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Theoretical and Applied Aspects of Distraction: An International Symposium

Glen Carrigan, John Marsh Symposium ay UCLan, 30th April 2014

Symposium: Theoretical and Applied Aspects of Distraction

The University of Central Lancashire

Wednesday 30th April, (Adelphi Building Lecture Theatre 2), 9: 30 am – 15:00 pm

Organised by Dr John Marsh and Glen Carrigan, University of Central Lancashire


  • 9:30 am           Overview of the Symposium by John E. Marsh

Session 1 (9:45 am – 10:45 am):Attentional Capture and Cognitive Control

  • 9:45 am        Jessica K. Ljungberg (Umeå University, Sweden) “What’s In a Name? No More than when it’s Mine Own”: Evidence from Auditory Oddball Distraction
  • 10:00 am     Robert F. Potter (Distinguished Visitor, Indiana University, US) Two Really is Better than One: The Voice Change as a Means to Increase Attention to Radio Messages
  • 10:15 am       Robert W. Hughes (Royal Holloway, University of London) Auditory Distraction: A Duplex-Mechanism Account

  • 10:30 am       John E. Marsh (University of Central Lancashire) Cognitive Control of Distraction: Task Difficulty Eliminates Attenuates the Between-Sequence Semantic Similarity Effect
  • 10:45 am         Break/Group Discussion


Session 2 (11:00 am – 12:00 pm): Applied Aspects of Distraction

  • 11:00 am        Faye C. Skelton (University of Central Lancashire) In the Face of Distraction: The Impact of Changing-State Speech on Person Identification
  • 11:15 am         Charlie F. Frowd (University of Winchester) The Impact of Weapons and Unusual Objects on Face Recall and Composite  Construction
  • 11:30 am         Patrik Sörqvist (via Skype; University of Gavle, Sweden) Task Difficulty and Distractibility: Basic and Applied Aspects
  • 11:45 am         François Vachon (Université Laval, Canada) Reverberation and Multiple Voices: Solutions to Reduce the Cognitive Impact of Office Noise
  • 12 pm              Lunch


Session 3 (1:00 pm – 1:45 pm): Distraction, Action Planning, and Specialised Processing

  • 1:00 pm          Paul J. Taylor (University of Central Lancashire) Action Planning Interference of the Visual Processing of Action-Related Stimuli
  • 1.15 pm           Linden J Ball (University of Central Lancashire) When Distraction Helps: Evidence that Concurrent Articulation and Irrelevant Speech Can Facilitate Insight Problem Solving
  • 1.30 pm           Lea Pilgrim (University of Central Lancashire) Hemispheric Specialisation in Semantic Processing: Using Distraction as a Device to Evaluate the Fine-Coarse Model of Cerebral Asymmetry in Conceptual Processing
  • 1.45 pm           Break/Group Discussion


Session 4 (2:00 pm – 3:00 pm): Music as Distraction and Distraction within Special Populations

  • 2:00 pm           Nick R. Perham (Cardiff Metropolitan University) Music as Background Sound
  • 2.15 pm           Rona Linklater (University of Central Lancashire) Music Messaging for the Brain
  • 2:30 pm           Jingqi Yang (University of Central Lancashire) Examining Whether Lonely Individuals are Hypervigilant to Social Threat Using Attention and Memory Tasks
  • 2:45 pm           Tanya N Joseph (University of Central Lancashire) An Investigation of the Vulnerability of Child Cognition to Auditory Distraction

  Read the rest of this entry


Social and Cultural factors in Eating Disorders; The Apprentice to Kim Kardashian.

The Apprentice; The Girls

Social and Cultural factors have long been blamed for the development of eating disorders in females and also more recently in males too. Do shows like The Apprentice in 2013 with pretty much only fit, slim attractive women and highly publicised women like Kim Kardashian cater to this perfect body ideal, or is there more to it than just media portrayal? In order to evaluate the socio-cultural model of eating disorders (EDs) it is first essential that a definition of an ED be provided and an explanation of the socio-cultural model given. Following this the model shall be broken down into its three component parts in order to indicate the importance of those areas within the concept and the validity of the model as a whole.

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SEED; Support and Education for Eating Disorders

The video highlights a charity catwalk show in which I modelled and helped organise last year, for a local eating disorder charity. The event was designed to raise awareness of the diversity of those that suffer from eating disorders. The underlying message was to love the shape you are. This show is an annual event and is held at The University of Central Lancashire by Shelly Perry who is the Director and Founder of SEED. I would highly recommend the service for anyone who feels they might benfit from it for it’s professional and compassionate approach to treatment.

Eating disorders (ED’s) are characterised by a pronounced disturbance in eating behaviour and the negative self-attributions (with regards to image) that promote such a disturbance. Often ED’s manifest in people who believe they are overweight when actually they are not. The everyday activities of ED symptomatics can be negatively affected by their condition such as struggling in their professional and personal lives due to the intrusive nature of thoughts related to the condition. ED’s can have numerous causes, including issues of family attachment, self-esteem and negative life events to name only a few. (more…)

Executive functioning and exercise addiction in males and females with symptoms of muscle dysmorphia

Advertisement of the charities and institues we are affiliated with

Please participate in our study.

Research into the subject of Muscle Dysmorphia is greatly lacking and if you’re a regular reader of this blog you will notice I care greatly about things of this nature. This research is a bonafide psychological study at The University of Central Lahcashire. The survey will take around 22 minutes and will add to an area of research at the forefront of modern socio/psychological research and governmental concern with regards to the health of many people in our societies.

The current study will assess group differences in executive functioning and exercise addiction in males and females, with and without symptoms of muscle dysmorphia (MD).  Variables known to influence both executive functioning and the development of MD will be controlled for (age, Body Mass Index, sexual orientation, depression, certain medications and substances (e.g., anti-depressants), dieting and fluid intelligence.

This study has been ethically approved by The Psychology department of  The University of Central Lancashire.

Contacts: Glen Andrew Carrigan(BPS member, REPS, SEED)
or Dr Noreen Caswell, (BSc., MSc., PhD., CPsychol, FHEA, HPC),

Click here to participate: Executive functioning and exercise addiction in males and females with symptoms of muscle dysmorphia

Basic fitness knowledge

Glen Carrigan

Glen Carrigan CYQ fitness instructor

A question I’m asked constantly is how do you even begin to get into fitness without the basic knowledge? I agree it can be intimidating walking into a gym without the first idea where to begin, I know it was for me when I was 15 years old. The answer though is using your own motivation, discipline and a desire to learn and change. To that end this post will detail the basic guidelines for cardiovascular exercise to promote fitness first and also for health which you can then build upon. Choose what is applicable to you however I would suggest using the health regimen for a while until you get used to exercise. Once you’ve achieved a decent level of fitness you can change the routine to include more specific training techniques for fat loss, fitness maintenance and other goals. Read the rest of this entry

Body image, a weighty issue for men

Glen Carrigan 2011

The Central YMCA (where my fitness qualifications came from) recently found that body image issues are no longer the province of women alone. Increasingly men are feeling anxious about for example a lack of muscle and their “beer belly”. In addition us men are actually expressing our feelings to eachother nowadays which goes against the stereotypical Alpha male persona which can be a good thing but also a burden at times.

The University of West England’s appearance research department asked 384 British men with an average age of 40 years their opinions on their appearance. A huge 60% of respondants thought their arms, chest and stomachs weren’t muscular enough and 1 in 5 men reported that they were on a high protein diet. 35% of participants said they would give up a whole year of their lives to attain their ideal body.

Thought’s that come to mind quite readily here are that men seem to be alot more body concious in today’s society. Blame what you will for that, media representations of the ideal, perceived expectations of the opposite sex, and many more catalysts to why people critique their bodies. Might it be true to say that pride and a sense of self worth might drive those of us who seek to be better physically? I think so. Whilst there is a wealth of research out there that reports exercise and a balanced diet is good for us we cannot over look the fact that such practices when they border on the obsessive may give rise to eating disorders for example as an obligatory exercise routine is often a factor of an eating disorder (Lepage, Price & O’Neal 2012). However a good diet and regular exercise do more good than bad, just be aware of what you’re doing and more importantly why you’re doing it….. for yourself. It is one of my great hopes for this country that if more people watched what they ate and exercised regularly we could lessen the impact of the obesity epidemic apparent in this country at the moment which takes a vicious toll on the NHS of 1.9 – 2 billion GPB a year.

Eating disorders and health issues asside it shouldn’t be a problem that men are becoming more in touch with their body image so long as it doesn’t cause us to brood over it and become unhealthy to the point of self destruction. Eat healthy, stay physically and mentally active and you should be fine!

BBC News for the full story

Obese, Skinny or Perfect; some things you might not know about genetics and obesity.

Fat or Fit?

Fat or Fit?

Ever wonder why the girl next door has a perfect figure but you never see her down the gym? Or why that bloke in the gym tells you he can eat what he wants and not put on any fat? Well there are many genetic reasons for why that might be. However just because I’m saying they are genetic and therefore foster the notion of a predisposition to either gain, lose or maintain weight that doesn’t mean you can give up entirely on achieving the healthy body you want. It just means that certain body types are harder to get from your biological starting point so don’t you dare start thinking, well if it’s genetic then why bother? Read the rest of this entry

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