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26th September 2011, 11:50am
New academics give added focus to cutting-edge psychology research
Psychology research at Lincoln Ways in which the human brain processes visual information are among the research subjects examined by two senior academics joining the University of Lincoln.

Professor George Mather and Professor Tim Hodgson have taken up posts at Lincoln's School of Psychology where they will team up with academics already engaged in cutting-edge research into the links between perception, cognition and behaviour.

Prof Mather, formerly Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex, has become Professor of Vision Science at Lincoln.

His primary research is around human visual perception, particularly movement perception, visual illusions, and the perception of visual art. His work has explored a wide array of topics, from the visual cues people use to make judgements about stature in sculptural art, to the difficulty of making accurate line calls in tennis.

He uses a combination of perceptual experiments and computer modelling to understand the underlying brain processes.

He is the author of several acclaimed academic textbooks, including Foundations of Sensation and Perception (Taylor and Francis, 2009), and numerous papers in leading academic journals, including Vision Research and Proceedings of the Royal Society.

Professor Mather said: "I was attracted to Lincoln by its dynamism and ambition, and by the high quality of all the staff I have met. It is already achieving great success, as shown by its recent rapid rise in national league tables and student satisfaction surveys, and I am very much looking forward to playing my part in consolidating the Universityís growing reputation for high-quality research and teaching. I strongly believe that it is vital to engage students with leading-edge research as part of their university experience."

Prof Hodgson, who was Associate Professor at the University of Exeter, has joined Lincoln's Perception, Action & Cognition Group as Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience.

His primary research interests are in the organisation and functions of the frontal cerebral cortex of the human brain and the control of human eye movements. His research has involved working with neurological patients, such as people who have suffered a stroke or who have Parkinson's. It has been funded by the Wellcome Trust and ESRC and published in leading journals, including Nature, Neuroscience and Brain. More recently his attention has turned to social neuroscience and neuro-economics - the study of how social and economic decision making happens in the brain.

Prof Hodgson said: "I'm really excited about coming to Lincoln and working with some of the outstanding researchers that are already here. I'm sure I'll be forging new collaborations. Lincoln seems like a great place. It's a young, vibrant, friendly university that's really going places."

There are exciting synergies between Lincolnís School of Psychology and other research groups across the University, including the School of Computer Science, where academics are advancing the field of artificial intelligence and robotics, and the Department of Biological Sciences, where world-leading research is contrasting how humans and animals perceive the world.

Professor Harriet Gross, Head of the School of Psychology at the University of Lincoln, said: "We are absolutely delighted that George and Tim have joined the School of Psychology. Their research will make a significant and exciting contribution to our successful Perception, Action & Cognition Group and will provide further opportunities to develop collaborative projects across the University and with external partners. The School will also benefit from their input and experience as we take Psychology at Lincoln forward over the coming years."

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