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School of Health and Society

Dr Catherine Thompson

Lecturer in Psychology


Catherine is a Lecturer in Psychology and she joined the University of Salford in 2010. Catherine obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Lincoln; she then went on to work at the University of Manchester on a project funded by the ESRC. Following this Catherine completed an MSc in Psychological Research Methods, and her PhD at the University of Nottingham. Afterwards, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher on an ESRC-funded grant at the University of Nottingham investigating visual attention in the driving task. Since joining the University of Salford Catherine has been awarded research funding from the British Psychological Society, the Experimental Psychology Society, the ESRC, and the British Academy


Catherine is module leader for the Level 5 and Level 6 cognition modules on the undergraduate Psychology programmes and she supervises final year Dissertation projects. She is also the Admissions Tutor for the Psychology programmes.

Research Interests

Catherine's research focuses on visual cognition and her main area of interest is how observers allocate their attention effectively and what factors influence selection. This includes limitations in the control of attention, the impact of a preceding task on the allocation of attention, and the influence of emotion and environmental factors on cognitive performance. She has applied her work to a range of fields including driving, health, and wellbeing.

Qualifications and Memberships


PhD Psychology (University of Nottingham)

MSc Psychological Research Methods (University of Nottingham)

BSc Psychology (University of Lincoln)

Postgraduate Certificate of Academic Practice (University of Salford



Experimental Psychology Society

Psychonomic Society

European Society for Cognitive Psychology

British Psychological Society Cognitive Section

Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Bendall, R. C. A., Eachus, P., & Thompson, C. (2016). A brief review of research using near-infrared spectroscopy to measure activation of the prefrontal cortex during emotional processing: The importance of experimental design. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10.

Bendall, R.C.A., & Thompson, C. (2015). Emotion has no impact on attention in a change detection flicker task. Frontiers in Psychology, 6 (1592), 1-9.

Hills, P. J., Mileva, P., Thompson, C., & Pake, J. M. (2017). Carryover of scanning behaviour affects upright face recognition differently to inverted face recognition. Visual Cognition, 24 (9-10), 459-472.

Hills, P., Thompson, C., Jones, S., Piech, R., Painter, L., & Pake, J. (2016). Attentional modulation of the carry over of eye-movements between tasks. Acta Psychologica, 167, 1-15.

Matthews, M., Yusuf, M., Doyle, C., & Thompson, C. (2016). Quadrupedal movement training improves markers of cognition and joint repositioning. Human Movement Science, 47, 70-80.

Ong, E., & Thompson, C. (2018). The importance of coping and emotional regulation in the occurrence of suicidal behaviour. Psychological Reports, 1-19.

Smail, D., Elison, S., Dubrow-Marshall, L. J., & Thompson, C. (2017). A mixed-methods study using a non-clinical sample to measure feasibility of ostrich community: A web-based cognitive behavioural therapy program for individuals with debt and associated stress. JMIR Mental Health, 4 (2), e12.

Thompson, C. & Crundall, D. (2011). Scanning behaviour in natural scenes is influenced by a preceding unrelated visual search task. Perception, 40, 1335-1349.

Thompson, C., Howting, L. & Hills, P. (2015). The transference of visual search between two unrelated tasks: Measuring the temporal characteristics of carry-over. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 6, 1-19.

Thompson, C., & Ong, E. (2018). The association between suicidal behaviour, attentional control, and frontal asymmetry. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9 (79).

Thompson, C., & Sabik, M. (2018). Allocation of attention in familiar and unfamiliar traffic scenarios. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 55, 188-198.

Thompson, C., Underwood, G., & Crundall, D. (2007). Previous attentional set can induce an attentional blink with task-irrelevant initial targets. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60 (12), 1603-1609.