• University Of Huddersfield

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Personal profile

Google Scholar h-Index

12 Last checked 25th January 2023

1036 Google Scholar Citations


I joined the Psychology team at the University of Huddersfield in 2018, having previously worked as a Teaching Fellow and as an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. I am originally from Ireland and completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology between University College Dublin and the Freie Universität Berlin. I moved to the UK in 2010 and undertook an MSc in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience at Goldsmiths. I subsequently worked in international education with the Chevening and Fulbright Commissions, before returning to academia to undertake an ESRC-funded 1+3 doctoral programme at Goldsmiths. Alongside my PhD, I also completed an MRes in Research Methods in Psychology and a PG Cert in the Management of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 

Research Expertise and Interests

My research interests fall into two main categories: 

1) Individual differences in reward processing – I am particularly interested in reward ‘wanting’ and ‘liking’, also known as anhedonia, and willingness to expend effort to obtain rewards. A growing body of research suggests that reward processing is made up of multiple sub-components, which may be uniquely impaired in psychopathologies, such as depression, schizophrenia and addiction. I use a variety of techniques, including EEG, behavioural tasks and psychometrics, to study these aspects of reward processing. Related to this, I am interested in the biological bases for personality traits, particulary extraversion and neuroticism, and how these traits may relate to psychopathologies such as depression and addiction, as well as other motivational processes.

2) Behavioural addictions, particularly digital addiction – I study individual’s propensity toward addictions to smartphone use and the Internet, including the influence of personality and genetic factors and potential negative consequences of excessive digital use, e.g. technostress.



Representative recent publications:

Duke et al. (2018). Cortical alpha asymmetry at central and posterior – but not anterior – sites is associated with individual differences in behavioural loss aversion. Personality and Individual Differences.

Plieger et al. (2018). The role of genetic variation in the glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) and mineralocorticoid receptor (NR3C2) in the association between cortisol response and cognition under acute stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Duke & Montag (2017). Smartphone addiction, daily interruptions and self-reported productivity. Addictive Behaviours Reports

More information: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=lfwdaysAAAAJ&hl=en

Research Degree Supervision

I am interested in research projects that consider any of the following:

- Neural basis / mechanisms of personality / motivation

- Contribution of reward processing impairments to psychopathology, particularly depression or addiction

- Measurement of personality or reward processing (psychometric or behavioural measures)

- Moral behaviour / decision making and societal implications thereof (e.g. pro-social behaviour, sense of community, pro-environmental behviours, compliance with public health etc.)

- Addictive behaviours (particularly digital addictions) and associated vulnerabilities

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Anhedonia
  • Motivation
  • Reward Processing
  • Addiction
  • Depression
  • Personality


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