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Working at Coventry University

Coventry University is a diverse and exciting place to work and we share the enthusiasm of our staff and students to be the best at whatever they choose to do. As one of the City’s biggest employers, we offer some impressive benefits for our staff and are committed to delivering the very best opportunities. We have a comprehensive training, personal and professional development programme that provides our employees with the skills to enhance their performance in the workplace and grow in their careers. There are pension schemes, a generous holiday allowance and flexible working opportunities as well as lifestyle benefits including childcare vouchers, discounted membership to the £4 million sports and recreation centre and schemes such as Cycle to Work and the CU Car Share initiative.

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Brain, Belief and Behaviour


Focus of Our Research

Our lab works at the cutting-edge of mind-body integration by developing innovative models and interventions to modify or enhance neuro-cognitive functions, beliefs and behaviour. This includes the use of contemplative practices, therapeutic substances, behavioural interventions and novel techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation. We combine expertise in psychobiological and neuro-cognitive techniques with health, developmental and social psychological methods and theoretical approaches.

Our work focuses on a range of themes. We are presently conducting research on the neuro-cognitive bases of belief, including the role of beliefs as a stress buffer and how to modify them. In addition, we are preparing original work on the functions of sleep in typical and atypical groups, the psychobiological effects of meditation, and the development of new instruments for the early detection of dementia. We are also working on a critical examination of the literature on the effects of meditation. 

Our research has the potential to change people’s ideas and attitudes about a range of topics on body-mind interaction, mental health, and the importance of early screening tools and intervention for physiological and psychological difficulties.

Current projects include:

The neuro-stimulation of belief
The effects of secular and religious belief in subjective and physiological stress
Morality when faced with mortality
Sleep and cognition in young children with Down syndrome
Psychobiology of Meditation: A critical review of the literature
Early detection of dementia: A new screening tool
Intervention for emotion regulation

Image Source: Flickr


The Team

 Miguel Farias Thumbnail

Miguel Farias (Research group leader)

Psychology of belief, social cognition, personality and mental health

 Jonathan Jong (group co-lead)

Jonathan Jong (Group co-lead)

Death anxiety, religious belief, ritual behaviour, social psychology, experimental psychology

 Anna Joyce

Anna Joyce

Sleep, cognition, child development, developmental disorders

 Stoyan Kurtev

Stoyan Kurtev

Quantum cognition, language, vision, attention

 Anna Joyce (née Ashworth) Thumbnail

Valerie Van Mulukom

Experimental psychology, cognitive science of religion, religious belief, episodic memory

 Damian Stanley Thumbnail

Damian Stanley

Psychology of sports, exercise and performance

 Hayley Wright Thumbnail

Hayley Wright

Normal cognitive function, cognitive decline in older adults, cognitive neuropsychology of stroke and dementia

PhD Students

  • Ivaylo Krastev, PhD Student. Integrated field of positive neuroscience that offers a novel perspective for studying human motivation and affect alongside cognitive and psychophysiological functionality.
  • James Bartlett, PhD Student. Relationship between drug use and cognition.
  • Jennifer Brown, PhD Student. Christian worship and psychological processes.
  • Ivana Buric, PhD Student. Experimental psychology, molecular biology, statistics.
  • Mairi Mulvenna, PhD Student. Motivation and well-being in athletes. Additionally investigated organisational stress in sport and anxiety for previous research projects.
  • Thomas J. Coleman III, PhD Student. The enduring psychological connections between religion, nonreligion, and the capacity for imagination.