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Dr Joe Butler

Home / About / Academic staff profiles / Psychology / Joe Butler

Lecturer in Psychology

I completed my PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at Bangor University under the supervision of Giovanni d'Avossa and Robert Rafal. This project looked at the effect of expectations and exogenous effects on attentional orienting.

Shortly before I submitted my PhD, I started a postdoctoral position with Charles Leek and Robert Rogers to investigate if eye-tracking can be used more to learn about gambling behaviour. During this project, I was responsible for collecting data, assessing participants for gambling addiction, as well as write the software to analyse around 500,000 lines of eye-tracking data collected by the Tobii Pro Glasses.

After this, I moved to Belgium to undertake a postdoc looking at temporal cognition in Parkinson's disease, young people, and health ageing, using a variety of measures including eye-tracking, EEG/ERPs, and pupil dilation.

In addition to writing up the outputs from the above postdoc, I am involved in a number of projects:

Binding in Neuropsychiatric Disorders (B.I.N.D). This is a research group I lead alongside Dr Tamlyn Watermeyer (Northumbria) and Dr Mario Parra (Strathclyde). The group is focused around developing assessment tools for the early detection of Alzheimer's diseases and a general interest in memory binding. We have a number of projects ongoing both nationally and internationally in countries such as Ghana and Thailand. The group has also just submitted our first output to the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2022. The group welcomes student (undergraduate/postgraduate) interns and project students.

Effort perception and Fatigue. I co-supervise Vinod Ramakrishnan, a PhD Student in Sports Science at Bangor University on a project investigating fatigue involving fMRI, eye-tracking and behavioural methods. The supervisor team includes project lead Dr Hans-Peter Kubis (Bangor), and Professor Paul Mullins (Bangor). The first study in this project is investigating the role of fatigue in effort perception. I am also involved in other projects with Dr Kubis.

The effect of stress on the endogenous and exogenous attention systems. This project is investigating individual differences in, and predictors of, resilience to effects of chronic stress on the functional efficiency of the human endogenous and exogenous attention systems. I work on this project with Professor Charles Leek (Liverpool) and Dr Irene Reppa (Swansea).

Teaching and supervision

  • PSY358 Dissertation in Psychology
  • PSY340 Mental Health and Illness
  • PSY263 Assessment, Formulation and Evidence-Based Practice
  • PSY143 Introduction to Clinical Skills

Research interests for potential research students

I am interested in how expectations and sequential effects (eg how previous trials influence responding) in visual/temporal attention paradigms operate in health and disease.


I am interested in attentional and memory process as they operate in health and disease.

  • Rogers, R. D., Butler, J., Millard, S., Cristino, F., Davitt, L. I., & Leek, E. C. (2018). A scoping investigation of eye-tracking in Electronic Gambling Machine (EGM) play. Bangor: Bangor University
  • Sapir, A., Jackson, K., Butler, J., Paul, M. A., & Abrams, R. A. (2014). Inhibition of return affects contrast sensitivity. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology67(7), 1305-1316.
  • van den Broeke E, Hartgerink MD, Butler J, Lambert J, Mouraux A (2019). J Neurophysiol. Central sensitization increases the pupil dilation elicited by mechanical pinprick stimulation.01; 121(5):1621-1632.
  • Valako D., d'Avossa G., Mylonas D., Butler J., Klein C., Smyrnis N. P300 response modulation preferably reflects breaches of non-probabalistic expectations. Scientific reports 10 (1), 1-11

In press: 
A Brief History of Eye-movement research. A book chapter to be published in Neuromethods, a Springer Textbook.

In addition to the above, I also have a number of papers in preparation.

  • Visual attention
  • Temporal attention
  • Memory
  • Eye-tracking
  • EEG/ERPs
  • And how these are applied to learn more about health and disease

Last updated 07 February 2022