Research Area: Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
Performance monitoring in the supplementary eye field and anterior cingulate cortex
I started in Schall lab August 2017, working with Amir Sajad looking at how errors and reward are encoded in the supplementary eye field and anterior cingulate cortex of macaque monkeys. We do this by examining the electrophysiology of these areas during a countermanding task.
Prior to this, I have had several research positions and internships:
As part of my undergraduate degree, I undertook a self-led project that focussed upon my interest in affective neuroscience. My study examined differences in the processing of affective stimuli between the left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in healthy volunteers through the use of a non-invasive neurostimulation technique known as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).
Following my undergraduate degree, I progressed to study towards a “Masters by Research (MRes)” degree in Neuroscience at Newcastle University. As part of John-Paul Taylor's Lewy Body Lab, I looked at the feasibility of eliciting visual hallucination-like phenomena in an objective manner by the use of two illusion tests within a clinical cohort of Dementia with Lewy Bodies patients.
From 2011 to 2016, I worked as a research intern in Jenny Read's lab at Newcastle University. Here I collected worked on two projects: (a) Modelling vision in the praying Mantis (Sphodromantis lineola); and (b) investigating intraocular latency in humans. For these studies we used psychophysics paradigms to help model behaviour. I currently (2017) have two publications out of my work in this lab which can be found in the publication list below.
Over the summer of 2012 at the University of Oxford’s Psychopharmacology and Emotion Research Lab (PERL) - part of the Department of Psychiatry. Here, I investigated the effects of prebiotics on emotional processing in healthy volunteers with Professor Catherine Harmer. This study has now completed and the findings published in Psychopharmacology.
Between September 2012 to February 2014, I completed a research internship in epidemiology at the Institute of Health & Society at Newcastle University under the supervision of Dr Richard McNally. I conducted an analysis on two projects looking at socio-economic factors affecting the incidence and survival from cancers in children.
Most recently, I have held a research assistant post at the Clinical Ageing Research Unit at Newcastle University. Working under the supervision of Dr Louise Delicato, we examined the sensitivity of people with Parkinson's Disease to different intensities of emotions (SPiEs). For this I tested patients at varying stages of Parkinson's Disease on a psychophysical test of facial emotion discrimination.
Tarawneh, G., Nityananda, V., Rosner, R., Errington, S.P, Herbert, W., Cumming, B. G., Read, J.C.A & Serrano-Pedraza, I. (2017). Invisible noise obscures visible signal in insect motion detection. Scientific Reports, 7.
Nityananda, V., Tarawneh, G., Errington, S.P., Serrano-Pedraza, I., & Read, J. C. A. (2017). The optomotor response of the praying mantis is driven predominantly by the central visual field. Journal of Comparative Physiology A. Online, 1-11.
McNally, R. J., Basta, N. O., Errington, S., James, P. W., Norman, P. D., Hale, J. P., & Pearce, M. S. (2015). Socioeconomic patterning in the incidence and survival of teenage and young adult men aged between 15 and 24 years diagnosed with non–seminoma testicular cancer in northern England. Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations, 33 (12), 506-509.
Schmidt, K. J., Cowen, P., Harmer, C.J., Tzortzis, G., Errington, S. P., & Burnet, P. W. J. (2015). Prebiotic intake reduces the waking cortisol response and alters emotional bias in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology, 1(19).
McNally, R. J., Basta, N. O., Errington, S., James, P. W., Norman, P. D., & Craft, A. W. (2014). Socioeconomic Patterning in the Incidence and Survival of Children and Young People Diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma in Northern England. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 134(11), 2703-2708.
National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Unit Travel Grant (2015)
Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarship (2012)