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Nir Shalev

DPhil (Psychology); MA (Psychology); MA (Education)

Departmental Lecturer

  • Stipendiary Lecturer (St. Hugh's College; Jesus College)
  • Junior Research Fellow (Wolfson College)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher (Brain & Cognition Lab)

Developmental Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Temporal Attention

I am interested in the temporal aspects of cognition. In my research, I consider two different (and somewhat complementary) perspectives: the fluctuations of performance over time, and the relationship between time perception and performance. I investigate why our capacity of paying attention has time limitations, and which factors dictate when and why our attention span expires. Also, I study how temporal information that appears in our environment (such as rhythmic patterns or learned intervals) can give rise to temporal expectations and influence the quality of our perception. My research relies on behavioural, electrophysiological and neuropsychological methods. I work with various populations: younger and older neuro-typical individuals, patients with brain lesions and children with developmental disorders. As a keen experimentalist, I am interested in developing new methods that can be used in both experimental and clinical settings. 

My current research is focused on cognitive arousal and how it is influenced by varying levels of temporal uncertainty. I am also conducting a series of studies that aim to identify potential links between temporal expectations and our ability to exert cognitive control. In these studies, I investigate our ability to ignore interfering stimuli and to inhibit automatic responses to highly predictable events.

My studies could be highly relevant for understanding the underlying mechanisms of attention impairments and difficulties, and for improving methods of cognitive assessment and intervention.

I have finished my doctorate research as part of a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (INDIREA) at Oxford’s Cognitive Neuropsychology Centre, working with Kia Nobre, Glyn Humphreys, and Nele Demeyere. Before moving to Oxford, I have obtained two master’s degrees: in Cognitive Psychology and in Special Education and Learning Disabilities.

I care about several broader questions in cognitive sciences, such as the challenge of translating theoretical findings into clinical practices, and the way in which neuroscience can contribute to education and the enhancement of cognitive well-being. I am also interested in the history and foundations of cognitive sciences and enjoy searching for treasures in long-forgotten textbooks.

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