Fundamental research in experimental psychology is a long-standing strength at Plymouth. We aim to understand thought, from basic associative and cognitive processes through language to social interactions. We are interested in all stages of life, from infancy to old age. Particular areas of interest in cognition are the study of learning and memory, spatial navigation, reasoning, face perception and recognition, decision making, the representation of self, and language acquisition. We are also studying social development in childhood, the mechanisms underlying prejudice, and individual differences with a focus on humour and positive psychology.
Methods of investigation use a variety of approaches including cognitive experimentation with human adults, developmental studies, Virtual Reality, eye-tracking, mathematical modelling, and neuroimaging.