News

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Catch up on Simon’s appearance, explaining the near-miss effect, on ITV Wales This Week here.

Simon and Glen Dighton, PhD student working on the impact on the family of veterans’ gambling, feature in tonight’s ITV Wales This Week programme. Be sure to tune in!

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Simon gave an invited presentation at Third Annual Conference of the Russian Association for Behaviour Analysis, in Moscow, Russia, on September 30th 2017. His talk was entitled “Schedules, derived relations, and the behaviour analysis of gambling”.

Here he is with his old friend and colleague, Dr Neil Martin BCBA.

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Simon attended the invited stakeholder reception, “Welsh consumers at the heart of gambling regulation’, jointly hosted by the Gambling Commission and the Directors of Public Protection Wales and held in the Senedd, Cardiff Bay.

Gambling behaviour is increasingly a subject of public health and policy interest, both for the Welsh Assembly and for people across Wales. The Gambling Commission and the Directors of Public Protection Wales focused on the how to keep gambling fair, safe and crime free. Addressing problem gambling – and the wider effects it has on society in Wales and across Britain – is one of the GC’s key priorities.

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At the launch of the Veterans and Gambling FiMT-funded project, 3rd Excessive Gambling Wales 2017 conference with Carolyn Harris MP, Elystan Roberts (Research Assistant on the project), Matt Fossey of Veterans and Families Institute, Anglia Ruskin University (Co-Investigator on the project), and Glen Dighton (PhD student). Download the report here.

More photos from the day can be found here. Read the SU press release here and a BBC Wales article about the conference here.

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Videos from the Public Health Network Cymru ‘Addictive Behaviour and Behaviour Change‘ seminar, held at Bangor University on May 4th 2017, at which Simon presented, are available to view here.

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The launch of the findings of the FiMT-funded Veterans and Gambling project will happen at the 3rd Welsh National Conference on Excessive Gambling, on June 21st. Check out the conference programme here and register (for free) here.

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We’re hosting the 10th European Meeting on Human Fear Conditioning in April 2018! More details here.

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Welcome to Elystan Roberts, who has joined the lab as a Research Assistant on the Forces in Mind Trust funded project investigating gambling in UK armed forces veterans. Elystan studied at Oxford University and worked as researcher in Cardiff University and King’s College London. Welcome, Elystan!

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New, Research Assistant post available, working on the Forces in Mind Trust funded Veterans and Gambling Study. Jobs.ac.uk link here. Deadline: 22/11/16

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New grant announced: Delighted to have been awarded a grant from the Forces in Mind Trust for the very first evaluation of gambling-related problems among UK veterans which will also compare the findings against non-veterans from the general population. Read the FiMT announcement and the Swansea University press release.

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Glen Dighton MSc. has joined the lab. Glen will be conducting his PhD research, which is funded by the Responsible Gambling Trust, on “Gambling on Civvy Street: Assessing the Impact of Gambling-related Problems on UK Armed Forces Veterans and Their Families”. Welcome, Glen!

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Kathrin Weidacker has joined the lab as a research assistant. For the next year, Kathrin will be working on the NCRG-funded project investigating GABA spectroscopy of cognitive control in disordered gambling. Welcome, Kathrin!

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Gemma and Weike presented their research at the College of Health and Human Sciences Annual PGR Conference in September 2016. For photos of them presenting, see here and here.

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Simon was one of the invited speakers at the 2nd Wales Excessive Gambling Conference at the Pierhead Building, adjacent to the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on June 22nd 2016. Simon presented his  and his colleagues’ fMRI and MEG work on ‘almost winning’ and was part of an expert panel discussion. He also provided his support for the Wales launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, chaired by Swansea East MP, Carolyn Harris.

Here’s a SU press release and here’s a link to the conference site. Here’s a link to coverage of the event from ITV Wales.

Follow the Beat The Odds support group here.

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Research Assistant post just advertised: click here. Deadline: July 8th.

 

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Simon, Gemma and Weike recently attended the 8th European Meeting on Human Fear Conditioning held at Amersfoort, The Netherlands, from April 18-20 2016. Gemma (below right) presented her work on category typicality effects in avoidance generalization, conducted in collaboration with Joey Dunsmoor of NYU, and Weike (below left) gave a poster describing her data on effects of avoidance reliability on resistance to extinction, conducted in collaboration with Bram Vervliet of KU Leuven. Simon chaired a symposium on fear generalization. Roll on Hamburg in 2017!

 

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GRANT SUCCESS! Simon and Frederic Boy have been awarded a seed grant from the US-based National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) for a one-year project entitled, “Neurochemistry of cognitive control in gambling vulnerability“. A research position will be advertised soon.

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Congratulations to Weike, who graduated with her Masters in Neuroscience & Cognition from Utrecht University in December 2015.

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Here’s a photo of Weike (centre) with her advisor, Associate Professor Joke Baas (right) and colleagues.

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Simon and Mike Schlund’s neuroimaging research on approach-avoidance conflict and the anterior cingulate  was presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago. The poster (K8 503.9) was very well received, leaving Mike very busy!

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New Lab Member: This week, the Lab welcomed Weike Xia MSc, who has commenced her university-funded PhD on safety behaviours and overgeneralisation. Weike recently completed her Masters in Neuroscience & Cognition at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Welcome, Weike!

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New Publications: Congratulations to PhD students Katie Still and Gemma Cameron on having their work recently accepted for publication!

Katie’s study on facilitating untrained requesting skills in children with autism was published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders as part of a forthcoming special issue on derived relational responding. Gemma’s work on generalised avoidance and pathways to fear and avoidance was published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience (as part of an invited research topic on avoidance learning and psychopathology) and in Journal of Behavior Therapy & Experimental Psychiatry, respectively.

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Miriam Lommen and Simon are presenting their funded research project (A pilot study of brief therapy for reducing overgeneralization of fear through solution-focused discrimination training) at the European Brief Therapy Association (EBTA) Conference in Vienna, September 12th 2015.

Simon is presenting with colleagues from KU Leuven and University of Utrecht in a symposium entitled, “The Avoidance Paradox: When Protective Actions Foster Fears In Humans,” at the 27th APS Annual Convention, May 21-24, 2015 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York, NY, USA. Prof. Elizabeth Phelps of New York University is the discussant.

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Simon is presenting in a symposium on “Rule-based generalisation: from animal research to experimental psychopathology” at the International Convention of Psychological Science, Amsterdam, March 14th. Further details here.

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January 2015

Great news! Miriam Lommen (University of Oxford) and Simon have been awarded a grant from the European Brief Therapy Association for a project entitled, A pilot study of brief therapy for reducing overgeneralization of fear through solution-focused discrimination training. They have been awarded €3500 to conduct and disseminate the research. Well done!

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Fully funded PhD studentship opportunity available from October 2015!

A funded studentship (tuition fees, plus annual stipend) is available on the topic of ‘Safety behaviours and overgeneralisation’.

The aims of this studentship are to develop and validate a lab-based tool, implemented in virtual reality, of the overgeneralization of safety behaviours, to test group differences in safety behaviour generalization in those with and without an anxiety disorder, and assess the degree to which maladaptive safety behaviour can be reduced via a brain stimulation intervention.

We will record physiological arousal (skin conductance responses, SCRs), electromyography (EMG) of expressive facial muscles (fear-potentiated startle, FPS), cognitive fear expectancy ratings and avoidance behaviour.

This studentship provides funding for three years, full time study only. A stipend of £13,836 is paid and all course fees are included. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to undergraduate tutorials, practical demonstrating and assessment.

Supervisory Team: Dr. Simon Dymond (Psychology); Professor Keith Lloyd (Medicine); Dr. Frederic Boy (Psychology)

Click here for more details – deadline: Feb 28th 2015

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