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Dr Joe Butler

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Lecturer in Psychology

I completed my PhD in Congitive Neuroscience at Bangor University under the supervison 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 then 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 also currently developing a line of research to investigate eye-tracking/attentional changes in healthy vs unhealthy ageing. 

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 (e.g. how previous trials influence responding) in visual/temporal attention paradigms operate in health and disease.


I am interested in spatial and temporal attention, including how these aspects of cognition are influence by expectations, and then how these things can be used to learn more about 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.

    Currently under review: 
  • Valako D., d'Avossa G., Mylonas D., Butler J., Klein C., Smyrnis N. P300 response modulation preferably reflects breaches of non-probabalistic expectations. Under review at Scientific Reports.

In addition to the above, I also have a number of papers in preparation.
  • Visual attention
  • Temporal attention
  • Eye-tracking
  • EEG/ERPs
  • And how these are applied to learn more about health and disease

Last updated 29 February 2020