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

About us

We are an interdisciplinary team of psychologists from different areas, audio-visual artists, and neuroscientists investigating several aspects of human behaviour: from empirical aesthetics and creativity through to neuro- and cognitive processing, extending to emotion and perception in social environments. The wide range of studies we develop in our laboratories allows us to cast aside the dichotomy between internal and external factors (environmental, cultural and neurocognitive) that constrained interdisciplinary research in the past. The research group has published a wide range of multidisciplinary studies in refereed national and international journals and book chapters, has organised meetings and small art exhibitions, and has a thriving group of PhD students.

Our purpose-built laboratories employ a wide range of equipment and methodologies (Biofeedback recorders, EEG, Eye-trackers, tDCS, Observation Labs, and assorted software) and research is also conducted through an extensive network of collaborating institutions.


PhD students

Research topics

For details of each of the topics currently being investigated in our laboratories, check the individual pages of our members.

  • Art and empirical aesthetics (e.g. visual art, music, literature)
  • Behavioural finance (e.g. financial decisions, investments and trading
  • Cognition (e.g. memory, vision, perception)
  • Creativity, curiosity and serendipity
  • Decision making and thinking (e.g. decisions-from-experience, learning, description-experience gap).
  • Emotions, empathy and mindreading (e.g. attachment, pet ownership, Theory of Mind in adults)
  • Empathy and Theory of Mind
  • Face recognition (collaboration, trust, cheating and deception)
  • Neurocognition (e.g. hemineglect, dementia, schizophrenia)
  • Warning labels and disclaimers

Research funding

  • Senior Research Advancement Fund, £5,000 (SRAF 2021): Enhancing learning with educational audiobooks. Fatima M Felisberti
  • Covid-19 Research 2020 – "Recall of handwashing behaviour in hazardous scenarios", £5,000. Fatima M Felisberti
  • CResCID 2021 grant – "Individual differences affecting dynamic emotion authenticity perception". Mircea Zloteanu & Fatima M Felisberti
  • Marie Skodowska-Curie Horizon 2020 grant, £22,000 – "Quality of experience management in emerging multimedia services". Fatima M Felisberti
  • British Academy Small Research Grant. Giulia Galli
  • CResCID 2021 grant – "Individual differences affecting dynamic emotion authenticity perception". Mircea Zloteanu
  • CResCID grant, Kingston University, £2,785 - project title: 'The effects of social rejection on sense of agency and cognitive control dysregulation in clinical and subclinical anorexia nervosa'. Cristina Martinelli
  • Kingston University 1st Grant Scheme, £9,961- project title: 'Sensing your body when overating: interoception and disordered eating in the general population'. Cristina Martinelli
  • SPSP Small Research Grant 2021, US$1,500. "Status competition in the workplace: Investigating the relationship between organizational inequality and women's self-sexualization". Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Amanda Rotella
  • Early Career Researcher Grant, £4,000."The role of reputation in sequential moral decisions: A meta-analysis of the moral cleaning, moral licensing, foot-in-the-door, and door-in-the-face effects"; Kingston University School of Law, Social & Behavioural Sciences. Amanda Rotella
  • Senior Research Advancement Grant, £10,000). "Promoting COVID-19 vaccination among hesitant demographic groups: Moral obligation, threats to autonomy, and perceived legitimacy of public health recommendations". [co-PI] Amanda Rotella
  • NCH-NU Research and Learning Development Initiative Grant, US$10,000: Effects of trading frequency and patterns using a simulated realistic stock market trading engine. Leonardo Weiss-Cohen
  • BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, £9,500: Researching a gambling warning label's effect on betting behaviour. Manuscript under review at Lancet Public Health. Leonardo Weiss-Cohen
  • ING ThinkForward Initiative, €9,100: How to empower people to make better financial decisions. Published in JEP:A. Leonardo Weiss-Cohen

Representative publications


Research Group open forum (online)

  • Wednesdays, 4 to 4.30pm (fortnightly/monthly): talks, presentations and discussions on diverse topics, from experimental findings to drafts of grant proposals and experimental designs. Please contact for a link.

Faculty talks

  • 03/2021. Talk by E Beren Barklam: FARO Series - "Pet Ownership and Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic"
  • 01/2020. Talk by Dr Beatriz Calvo-Merino (City University): "Embodied perception: the influence of sensorimotor expertise in action, emotion and aesthetic processing".
  • 02/2020. Talk by Dr Fatima M Felisberti: "Emotions, mental imagery and aesthetic experiences with music and visual art".