Our researchers and collaborators

Dr Helen Nuttall

I am a lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at Lancaster University, and I started the Neuroscience of Speech and Action Laboratory in 2016 when I started my lectureship.
The lab investigates research questions regarding how speech, action, and cognitive function are represented in the brain. We study how these processes work in health and disease, and also how they are affected by the ageing process.
To answer our research questions, we use a variety of methods including Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), electroencephalography (EEG), Magnetic Resonance Imagine (MRI), electromyography (EMG), and behavioural techniques.
Prior to joining Lancaster University, I worked as a Leverhulme Trust-funded Postdoctoral Research Associate with Dr Patti Adank and Professor Joe Devlin at University College London. In my PhD, I investigated how speech is represented in the subcortical auditory system using EEG, and how the subcortical representation of speech is modulated by peripheral and cortical influences.

Dr Kate Slade

I am a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the NoSA Lab. I currently work on a project funded by the BBSRC Council of UK Research and Innovation with Dr Helen Nuttall and Professor Chris Plack, which is focused on understanding the neural and psychological consequences of age-related hearing loss. The research utilises neuroscientific methods including Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) to understand the brain networks involved in speech perception in age-related hearing loss. We also investigate the association between hearing loss and cognitive function in older age.
Prior to joining the NoSA lab I worked on my PhD in the Effort Lab at Liverpool John Moores University with Dr Michael Richter, Professor Steve Fairclough, and Professor Sophia Kramer, wherein, I researched effort in listening, typically experienced by individuals with hearing loss, using psychological theories and cardiac measures to quantify listening effort.

Elise Oosterhuis

Hi there. My name is Elise and I am a second-year PhD student in the NoSA lab, under the primary supervision of Dr. Helen Nuttall. My research interests are in the consequences of ageing and Parkinson’s disease on language and the brain, and which lifestyle factors play a role in healthy ageing. I am currently working on a project that aims to investigate how language production and the wiring of the brain differs in older adults compared to young adults. I am also looking at the influence of lifestyle and lifetime experiences, such as engaging in leisure activities and education, on language and the wiring of the brain. The underlying idea is that positive lifestyles could possibly reduce cognitive decline (i.e. worsening of mental processes) in healthy older adults and people with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease.

Shalmali Joshi

Hi! I’m Shal, a final-year PhD student at Lancaster University, under secondary supervision with Dr Helen Nuttall. My primary research focusses on the exploring the neurocircuitry mediating stable bodily self awareness. To do this I have focussed my work on understanding the occurrence of visual hallucinations and distortions in the normal population. The theory behind this is that these experiences are a result of a break in stable self consciousness and how this affects the non-clinical population in functioning everyday. With Helen, we are examining the role of cortical hyperexcitability in visual aberrations, with the use of neuromodulation techniques such as TMS. By understanding the neural structures involved in stable bodily self awareness, we hope to provide insight into many disorders that have an underlying symptom of hallucinations and dissociative experiences.

Rachael Taylor

Hello! My name is Rachael and I am a second-year PhD student working under Dr Sally Linkenauger, Dr Helen Nuttall, and Dr Tom Beesley. My research investigates how perception of one’s body can impact both perceived action capabilities and the ability to learn new actions. Specifically, I am interested in how right-handed individuals (RHIs) can take advantage of the cerebral, cognitive, and perceptual biases associated with their right hand when learning movements in their left. To do this, I am using a virtual reality-based mirror paradigm, in which RHIs move their left hand whilst viewing an animation of their right hand move. The aim is to see whether this expedites learning movement in the left hand in RHIs, which could have benefits for upper-limb amputees who need to transfer dominance to their left hand.

Brandon O’Hanlon

Hello! I’m Brandon and I am a Master’s student studying Psychological Research Methods at Lancaster University. I am currently on a 1+3 Doctorate Training Programme awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council and will be completing my PhD project here at the NoSA laboratory in the years to come! My project interests are centred around Speech Perception and Multisensory Integration. In particular, how our other senses come to aid our speech and auditory systems in difficult listening conditions, such as sight and movement

Jessica Pepper

I am currently studying MSc Psychological Research Methods at Lancaster. I was awarded a 1+3 studentship from the Economic and Social Research Council, therefore I will be completing my PhD in the NoSA laboratory in the coming years. My research interests are cognitive neuroscience, multisensory integration, perception and ageing.


Hannah Young 

I’m a third year Psychology student at Lancaster University.
I currently volunteer in the NoSA lab on a Psychology and Employability Placement.

I have really loved learning about neuroscience during my degree and I’m particularly interested in clinical neuroscience.


Toby Hudson 

I’m a third year Psychology student on a Psychology and Employability Placement in the NoSA lab, who is really interested in the link between humans and technology.
As the two become increasingly intertwined, it’s important that we research the effects of this on the general population.


Emily Walsh

I am a second year psychology student currently on a Psychology and Employability Placement in the NoSA lab at Lancaster.
I have really enjoyed learning about neuroscience in my degree. One of my favourite things to learn about is the technology used to study the brain!


Laura Zmudzinska
[coming soon]