Dr. Maria Ph. A. Photiou is a Research Associate at the Cognitive and Clinical Applications Multidisciplinary Research Group of the CYENS Centre of Excellence. She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the Department of Psychology, University of Cyprus, for which she worked alongside Prof. Marios Avraamides. Her research interests focus on cognitive mechanisms, including spatial updating and navigational abilities of special populations such as dancers and people with neurodegenerative diseases. For her research, she employs neuroimaging techniques such as MRI, Virtual Reality, and other computerized methods.
During her Ph.D. studies, she held a Research Associate position at the Centre for Applied Neuroscience at the University of Cyprus, where she led the SPADE project (Spatial Updating and Domain Expertise: the case of dancers) funded by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation under the 2018 Excellence Hubs calls. The project investigated spatial skills in experienced and novice dancers using neuroimaging methods (MRI scanning) and tasks in Virtual Reality. In addition to her research, she was employed as a Special Scientist at the Department of Psychology at the University of Cyprus, where she taught the Educational Psychology course in the undergraduate Psychology program.
Dr. Photiou has previously received a BA in Education with a minor degree in Psychology and an MA in Learning in Natural Sciences both from the Department of Education, University of Cyprus. In addition, she received various awards, including the prestigious award in memory of Christia Rossidou Sotiriou, awarded annually by Ernst and Young Cyprus Honoring Women with Exceptional Leadership Skills (merit-based).