Monday, 31 October 2016

Research reveals fertility problems more damaging than previously thought

New study by Middlesex University psychology academics - in conjunction with Fertility Network UK - reveals true picture of living with fertility problems.

A major new national survey from Middlesex University psychology academics Dr Nicola Payne and Professor Olga van den Akker, reveals that the emotional, social and economic impact of fertility problems is far greater than previously recognised. This research was conducted in association with leading patient charity Fertility Network UK.

Released at the start of National Fertility Awareness Week (31 October to 6 November), the survey assesses the impact of failing to conceive and the subsequent toll of fertility treatment on both women and men.

One key finding of the survey is that levels of emotional distress were far higher than in a previous study. Half of all respondents reported feeling sad, out of control, frustrated, helpless, fearful and worried nearly all the time.

“Our report highlights the need for fairer provision of funded fertility treatment but also suggests that, due to high levels of depression and suicidal feelings reported, there is a need for more funded psychological therapies to support people dealing with fertility problems,” says Dr Nicky Payne, Associate Professor in Psychology at Middlesex.
“Fertility problems and the use of fertility treatments such as IVF are increasing, so continuing research in this area is important,” Dr Nicky Payne, Associate Professor in Psychology
In addition, 90 per cent of respondents reported feeling depressed and 42% of respondents experienced suicidal feelings.

Moving forward, it is hoped the report will influence policy-makers, as well as clinicians and counsellors treating the many thousands of men and women who undergo fertility treatments each year.

Professor Olga van den Akker says this latest research will be used to inform teaching on psychology courses at Middlesex.
“Our students will also benefit from our up-to-date research effort on current issues discussed in the media and scientific literature within relevant lectures and dissertations.”

Monday, 24 October 2016

Research Seminar: Dr Kostas Papageorgiou (Queens University Belfast)

*** Everyone Welcome! No need to book in advance ***

Date: Thursday 3rd November
Time: 16:00-17:00
Room: Town Hall Committee Room 3

Dr Kostas Papageorgiou (Queens University Belfast)

Eyes are the Window to the Future Soul: Predicting individual differences in children's temperament and behaviour from the first day of their lives

Abstract: Individual differences in infants' visual attention have been associated with individual variation in cognitive and psychological traits in childhood. However, it has not been explored the degree to which individual variation in visual attention at birth, associates with individual differences in some forms of temperament and behaviour in childhood. Furthermore, little is known about the genetic causes of individual differences on newborn and infant visual attention.

In this talk I would present findings from three studies that explored: (1)the degree to which individual differences in infants’ mean fixation duration are associated with some forms of temperament and behaviour in childhood; (2) whether individual differences in newborns’ average dwell time are associated with some forms of temperament and behaviour in childhood; (3) the degree to which genome-wide variants previously found to increase the liability for ADHD and schizophrenia are associated with infants’ mean fixation duration and newborns’ average dwell time. 

Τhe findings suggest that individual differences in visual attention, as early as in the first days of postnatal life, can predict individual variation in attentional and behavioural control in childhood. Furthermore the genetic analysis indicated that genetic variants associated with later psychopathology predict variation in visual attention at birth and in infancy. 

Biography: Kostas uses an interdisciplinary approach in his research, combining diverse disciplines, including cognitive and developmental neuroscience, personality assessment and genetics. He was awarded a BSc degree (2005-2009) in Psychology from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (Athens, Greece). He moved to London in 2010 to pursue an MSc degree (2010-2011) in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience at Goldsmiths University of London. His MSc thesis explored different hypotheses--such as socialization, stereotype, and testosterone explanations--of sex differences in spatial and mathematical ability. In 2011, he was awarded a European Marie Curie fellowship, which gave him the opportunity to pursue a PhD (2011-2015) at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck University of London. His PhD research investigated the genetic makeup of the attentional system in infancy and its association with temperament and symptoms of psychopathology throughout childhood. In 2014, Kostas started a lectureship at London Metropolitan University (2014-2016), where he taught genetics and developmental psychology and supervised BSc and MSc students’ research.  He is now a lecturer in Developmental Psychopathology at Queen’s University Belfast (since September 2016) and an Associate Professor, Chair of Personality Psychology at Tomsk State University in Russia.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Research Seminar: Dr Nicholas LeBoutillier (Middlesex University)

*** Everyone Welcome! No need to book in advance *** 

Date: Thursday 20th October 
Time: 16:00-17:00 
Room: Town Hall Committee Room 1

Dr Nicholas LeBoutillier (Middlesex University)

Cognitive and Personality Factors that Predict Performance on Creativity Tasks 

This presentation reviews the literature on creative cognition and presents the findings from a series of studies presented and published by the author of the talk. The structure of the presentation consists of three parts. The first asks, what is creative cognition and how do we operationalise the processes indicative of creative talent? The second presents the speaker’s empirical research on identifying the indicators and predictors of creativity. These include empirical measures of, mental imagery, personality measures of sub-clinical psychopathology and other assessments of self. The final part assesses measures of creative cognition and puts forward the author’s recent research on new measures creative thinking. These aim to encourage creative cognition in both problem finding and problem solving conditions,

About Nick:

Nicholas LeBoutillier is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Middlesex University, UK. He is the Programme Leader for the BSc Psychology with Criminology at Middlesex University. His key research interests are the Psychology of Drug and Alcohol Misuse and the Psychology of Imagery, Mental Health and Creativity. He has published in international peer-reviewed psychology journals. He is an empirical researcher who recognizes the limitations of this approach in the field of creativity.