Dr Ward joined Middlesex University in September 2013. Prior to this she was based at the University of York (2012-2013), and completed her PhD on the distinction between explicit and implicit memory at University College London (2009-2012).
BSc, MSc, PhD, PGCHE
I welcome enquires from prospective PhD students with an interest in undertaking research on memory or cognitive aging. Of particular interest are topics around explicit (conscious, declarative) and implicit (unsoncsious, nondeclarative) memory, including changes in these forms of memory with age. I'm also interested in memory processing, and the effects of attention, processing style, context, and temporal expectation. I traditionally use experimental behavioural measures but have conducted studies using EEG in collaboration with colleagues in the department.
MSc by Research in Cognitve Neuroscience:
Operated through the Jones, Silas, & Ward Lab, we welcome enquiries from prospective students. Broad staff expertise and techniques mean that a range of topics are possible. Further information here.
Current & Past Research Students:
Director of Studies for PhD student Maryam Al-Abdulla (Effects of aging and processing style on priming and recognition)
Director of Studies for MSc by Research student Nicola Lloyd (Effects of temporal structure on item and source recognition)
Director of Studies for MSc by Research student Petter Moller (Effects of temporal structure on recognition in aging) (Completed 2021)
Supervisory panel for PhD student Murad Alis (A User-guided Personalization Methodology for New Smart Homes) (Completed 2022)
PSY3036 Fundamentals of Cognition: Human Memory
PSY2013 Biological and Cognitive Psychology
PSY3330 Psychology Dissertation
My research surrounds human memory and cognitive aging. I am particularly interested in the relationship between explicit (e.g., recognition) and implicit (e.g., priming) memory, and the effect of aging on these forms of memory.
I am also interested in factors that affect memory processing, including incidental versus intentional encoding, attention, processing style, context reinstatement, and temporal expectation. I primarily use experimental behavioural methods to address mechanistic questions about the operations of memory, but have recently begun to employ EEG in collaboration with colleagues in the department to examine the neural basis of the beneficial effect of rhythm on memory.
Enquiries from potential PhD or MSc by research applicants who wish to undertake research in one of these areas are welcome.
Current and recent projects:
REF2021 Deputy Coordinator for UoA4
Middlesex Psychology Department Leadership Team: Director of Research, 2017-Present
External Examiner, Second Year BSc Psychology, UCL, 2019-2022
Member of the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS)
Member of the European Cognitive Aging Society (EUCAS)
Specialist journal reviewer: Psychology and Aging; Memory; Journal of Alzheimer's disease; Memory and Cognition; Frontiers in Psychology; Journal of Memory and Language; Nature Scientific Reports
Associate Editor, Frontiers in Cognition (2014-2016)
Review Editor , Frontiers in Psychology, Psychology of Aging (2021-Present)
Mangiacotti, Anthony and Cipriani, Giovanna and Ward, Emma V. and Franco, Fabia and Biasutti, Michele (2023) Development and validation of the Music Cognitive Test: a music-based cognitive screening test. Psychology of Music , 51 (2). pp. 373-394. ISSN 0305-7356
Ali, Murad and Augusto, Juan Carlos and Windridge, David and Ward, Emma V. (2022) A user-guided personalization methodology to facilitate new smart home occupancy. Universal Access in the Information Society . ISSN 1615-5289 (Published online first)
Jones, Alexander and Ward, Emma V. and Csiszer, Enida and Szymczak, Joanna (2022) Temporal expectation improves recognition memory for spatially attended objects. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience . ISSN 0898-929X (Accepted/In press)
Ward, Emma V. (2022) Age and processing effects on perceptual and conceptual priming. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology . ISSN 1747-0218 (Published online first)
Pearce, Danielle and Gould, Rebecca L. and Roughley, Matthew and Reynolds, Gemma and Ward, Emma V. and Bhome, Rohan and Reeves, Suzanne J. (2022) Paranoid and misidentification subtypes of psychosis in dementia. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews , 134 . pp. 1-11. ISSN 0149-7634
£10k (PI: Ward, E.V.). 2020-2021. Experimental Psychology Society. Effects of aging and temporal expectation on memory: An EEG study.
£48.5k (PI: Ward, E.V.). 2020-2021. Leverhulme Trust, Leverhulme Research Fellowship. Does explicit memory decline in normal aging?
€48,000 (PI: Ward, E.V., Co-I’s: Jones, A., Silas, J.). 2019-2021. BIAL Foundation. Does rhythm enhance recognition memory? Evidence from behaviour and electroencephalography.
£3,500 (PI: Ward, E.V.). 2018. Experimental Psychology Society, Small Grants Scheme. Explicit and implicit memory across the lifespan.
£2,821 (PI: Mangiacotti, A. Padua; Co-I’s: Franco, F., Ward, E.V.). 2018. SEMPRE. The Musical Cognitive Test.
£1,800 (PI: Ward, E.V.). 2016. Experimental Psychology Society, Research Bursary Scheme. Effects of attention and processing style on explicit and implicit memory in normal aging.
2008-2012: ESRC 1+3 Studentship. Effects of age on implicit memory: Implications for single and multiple-systems theories.
I am a keen advocate of science communication, open science and public engagement. I have an ongoing partnership with the University of the Third Age (U3A), for which I regularly deliver public lectures and workshops, and recently won a competitive 6-week research residency at the Science Museum, London, gaining covering in the Guardian and on the BBC.
Public lectures/workshops: Ward, E.V. (2019). Memory preservation and enhancement over the lifespan. Workshop with the U3A. Ward, E.V. (2017). Memory matters: Aspects of preservation and enhancement. Invited public lecture at U3A Barnet. Blog post.
Media Coverage: The Guardian; BBC Turkey
Residency at the Science Museum, London (Oct-Nov 2018): How much of what we see do we remember?’ PI: Ward, E.V., Co-I: Shanks, D.R. (UCL); Berry, C.J. (Plymouth).
Residency at the Science Museum, South Kensington (2018): How much of what we see do we remember?). Funded by the Experimental Psychology Society Small Grants Scheme, this project examined changes in different kinds of memory over the lifespan, and engaged over 1000 members of the public aged between 12 and 82 years. The project gained coverage in The Guardian, on BBC Turkey, and on social media (>5000 YouTube views)
Partnership with the University of the Third Age (U3A) (2012-Present): Regular public lectures and workshops to groups across London, focusing on memory support and strategies. See here a blog post written by the host of one of my lectures at U3A Barnet. In 2019 we established a Memorandum of Understanding between the U3A Hampstead Garden Suburb and Middlesex for a regular Psychology Seminar Series featuring sessions from myself and other departmental staff for U3A members in exchange for careers mentoring for our final year undergraduate psychology students.