News

2017

December 2017
- My research featured in an article by Parkinson's UK on impulse control disorders, and the impacts these can have on people with Parkinson's.
- BEAM lab went on a trip to the Robot Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry. Lots of interesting displays related to all our research; perception, action and motor control, timing. Some definite uncanny valley moments!

November 2017
- On the 4th November Parkinson's UK hosted an Information and Awareness Day in Greater Manchester, aimed at providing support for those who have been newly diagnosed with Parkinson's. I went along to give a talk about BEAM lab's research into Parkinson's over the last few years, and how people both with and without Parkinson's can make a real difference helping us design and carry out our work.
- I had the opportunity to return to my alma mater, the University of Lincoln, for the first time since graduating from my degree. I gave a talk about my PhD research at the "Positively Parkinson's" event, hosted jointly by the university's School of Psychology and Parkinson's UK. The event was attended by a mixture of people with Parkinson's, their family members, nurses, other health professionals, and academics.

October 2017
- Parkinson's UK kindly approached me to comment on my experiences, as an early career researcher, of involving people with Parkinson's in the design of my research. You can read Natasha's article about Public and Patient Involvement for ECRs here.
- We held an informative teleconference with our volunteers from the Parkinson's UK Research Support Network to discuss plans for our next study.
- I've (finally) finished data collection, ready to enter analysis and write up. Watch this space!
- Will be spending some of the next 3 months teaching on the second year undergraduate module Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology, and the third year module Cases in Clinical Neuropsychology.

September 2017
- I visited Oxford for the Oxford Autumn School in Cognitive Neuroscience where there were lots of interesting talks in Parkinson's and impulsivity - perfect for me. Also a great morning session on replicability/reproducibility with some practical tips to make our research practices better.
- BEAM lab held an evening exhibition as part of the Science Uncovered event at Manchester Museum. We showcased some of my work on motor inhibition, as well as other lab members' work on timing and action observation.

August 2017
- I successfully passed my continuation report viva examination, so now it's onto the second year of the PhD! Thanks to my viva examiners Dr Emma Gowen and Dr Nils Muhlert for putting me at ease and giving up their time to read my report.

July 2017
- I ran some visual illusion demos and explained how we process visual information for GCSE aged pupils who visited the university as part of our "Big Brain" summer event.
- We headed to the University of Reading for the Experimental Psychology Society's July meeting. I presented a poster showing preliminary results (data collection ongoing) of my first PhD experiment, and got some feedback from attendees on our novel method of measuring responses and response times.
- Under the expert tuition of Dr Antonia Hamilton, I spent 3 days at University College London training up my MATLAB skills. I now have much more confidence in programming experiments in MATLAB as well as analysing data, and this will help me translate those skills to other languages.
- We hosted a workshop for people with Parkinson's from the Parkinson's UK Research Support Network. I gave talks about different aspects of our research plans and the attendees gave feedback and suggestions of things we could change to make our study more practical for people with Parkinson's to participate in.

May 2017
- I presented some of my early PhD work on a poster at the Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy's PGR conference. Also went to some interesting talks by other PGR students in the faculty.
- I got some training in writing manuscripts in LaTeX, as well as how to use Github to keep track of my code changes. Good skills to have, and can't wait to put them into practice.

April 2017
- Sense About Science held their "Standing Up For Science" workshop at the University, which was aimed at helping ECRs engage with the media responsibly. It was a great event with advice from journalists and scientists alike.
- Whilst on a break from work (Croatia and Bristol) I attended the Bristol arm of the worldwide "March for Science".

March 2017
- We successfully won a small grant from Parkinson's UK as part of their Research Involvement Award. This will help us pay to host Patient and Public Involvement volunteers at the university (supported by Parkinson's UK's organisational skills!) throughout my PhD.

February 2017
- I've been taking some casual neuroanatomy classes with a few other members of the department, led by Dr Nils Muhlert, which have helped fill a gap in my knowledge.


2016

December 2016
- Graduated from the Master's degree and have now earned the title "Master of Research". Which probably sounds cooler than it is!

November 2016
- I presented some work from my Masters degree at the Parkinson's UK Research Conference in Leeds.

October 2016
- Will be doing my first set of teaching this year on two second year modules: "Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology", and "Perception and Action"

September 2016
- At the beginning of the month I finished my Master's degree completely, handed in my dissertation and presented my work in the form of a poster.
- In my one week off between the end of the Master's and the beginning of the PhD I attended a Patient and Public Involvement training session from Parkinson's UK which they hosted at Manchester. The skills will prove to be very useful, I think.
- I've embarked on the beginning of the PhD project (which at the moment is an extension of my Master's study) and looking forward to the journey I'll be taking over the next 3 years.

June 2016
- I demonstrated visual illusions at the "Big Brain" event aimed at GCSE pupils from the local area.
- The university hosted a "Brain Box" event to coincide with Manchester Day in the town hall, which was attended by over 5000 visitors from the local area. BEAM lab hosted a section on action and imitation, and I managed to do some live data collection of a joint inhibition task.

May 2016
- I attended the British Psychology Society's Replicability and Reproducibility in Psychological Science debate at the Royal Society in London. It was a very thought provoking afternoon and I've come away with some new perspectives and determination. Videos of the presentations and discussions can be found here.

April 2016
- Manchester hosted the Research in Imagery and Observation (RIO) 10th Anniversary Meeting, and I presented a poster of my planned PhD work. There were lots of interesting talks on a topic that is still relatively new to me but which I will need to read about a lot over the next few years. We also had a workshop on action observation and imitation in Parkinson's.


2015

October 2015
- BEAM lab had a stall at the university's "Science Spectacular" event at Whitworth Hall. We demonstrated various aspects of our research, mostly related to imitation and action observation.

September 2015
- I graduated from my BSc Psychology degree at the University of Lincoln and made the big move over to Manchester.
- I've started work on my Master's degree (MRes Psychology), as part of my 1+3 studentship from the Economic and Social Research Council.
- I headed down to the Oxford Autumn School in Cognitive Neuroscience for two days of talks aimed at ECRs. It was an enjoyable event and I took some time to see the city!
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