Art, Cognition/Creativity and Emotion Research Group (ACErg)

About us

We are an interdisciplinary team of psychologists and neuroscientists investigating several aspects of our aesthetics experiences with art, creativity and problem-solving responses to everyday problems, as well as emotions and empathic responses in social environments. The group's researchers cast aside the traditional dichotomy between internal (cognitive/neural) and external factors (social/environmental) that has artificially constrained the development of research and insight in how cognition and action are reciprocally determined.

The research group has published over 100 research articles in refereed journals, is currently home to PhD students and has attracted substantial research funding from both the private and public sector.

The group's research toolkit includes a wide range of equipment. Research is conducted through an extensive network of collaborating institutions and in the department, which houses purpose-built laboratories.

Current projects

  • Aesthetic experiences with visual art and music
  • Creativity, problem solving and serendipity
  • Emotion processing and empathy
  • Memory and curiosity
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Socio-affective responses
  • Face recognition and trustworthiness


PhD students

  • Beren Barklam
  • Wendy Ross

Past PhD students

  • Angela Medvedeva
  • Rose Turner

Representative publications