Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Dr Joe Butler

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

NIHR ARC Research Fellow/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 with Professor Marcus Missal, 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. Outputs from this position are currently in preparation.

Currently, I am based at the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Institute where I am conducting research into developing new paradigms to aid with the diagnosis of Alzheiemer's Disease.

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. The group recently presented our first output at 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 investigates 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

I cover some lectures on the following modules: 

  • PSY381 Professional Practice
  • PSY270 Assessment, Formulation and Evidence-Based Practice
  • PSY141 Introduction to Mental Health and Illness

Research interests for potential research students

I am interested in attention and memory and how these relate to health and disease.


I am interested in attentional and memory processes 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. 
  • Fletcher, A., Dunne, S., & Butler, J. (2022). A Brief History of Eye Movement Research. In Eye Tracking (pp. 15-29). Humana, New York, NY.
  • Visual attention
  • Temporal attention
  • Memory
  • Eye-tracking
  • EEG/ERPs
  • And how these are applied to learn more about health and disease

Last updated 28 February 2024