Inaugural Lecture: Prof Sonia Bishop

Date: 13 February 2024
Time: 18:15 - 19:15

About “Anxiety, cognition and emotion in the human brain” In our daily lives, we use a range of cognitive processes from attention to decision-making. These processes are influenced by the emotional salience of encountered and anticipated objects and events and by our own individual responses to external stimuli. This lecture addresses how we can use experimental cognitive studies, computational modelling and human neuroimaging to understand the influences of trait emotion and stimulus emotional value on processes ranging from decision-making to scene perception. The first part of the lecture will focus on decision-making under uncertainty and how this is influenced by individual differences in anxiety and also depression. The second part of the lecture examines how the human brain represents complex natural emotional scenes and extracts the information needed to guide behaviour. About Prof Sonia Bishop Sonia Bishop holds the 1968 Chair of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. She obtained a 1st class undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology from Oxford University and, following a brief detour to obtain a MPhil. in Criminology at Cambridge University, completed a PhD in Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, University of London. Her postdoctoral training was undertaken at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge with a year split between Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. She joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at UC Berkeley in 2008 as an assistant professor, gaining tenure and being promoted to associate professor in 2016. In 2022, she joined Trinity as the 1968 Chair of Psychology, member of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, and Professorial fellow. She works at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience, clinical psychology and computational science. She uses a combination of computational modelling, functional neuroimaging and experimental methods to investigate altered cognitive and brain function in anxiety and depression. At Trinity, she currently teaches about emotion and the brain. Her hobbies include Improvisational Comedy; in the US, she taught freshman seminars on Exploring Psychology through Improvisational Comedy and Drama. About Inaugural Lectures It is the tradition in that newly appointed Professors in Trinity are invited to give an Inaugural Lecture. The lecture represents the official recognition of their appointment to Professor and the lecture itself provides an opportunity to showcase their achievements in research, innovation, engagement and teaching activities before an audience of members of the University community, invited stakeholders and the general public. An inaugural lecture is a significant event in an academic staff member’s career.

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Robert Emmet Theatre (Arts Building)


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