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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 British Neuropsychological Society (BNS); the British Psychological Society (BPS) - Cognitive Section; the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS); the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust; the Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group (PsyPAG).

Clea Desebrock

BA (Hons), MSc, MBPSs

Crossmodal Perception (Spence Lab)

In my research I investigate whether our actions (e.g. arm movements) can be influenced by social biases (i.e. the self-reference effect) known to enhance our attention, perception, decision-making, and memory. I also investigate self-prioritization in the context of multisensory integration. 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-prioritization 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 engineering, 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, Dr Ayla Barutchu, and Professor Jie Sui

(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


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

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

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.