UCL PALS alumni newsletter 2019


UCL Psychology and Language Sciences



Dear ,

The UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences (PALS) had a fantastic 2018 and we are all set for an even better 2019! Our research departments have seen great successes this year, with lots of award winning research and high profile public engagement activities.


The Duchess of Cambridge came to visit us to learn about developmental neuroscience at UCL. Read about it here.


We are also the leading department in an initiative to encourage vegetarianism. From January 2019 we, as a Division, made the decision that all of our catered events would be vegetarian. Our initiative has sparked various other departments in UCL, across the UK and also internationally (e.g. The University of Auckland) to follow our lead and become vegetarian. Read the full story.


The world-famous PALS Psychology Christmas party, video and show topped off a great year. This is the PALS Christmas video if you haven’t already seen it.


Here’s a word from the Head of Division, Professor Peter Fonagy: “Research grants at a peak, applications to all programmes at an all-time high, finances not too terrible, all Heads of Departments in place and stable, recruitments to new posts filled by talented individuals, 2019-20 Strategic Plan for the Division embraced by Faculty. What more could we wish for? More space? Better work-life balance? Sensible politics?”


Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

Members of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience make recommendations to Parliament for the Mental Capacity Act


UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience has been working with Parliament to make amendments to the Mental Capacity Act in light of the “frontal lobe paradox”. A team of neuropsychologists from the ICN were invited to discuss vulnerable individuals, who may perform well in interview setting, despite marked impairment in everyday life.


Read more: BPS blog, BPS news and The Conversation.



Experimental Psychology

Professor Nichola Raihani honoured with Leverhulme Prize for Psychology


Professor Raihani has been honoured with the prestigious 2018 Philip Leverhulme Prize, in recognition of the international impact and future potential of her research in Psychology. The prize is worth £100,000 and can be spread over a two- or three-year period. Her research focuses on the evolution of social behaviour and cooperation in nature.

Read more: UCL news.

UCLIC - UCL Interaction Centre

Ten HCI MSc students among the Faculty's top 5% performers


We are happy to announce that all ten of the PALS listed MSc students who made it to the Dean’s List from last year’s cohort were from our very own MSc in HCI in UCLIC! The award recognises the top 5% of students in the Faculty of Brain Sciences at UCL.


Congratulations to all students!

Read more: UCL news.

Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences

Research in Speech and Hearing Science: outreach events


Academics from SHAPS, together with our colleagues at Imperial College London, ran a workshop on ‘Optimising Binaural Hearing for Environment and Listener’ in Ghent, Belgium. Over 50 delegates from academia and industry came to a day of talks and discussions on the importance of binaural processing to hearing impaired listeners, particularly when listening to speech in noise.

Read more: UCL PALS.

Language and Cognition

UCL BiLingo: Bilingualism/Multilingualism Education and Information Service


BiLingo is a collaboration between the department of Language and Cognition, and the UCL Institute of Education. It aims to provide the London community and key agencies in the capital with the most up-to-date research-based advice, information, support and training on childhood bi / multilingualism and learning English as an Additional Language (EAL).

Read more: UCL BiLingo.


When Underrepresented Languages change Linguistic Theory


Prof Andrew Nevins (Linguistics) investigates a phenomenon that has often escaped grammarians: a special grammatical relation called gender agreement that can occur with the ‘linearly closest’ word in a conjunction such as the ‘books and erasers’, instead of with the conjunction as a whole, or the one with highest hierarchical status.

Read more: PNAS.

Clinical, Education & Health Psychology

Stigma and Disclosure


Knowing whether to conceal or disclose a stigmatised condition for many is a complex decision and can result in substantial stress and distress. The UCL Unit for Stigma Research (UCLUS) has developed interventions designed to support those affected in reaching decisions around potential disclosure of their lived experience in ways that are personally meaningful, safe and empowering.

Read more: UCL PALS Research.