Our research focuses on cognitive approaches to emotional vulnerability and emotional resilience. The general research strategy is to a) identify specific “toxic” cognitive biases that are associated with heightened anxiety, b) investigate whether these biases can be modified, c) identify whether these changes at a cognitive level lead to a reduction in emotional vulnerability, d) identify the specific cognitive biases that are associated with resilience and optimal mental health and well-being, e) study the specific genetic profiles that are associated with these potentially toxic and beneficial cognitive biases, and f) determine whether we can boost resilience by re-training certain cognitive and neural mechanisms.

Professor Elaine Fox was awarded an ERC Advanced Investigator Award in 2013, to support the CogBIAS project, which will allow her to investigate in further detail the mechanisms underlying emotional vulnerability and optimal mental health. This project is currently in the early planning stages and OCEAN will be recruiting a team of researchers over the coming months to investigate these questions in adults and teenagers.

Research Vacancies


Prospective graduate students who are interested in applying to join the Centre may contact Professor Elaine Fox by email at elaine.fox@psy.ox.ac.uk.

We do not have any current vacancies for Research Assistants in the OCEAN lab. But, keep an eye on this page for future opportunities. 

OCEAN News & Media Coverage

DPhil student Lauren Heathcote appeared on the BBC South Today news, talking about her new research on children with chronic pain. Lauren is conducting a large, randomised controlled trial of a novel computerised intervention, Attention Bias Modification, for children with chronic pain. The trial is funded by the UK-based charity Action Medical Research http://www.action.org.uk, and is taking place at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital. Lauren also appeared on BBC Radio Oxford to discuss her research: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p027tvtv



Related research themes