuous with waking life, and late-night dreams are emotional and hyperassociative, Consciousness and Cognition.

Parrish, A. (2020). Modern foreign languages: decision-making, motivation and 14–19 schools. Cambridge Journal of Education. DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2020.1724261

Parrish, A. & Lanvers, U. (2019). Student motivation, school policy choices and modern language study in England, The Language Learning Journal, 47:3, 281-298, DOI: 10.1080/09571736.2018.1508305

Postavaru, G. (2018). A meta-ethnography of parents’ experiences of their children’s life limiting conditions. Qualitative Research in Psychology. 16(2), ISSN: 1478-0887 (IF 1.52; SNIP 1.68; SJR 0.56)

Postavaru, G., Swaby, H. & Swaby, R. (2020). A meta-ethnographic study of fathers’ experiences of caring for a child with a life-limiting illness. Palliative Medicine.

Swaby, H. (2020). Learning to “live upside down”: Experiencing the true and false self in psychotherapy training. Psychotherapy and Politics International. doi: 10.1002/ppi.1531