Dr Nerissa Ho

Dr Nerissa Ho

Lecturer in Psychology

School of Psychology (Faculty of Health)

Lecturer in Psychology



PhD in Psychology (neuropsychology), The University of Hong Kong

PGCert in Psychology, The University of Hong Kong

MBA (business administration), The Chinese University of Hong Kong

BSc (computer science) , The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Professional Experience

2018-20, Research Associate, Department of Psychology, University of York

2016-18, Lecturer, Community College of City University, Hong Kong

2015-16, Research Associate / Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong

Teaching interests

Cognitive and biological psychology

Social, cognitive and affective neuroscience

Research interests

I am interested in exploring the structural and functional architecture of the human brain. In particular, I seek to understand the brain’s architecture as reflected by our ongoing experiences and its implications to our cognitive performance and emotional well-being. My research is founded on studies examining the neurocognitive mechanisms of mind-wandering and functions of the default mode network, a large scale brain network best known to be engaged in self-generated thoughts that are decoupled from the current environment and ongoing tasks. This research interest is developed from my early studies on alexithymia, a condition related to the lack of self-emotional awareness, and subsequent studies of the self-relevance effect and its influences on decisional processing using a social-cognitive perspective.

The overarching objective of my work is to better understand the neurocognitive underpinnings of our thought patterns, how they impact our cognitive and emotional experiences, and how to translate these basic science discovery into applications in the clinical and ageing domains.

Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Wang H-T, Ho NSP, Bzdok D, Bernhardt BC, Margulies DS, Jefferies E & Smallwood J 2020 'Neurocognitive patterns dissociating semantic processing from executive control are linked to more detailed off-task mental time travel' Scientific Reports 10, (1) , DOI PEARL
Ho NSP, Poerio G, Konu D, Turnbull A, Sormaz M, Leech R, Bernhardt B, Jefferies E & Smallwood J 2020 'Facing up to the wandering mind: Patterns of off-task laboratory thought are associated with stronger neural recruitment of right fusiform cortex while processing facial stimuli' NeuroImage 214, 116765-116765 , DOI PEARL
Turnbull A, Garfinkel SN, Ho NSP, Critchley HD, Bernhardt BC, Jefferies E & Smallwood J 2020 'Word up – Experiential and neurocognitive evidence for associations between autistic symptomology and a preference for thinking in the form of words' Cortex 128, 88-106 , DOI
Golubickis M, Falbén JK, Ho NSP, Sui J, Cunningham WA & Neil Macrae C 2020 'Parts of me: Identity-relevance moderates self-prioritization' Consciousness and Cognition 77, 102848-102848 , DOI PEARL
Ho NSP, Wang X, Vatansever D, Margulies DS, Bernhardt B, Jefferies E & Smallwood J 2019 'Individual variation in patterns of task focused, and detailed, thought are uniquely associated within the architecture of the medial temporal lobe' NeuroImage 202, 116045-116045 , DOI PEARL
Turnbull A, Wang HT, Murphy C, Ho NSP, Wang X, Sormaz M, Karapanagiotidis T, Leech RM, Bernhardt B & Margulies DS 2019 'Left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex supports context-dependent prioritisation of off-task thought' Nature Communications 10, (1) , DOI PEARL
Golubickis M, Ho NSP, Falbén JK, Schwertel CL, Maiuri A, Dublas D, Cunningham WA & Macrae CN 2019 'Valence and ownership: object desirability influences self-prioritization' Psychological Research , DOI PEARL
Falbén JK, Olivier JL, Golubickis M, Ho NSP, Persson LM, Tsamadi D, Marinopoulou E, Bianciardi B, Cunningham WA & Macrae CN 2019 'Stop stereotyping' Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 81, (5) 1228-1235 , DOI PEARL
Golubickis M, Ho NSP, Falbén JK, Mackenzie KM, Boschetti A, Cunningham WA & Neil Macrae C 2018 'Mine or mother’s? Exploring the self-ownership effect across cultures' Culture and Brain 7, (1) 1-25 , DOI PEARL
Macrae CN, Mitchell JP, Golubickis M, Ho NSP, Sherlock R, Parlongo R, Simpson OCM & Christian BM 2016 'Saving for your future self: The role of imaginary experiences' Self and Identity 16, (4) 384-398 , DOI PEARL
Ho NSP, Wong MMC & Lee TMC 2016 'Neural connectivity of alexithymia: Specific association with major depressive disorder' Journal of Affective Disorders 193, 362-372 , DOI
Ho NSP, Sun D, Ting K-H, Chan CCH & Lee TMC 2015 'Mindfulness Trait Predicts Neurophysiological Reactivity Associated with Negativity Bias: An ERP Study' Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2015, 1-15 , DOI
Ho NSP & Lee TMC 2013 'Alexithymia: The story of a survivor of childhood traumatic brain injury' Brain Injury 27, (10) 1199-1205 , DOI
Ho N, Baker D, Karapanagiotidis T, Seli P, Wang HT, Leech R, Bernhardt B, Margulies D, Jefferies E & Smallwood J 0 'Missing the forest because of the trees: Slower alternations during binocular rivalry are associated with lower levels of visual detail during ongoing thought' Neuroscience of Consciousness PEARL
Karapanagiotidis T, Vidaurre D, Quinn AJ, Vatansever D, Poerio GL, Turnbull A, Ho N, Leech R, Bernhardt BC & Jefferies E 0 'The psychological correlates of distinct neural states occurring during wakeful rest' Scientific Reports PEARL