The Experimental Psychology Lab (EPL) is led by Dr. Marios Avraamides. The lab employs post-docs, technicians, and several Ph.D./MA and undergraduate
students working on a variety of projects. In general, EPL conducts research on how people encode, maintain, and update spatial information when they carry out tasks that involve orientation and navigation in the environment. Researchers at EPL employ Virtual Reality technology in service of behavioral research. Recent projects though also involve electrophysiological (EEG) recordings and imaging data from fMRI. EEG studies are conducted at CAN and at the Department of Psychology while fMRI experiments at collaborator sites in other countries. In addition to spatial cognition, the lab conducts, through local and international collaborations, applied research on the use of technology for clinical (e.g., autism) and non-clinical applications (e.g., architecture and interior design).
The Language and Cognitive Development Research Group is led by Dr. George Spanoudis and encompasses wide expertise in areas including language development and understanding, and cognitive development in typical and atypical populations. Our work bridges ideas and methods generated within developmental, cognitive and differential psychology. The primary focus of the group is to explore the neural bases of language and cognitive development from 4-18 years of age, combining cross-sectional and longitudinal cognitive research with neural
imaging (EEG/ERPs) to study typical and atypical cognitive and language development. Our research program is extended on issues of language processing and learning, theory of mind development, and cognitive correlates of developing intelligence. The group has developed new theoretical models of cognitive development and relates them with evidence coming from neuroimaging data.
The Laboratory for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders is led by Dr. Michael Lombardo. Autism is one of the most common neurodevelopmental
conditions affecting society today. It is a spectrum of conditions that consists of vast etiological and phenotypic heterogeneity. The lab's over-arching mission is to conduct translational research devoted to understanding the early developmental etiological and treatment-relevant mechanisms behind autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The lab uses a wide array of multidisciplinary techniques to answer these questions; from neuroimaging, social and cognitive neuroscience, experimental, developmental, and social psychology, neuroendocrinology, genomics, and computational biology
The Learning Disabilities (LD) group is lead by Dr. Timothy Papadopoulos and focuses on (a) the conceptualization and measurement of various constructs related to reading, language performance, and intelligence, (b) the study of the developmental markers in prevalent pediatric disorders such as reading difficulties and dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Specific Language Impairment, and (c) the differential diagnosis and treatment for these disorders. In doing so, the LD group (1) has established the reliability and
construct validity of major cognitive and linguistic batteries in order to reliably assess the various cognitive, linguistic, and neuropsychological skills that are related to the identification of Specific Learning Disorders (SLD), (2) investigates the possible neurological basis of children with language and reading disabilities through the use of eye-tracking and electrophysiological (event-related potentials; ERP) methodologies, (3) examines the relationship between fluid intelligence and language ability by recording the ERPs of childhood populations varying in age and ability, and (d) develops and tests different intervention strategies across individual cases.
The Clinical Psychology and Psychophysiology Lab is led by Dr. Georgia Panagiotou and studies emotion processes and emotion regulation and coping in psychopathology. Its aims are compatible with trans-diagnostic
conceptualizations of psychopathology, focusing on the multi-method examination of basic brain systems involved in the etiology of disorders, including valence, arousal and executive function. A main focus is anxiety and fear and how different levels of these emotions predict different behavioral outcomes and symptoms. In this context lab personnel studies how children who display diverse aggressive profiles differ in defensive motivation, and how different anxiety disorders vary in the degree to which they are characterized by fear versus general negative affect. Interactions between emotion and cognition (attention, inhibition) and personality are also addressed. We also examine how dysfunctional emotion regulation, e.g. avoidance and attention deployment, perpetuate psychopathology. We use psychophysiology to assess emotion, especially the startle reflex, autonomic physiology and facial EMG, and various paradigms to induce emotion, such as imagery, VR, pictures and films and aim to verify our findings regarding individual difference in emotion and motivation using neuroimaging techniques.
The Neurocognitive Research
Lab (NRL) was established in 2008 and is lead by Dr. Fofi Constantinidou. Researchers at the NRL investigate clinical populations such as patients with epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, healthy and pathological ageing exhibiting neuropsychological deficits using neuroscience and neurobehavioral research methodologies. The lab focuses on the development and application of assessment and treatment tools for patients with acquired cognitive deficits and investigates the effects of hierarchical intense neurocognitive training in patients with mild cognitive impairment and in patients with moderate-severe brain injury. Furthermore, the team manages the first longitudinal study in Cyprus on ageing aiming to identify predictors for healthy and pathological cognitive ageing. Other studies include the exploration of stimulus modality preferences in pediatric patients with benign rolandic epilepsy and in adults with chronic temporal lobe epilepsy in an effort to determine the long-term effects of the condition and methods for maximizing sensory input to facilitate memory. Recently, we began a project investigating the relationship between brain structure and memory, executive functioning, and speed of processing abilities in patients with chronic brain injuries.