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Research groups


Research grants and bursaries

With special thanks to: the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford; Wolfson College, University of Oxford; the Eurofins Foundation; the British Neuropsychological Society (BNS); the British Psychological Society (BPS); the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS); the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust; the Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group (PsyPAG).

Clea Desebrock

BA (Hons), MSc, MBPSs

DPhil Candidate

  • Crossmodal Perception (Spence Lab)

In my research I investigate whether our actions (e.g. arm movements) can be influenced by social biases known to enhance our attention, perception, decision-making, and memory. I also investigate self-prioritization in the context of multisensory processing. I use multisensory tasks (i.e. using audiovisual stimuli) to investigate effects across both the auditory and visual systems. My project aims to increase our understanding of self-bias in action. Ultimately, the aim is to lay the groundwork for future translational work exploring social bias effects in applied settings (e.g. in stroke rehabilitation, sports performance, or sensory marketing/consumer psychology). 

I combine behavioural experimental techniques from Cognitive Psychology (e.g. mental chronometry) with functional neuroimaging (e.g. EEG, which records brain activity) to understand the brain processes underlying the behavioural effects.

Before starting my DPhil research, I worked as a Research Assistant in the Cognitive Neuropsychology Centre (CNC), and as a Laboratory Demonstrator in Neuroanatomy and Perception, here at the Department of Experimental Psychology. I have expertise in running transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) studies, gained while working at the CNC.

I also have a background in music and sound production, and alongside my academic research have engineered/consulted on sound for departmental academic research projects.

I am based at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory supervised by Professor Charles Spence and Dr Ayla Barutchu.

(I was previously based at the CNC, supervised by Professor Glyn Humphreys)

Tutor – for Perception (Part 1), BA Experimental Psychology, Dept. of Experimental Psychology

Graduate Research Assistant – Cognitive Neuropsychology Centre,  Dept. of Experimental Psychology (past)

Laboratory Demonstrator – Perception and Neuroanatomy, Dept. of Experimental Psychology (past)

Campus representative for the Association of Psychological Science (APS / APSSC) (past)

Mentor for the Dept. of Experimental Psychology Peer Mentoring Program

Recent publications

More publications


Desebrock, C., Barutchu, A., & Spence. C. (2022). The influence of empathy and perceived closeness on self- and friend-biases in arm-movements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

Desebrock, C., Spence. C., & Barutchu, A. (2022). Self-prioritization with unisensory and multisensory stimuli in a matching task. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics.

Desebrock, C., & Spence. C. (2021). The Self-Prioritization Effect: Self-referential processing in movement highlights modulation at multiple stages. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 83(6), 2656-2674 

Graven, T., & Desebrock, C. (2021). Touching and hearing the shapes: How auditory angular and curved sounds influence proficiency in recognising tactile angle and curve shapes when experienced and inexperienced in using haptic touch. British Journal of Visual Impairment.

Graven, T., & Desebrock, C. (2019). Investigating the effect of visual imagery and learning shape-audio regularities on bouba and kiki. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 151. e59954

Desebrock, C. (2019). The power of our names, faces, and the Self-Reference Effect: is there more than meets the eye? The Quarterly, 111, 17-19

Desebrock, C., Sui, J., & Spence, C. (2018). Self-reference in action: Arm-movement responses are enhanced in perceptual matching. Acta Psychologica, 190, 258-266.

Graven, T., & Desebrock, C. (2018). Bouba or kiki with and without vision: Shape-audio regularities and mental images. Acta Psychologica, 188, 200-212.

Desebrock, C., Sui, J., & Spence, C. (2016). The power of self-reference in action: Prioritized processing of self-relevant stimuli extends from perception to response execution. Perception, 45, 65-66.