Judy Slee Seminar Series

Mila Knezovic 

Mila Knezovic is a current second year PhD candidate at the ANU medical school supervised by Dr. Lillian Smyth, Prof. Michael Platow, Assoc Prof. Alexandra Webb, and Assoc. Prof. Krisztina Valter-Kocsi. Mila completed her undergraduate degree at the ANU in the psychology department and continues her studies with a focus on the intersection of learning and social psychology in tertiary education.

Abstract: Students’ social identities have been found to impact the way in which they approach their university studies. However, the majority of research into students’ approaches to learning and related social identities is situated within the context of traditional university and based upon observational methodologies. Resulting from this are gaps in our understanding of the processes involved in established relationships between identity and learning approaches, and difficulty generalising such findings to new and evolving contexts. In my talk I provide an overview of my thesis and plans to address these gaps.

Nicholas Wyche

Nicholas Wyche is a second-year PhD candidate in the Research School of Psychology, under the supervision of A/Profs Stephanie Goodhew and Mark Edwards. He completed a Bachelor of Science (Hons) at ANU in 2020. His current work examines how we measure and manipulate spatial attention, with a focus on translating theoretical insights into applied contexts.

Abstract: Current licence renewal systems for elderly drivers employ medical exams and eyesight tests to assess driving competency. These assessments are mediocre predictors of accident risk as they do not evaluate impairment in dynamic cognitive abilities such as attention and memory. One promising assessment which measures dynamic processes is the Useful Field of View task (UFOV). Unusually, this task has been the subject of substantial applied research despite uncertainty about which cognitive abilities are recruited in task performance. This recent research project sought to identify the cognitive processes implicated in completion of UFOV, to give this valuable tool a more solid theoretical grounding.

Paige Mewton

Paige is a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology who is supervised by Professor Bruce Christensen, Dr Amy Dawel and Dr Yiyun Shou. Paige completed her undergraduate in Science (Psychology) with honours at the ANU in 2016.

Abstract: People with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder (SSD) have deficits in face processing. Although, it is unclear whether these deficits are specific to judging emotional expressions, or reflect a general face processing deficit (e.g., emotion, gender, identity). The literature provides conflicting evidence, which may be explained by the general cognitive deficit in SSD interacting with task difficulty and confounding results. Tasks that are too easy or difficult dilute the general cognitive deficit in SSD, which can be misinterpreted as preserved abilities. Here, we present a meta-analysis (n=103 studies) that assesses SSD-related performance across emotional and non-emotional face processing tasks. We consider: 1) the relative size of SSD-related deficits across tasks, and 2) whether the pattern of deficits can be explained by systematic differences in task difficulty. Results show SSD is associated with a greater deficit for emotional than non-emotional face processing tasks. Task difficulty did not differ significantly between task types, and did not explain SSD-related deficits across tasks. This is the first meta-analysis to statistically compare the relative size of emotional to non-emotional face processing deficits associated with SSD. We show SSD is associated with a specific, greater deficit in emotional face processing, which cannot be accounted for by task difficulty.