Tuesday, 16 December 2014


The 13th annual 4th Year Psychology Research Conference was held at Panthers Newcastle on Wednesday 12th November.  It was opened by the PVC of the Faculty of Science and IT, Prof Bill Hogarth, who commented that one thing he had learnt about Psychology over the years, is that it is multidisciplinary.  And this variety was obvious at the Conference:  97 4th Year students presented their year’s research project in 44 individual oral presentations and 13 group posters ranging from neuroscience and physiology of brain processing to mathematical models of cognition and memory to wide ranging topics in clinical, social, health and applied Psychology. The presentation abstracts were all recorded in a Program Booklet designed and produced by the Conference organiser, Dr Sally McFadden who initiated the first Conference back in 2002.  This year, for the first time, the Conference was open to other Psychology students and the School of Psychology UoN Academy Members. Those who attended the Conference were rewarded with high quality presentations that made all staff extremely proud of their student’s efforts and their impressive ability to answer tricky questions and enthusiastically explain their project outcomes.  The annual photograph (shown below) managed to get everyone’s face showing with a smile and was taken with much fun.  The atmosphere of the day was also captured  with outstanding snaps taken by our Deputy Head of School and in-house photographer, Dr Stuart Marlin.

The variety of topics during the day meant that there was something to stimulate everyone interests with one of the most popular presentation awards going to Amanda Boer for her talk on the development of a Subjective Sexual Arousal Scale for the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scale!  At the end of the day, staff and students retired to the Cocktail party room, and Prof Deborah Hodgson, the UoN Acting PVC for Research, presented the awards to a happy crowd. The top award went to Stephanie Watters for her intriguing work on how disturbance of neonatal hormones influence pain processing in adulthood. Philippa Ditton-Phare, Amanda Mazzoni and Michelle Hedgecoe won Best Presentation Awards for their research investigating  training effects on communication skills in Psychiarists, uncovering female spatial ability, and understanding how sound and touch are integrated in brain processing respectively, while the best poster award went to Karen Andrew, Selina Chapman, Elizabeth Doel and Craig Pinchbeck  for their work on the impact of different types of Cigarette Packaging.  After the awards, frivolity and celebrations continued with music and dancing, and students from the Ourimbah campus who had to travel to Newcastle for the day, made the most of the evening and were the last to leave.

Next year we will hold our Conference at Ourimbah in the first week of November, so save the date and come and see what The School of Psychology is up to!