Dr Stephen Dunne


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Lecturer in Psychology

I obtained a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Durham in 2009. After taking a year out working as an Assistant Psychologist for a charity providing vocational and community support for brain injury survivors, I started my PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at Durham in 2010, completing this in November 2014.

My PhD explored the use of monetary rewards on eye movements in neuro-typical human participants extending previously held knowledge regarding the effectiveness of rewards as a tool for behaviour change in neuro-typical populations and the application of reward-based training for sufferers of visual field deficits such as hemianopia.

From 2014 to 2018, I worked at the University of Durham as a postdoctoral researcher developing, disseminating and conducting research using an app to help compensate for visual loss associated with stroke. 

My involvement with the development and implementation of rehabilitation paradigms for stroke survivors with visual loss has led me to question how factors such as motivation, competition and goal-setting can be manipulated to improve patient outcome. At best these psycho-social factors in rehabilitation are poorly evidenced and at worst, non-existent. My research aims to understand the interaction between concepts such as competition, collaboration, motivation, reward and goal-setting in order to apply these findings to patient populations. 

I am a member of the Experimental Psychology Society, the British Psychological Society and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Teaching and supervision

  • PSY225 Psychological Research
  • PSY247 Twenty-Four, Seven: Everyday Motivations and Biases
  • PSY340 Mental Health and Illness

Research interests for potential research students

I am interested in projects that utilise behaviour change paradigms on neuro-typical populations in order to unearth any potential effects of such paradigms on visual behaviour. In this way, results could be used to uncover potentially beneficial strategies that can be applied to patients with visual loss improving quality of life.

Research

My main research interest is clinical neuropsychology, specifically clinical rehabilitation and vision. I am involved in investigating compensatory interventions for sufferers of visual field defects. I am interested in utilising behaviour change paradigms on neuro-typical populations in order to unearth any potential effects of such paradigms on visual behaviour. In this way, results could be used to uncover potentially beneficial strategies that can be applied to patients with visual loss following stroke or brain injury.

More generally, I am also interested in factors that affect quality of life in these populations (loneliness, group support, social interaction).
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Vision
  • Stroke
  • Brain Injury
  • Visual Loss in Stroke/Brain Injury
  • Rehabilitation
  • Reward Learning

Last updated 10 September 2019