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Dr Merryn Constable

Assistant Professor

Department: Psychology

Merryn Constable

One astonishing feature of human information processing is humans' ability to seamlessly highlight aspects of a situation that are most relevant for action and cognition. A key aspect of this ability is to relate perceived information to oneself and to other agents. The goal of Dr. Constable's research is to understand the attribution of perceived information to self and other, and what this attribution entails for subsequent information processing. She is particularly interested in how the relationship between self and other influences interactions with objects and other agents within the context of a social environment and what this means for human performance. For example, how do evolutionarily based or modern social conventions influence the distinction and relationship between self and other and how do such distinctions influence cognition and action.

Her previous work has centred on three themes:

Me - how the individual self impacts cognition and human interactions.
We - how the collective self influences cognition and human interactions.
They - how consideration of others influences cognition and human interactions. 

Most recently, she has been working on applied interdisciplinary projects looking at how to optimise performance in healthcare settings, in human-robot interactions, and with human augmentation. 

She has held postdoctoral positions at the University of Toronto (Action and Attention Lab, Visual Cognition Lab) and the Central European University (Social Mind and Body Group). She completed her PhD at the University of Queensland.

Dr. Constable's work has been supported by DSTL, The Royal Society, and the Australian Government (Department of Education and Training).

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Chimpanzees demonstrate a behavioural signature of human joint action, Constable, M., Mcewen, E., Knoblich, G., Gibson, C., Addison, A., Nestor, S., Call, J. 1 May 2024, In: Cognition
  • Maximising Coefficiency of Human-Robot Handovers Through Reinforcement Learning, Lagomarsino, M., Lorenzini, M., Constable, M., De Momi, E., Becchio, C., Ajoudani, A. 1 Aug 2023, In: IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
  • Affective compatibility with the self modulates the self-prioritisation effect, Constable, M., Becker, M., Oh, Y., Knoblich, G. 17 Feb 2021, In: Cognition & Emotion
  • Ownership status influences the degree of joint facilitatory behavior, Constable, M., Bayliss, A., Tipper, S., Spaniol, A., Pratt, J., Welsh, T. 1 Oct 2016, In: Psychological Science
  • Enhancing surgical performance in cardiothoracic surgery with innovations from computer vision and artificial intelligence: a narrative review, Constable, M., Shum, H., Clark, S. 14 Feb 2024, In: Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Invited talk: On joint action facilitation in robot-human handovers 2023
  • Invited talk: Considering ownership and territory through the lens of social interactions 2023
  • Editorial work: BMC psychology (Journal) 2023
  • Visiting an external academic institution: Italian Institute of Technology 2022
  • Invited talk: Cognition in social spaces and Career Experiences as an Early Career Researcher 2022
  • Invited talk: Joint Action Planning in Handover Tasks 2022
  • Publication Peer-review: PLoS One (Journal) 2022
  • Invited talk: Cognition in social spaces 2021
  • Invited talk: Self-Prioritisation as a function of context 2019
  • Invited talk: The influence of ownership in human-object interactions 2017

  • Education PGCert July 08 2022
  • Psychology PhD March 17 2014
  • Arts (general) BA (Hons) November 30 2010
  • Business Studies BA November 30 2008
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy FHEA


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