Dr Ed Symes

Dr Ed Symes

Lecturer in Psychology

School of Psychology (Faculty of Health)





BSc (HONS) Psychology, MSc Intelligent Systems, PhD Experimental Psychology



Teaching interests

Main Teaching: Cognitive Psychology; Research Methods and Statistics; Neuropsychology of Vision

Main Responsibilities: Placements Co-ordinator; Workplace Learning (PSY 250)



Grants & contracts

2006-2009    “Motor-visual priming in change-blindness”: Symes (PI), Ellis and Tucker. ESRC £151,595.

2004-2005    “Affordances, attention and change-blindness": Symes (PI), Ellis and Tucker. ESRC £48,496.

2003-2004    “Investigating links between perception and Action”: Symes (PI), Harris. ESRC £27,423.           



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Tessari A, Ottoboni G, Baroni G, Symes E & Nicoletti R (2012) 'Is access to the body structural description sensitive to a body part's significance for action and cognition? A study of the sidedness effect using feet' Exp Brain Res 218, (4) 515-525 Author Site , DOI
Symes E, Ottoboni G, Tucker M, Ellis R & Tessari A (2010) 'When motor attention improves selective attention: the dissociating role of saliency' Q J Exp Psychol (Hove) 63, (7) 1387-1397 Author Site , DOI
Tessari A, Ottoboni G, Symes E & Cubelli R (2010) 'Hand processing depends on the implicit access to a spatially and bio-mechanically organized structural description of the body' Neuropsychologia 48, (3) 681-688 Author Site , DOI
Symes E, Tucker M & Ottoboni G (2010) 'Integrating Action and Language through Biased Competition' Front Neurorobot 4, Author Site , DOI Open access
Symes E, Tucker M, Ellis R, Vainio L & Ottoboni G (2008) 'Grasp preparation improves change detection for congruent objects' J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 34, (4) 854-871 Author Site , DOI
Vainio L, Symes E, Ellis R, Tucker M & Ottoboni G (2008) 'On the relations between action planning, object identification, and motor representations of observed actions and objects' Cognition 108, (2) 444-465 Author Site , DOI
Ellis R, Tucker M, Symes E & Vainio L (2007) 'Does selecting one visual object from several require inhibition of the actions associated with nonselected objects?' J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 33, (3) 670-691 Author Site , DOI
Vainio L, Ellis R, Tucker M & Symes E (2007) 'Local and global affordances and manual planning' Exp Brain Res 179, (4) 583-594 Author Site , DOI
Symes E, Ellis R & Tucker M (2007) 'Visual object affordances: object orientation' Acta Psychol (Amst) 124, (2) 238-255 Author Site , DOI
Vainio L, Ellis R, Tucker M & Symes E (2006) 'Manual asymmetries in visually primed grasping' Exp Brain Res 173, (3) 395-406 Author Site , DOI
Symes E, Ellis R & Tucker M (2005) 'Dissociating object-based and space-based affordances' VISUAL COGNITION 12, (7) 1337-1361 , DOI
Symes E (2004) 'The space between our ears: How the brain represents visual space' Psychologist 17, (8) 465-465


Other academic activities

Journal reviewer (Acta Psychologica; Visual Cognition; Cognition; Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology; European Journal of Cognitive Psychology; Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance).

Grant reviewer (ESRC; The Wellcome Trust; ESRC Peer Review College Member) 

Misc: Associate Editor of BPS journal: “The Psychologist” from 2002-2006.
ESRC Postdoctoral Training Award (2003).