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Dr Naira Taroyan MSc, PhD, PgCert (LTHE)

Senior Lecturer in Psychology


Summary

I started at SHU in 2007 as a lecturer in Psychology. I have PhD in Psychophysiology (1995) and Cognitive Neuroscience (2008).

 

About

I obtained my undergraduate degree in Biology and MSc in Psychophysiology at Yerevan Sate University, Armenia. My PhD work in Visual Psychophysiology was carried out at Moscow State University. After postdoctoral research at Neuroscience Department of Brown University (USA), I worked at the University of Sheffield on psychophysical aspects of Stereo Vision with a subsequent PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience of Dyslexia. I joined Sheffield Hallam University in 2007.

My expertise is in brain-behaviour correlation of human visual perception and cognitive performance. I have always been fascinated in how visual sensory information is processed in our brain, both in norm and pathology.

Particularly, I am interested in behavioural and neurophysiological aspects of stereo and motion perception, visual-spatial attention and other higher level cognitive functions, such as reading.

I investigate the underlying mechanisms of Dyslexia and Alzheimer’s disease using this combined brain/behaviour approach, i.e, by means of recording electrophysiological, such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and event related potentials (ERP), and behavioural (response accuracy, RT) indices of the performance. Using high temporal resolution EEG and ERP methods is particularly useful in these disorders, where deviations in brain function are subtle and often cannot be picked by behavioural techniques. 

I am also interested in hemispheric lateralisation of visual-spatial perception and lexical and non-lexical word processing mechanisms.

I am a member of the British Association of Cognitive Neuroscience (BACN), the International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO) and the Organisation for Human Brain Mapping.

Specialist area of interest

  • perception
  • cognitive neuroscience
  • cognitive psychology
  • lifespan developmental psychology
  • research methods and statistics
  • brain-behaviour correlation of human visual perception and cognitive performance
  • behavioural and neurophysiological aspects of stereo and motion perception, visual-spatial attention and other higher level cognitive functions, such as reading
  • underlying mechanisms of Dyslexia and Alzheimer’s disease 
  • hemispheric lateralisation of visual-spatial perception and lexical and non-lexical word processing mechanisms

Teaching

Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

Social Sciences and Arts

Psychology

MSc Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience

I am a module leader for Perception and Cognition across Lifespan (Level 7) and Electrophysiology (Level 7) modules on MSc Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience course. I am a personal tutor for many PG and UG students from Level 4 to level 7.

Research

I am interested in various cognitive function in norm and abnormality and is passionate about research in using electrical brain activation recordings, such as EEG and ERP. My particular interests include reading, dyslexia, stereovision and motion perception. 

Combined brain-behaviour approach is at the core of my research expertise.

Publications

Journal articles

Soranzo, A., Acaster, S., Taroyan, N., & Reidy, J. (2020). Depth plane separation affects both Lightness Contrast and Assimilation. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 2114. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.02114

Taroyan, N.A., Butnicu, B., Ypsilanti, A., & Overton, P.G. (2020). Individual Differences in Performance Speed Are Associated With a Positivity/Negativity Bias. An ERP and Behavioral Study. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 14, 7. http://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2020.00007

Veltri, T., Taroyan, N., & Overton, P. (2017). Nicotine enhances an auditory Event-Related Potentialcomponent which is inversely related to habituation. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 31 (7), 861-872. http://doi.org/10.1177/0269881117695860

Lethbridge, E., Richardson, P., Reidy, L., & Taroyan, N. (2017). Exploring the Relationship between Callous-Unemotional Traits, Empathy Processing and Affective Valence in a General Population. Europe's Journal of Psychology, 13 (1), 162-172. http://doi.org/10.5964/ejop.v13i1.1179

Taroyan, N. (2015). Seeing is knowing? Visual word recognition in non-dyslexic and dyslexic readers: an ERP study. Visual Cognition, 23 (5), 577-596. http://doi.org/10.1080/13506285.2015.1055852

Taroyan, N.A., Nicolson, R.I., & Buckley, D. (2011). Neurophysiological and behavioural correlates of coherent motion perception in dyslexia. Dyslexia, 17 (3), 282-290. http://doi.org/10.1002/dys.435

Porrill, J., Duke, P.A., Taroyan, N.A., Frisby, J.P., & Buckley, D. (2010). The accuracy of metric judgements : perception of surface normal. Vision Research, 50 (12), 1140-1157. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2010.03.006

Taroyan, N.A., & Nicolson, R.I. (2009). Reading words and pseudowords in dyslexia: ERP and behavioural tests in English-speaking adolescents. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 74 (3), 199-208. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2009.09.001

Taroyan, N. (2007). Behavioural and neurophysiological correlates of dyslexia in the continuous performance task. Clinical Neurophysiology, 118 (4), 845-855.

Taroyan, N.A., Thiyagesh, S., Vigon, L., Buckley, D., Woodruff, P.W.R., Young, C., ... Frisby, J.P. (2004). The effects of ageing on stereopsis - A VEP study. DOCUMENTA OPHTHALMOLOGICA, 108 (3), 185-196.

Vigon, L., Saatchi, R., Mayhew, J.E.W., Taroyan, N.A., & Frisby, J.P. (2002). Effect of signal length on the performance of independent component analysis when extracting the lambda wave. Medical & biological engineering & computing, 40 (2), 260-268. http://doi.org/10.1007/BF02348134

Vigon, L., Saatchi, R., Mayhew, J., Taroyan, N., Frisby, J., Johnston, D., & Pascalis, O. (2000). Independent component analysis of saccade-related electroencephalogram waveforms. ELECTRONICS LETTERS, 36 (12), 1006-1007.

Taroyan, N. (2000). Exploring sequential stereopsis for co-planarity tasks. Vision Research, 40 (24), 3373-3390.

Grigoryan, V.G., Agababyan, A.R., & Taroyan, N.A. (1997). Characteristics of evoked potentials in extra- and introverts in the course of monotonous activity. Psikhologicheskii Zhurnal, 18 (3), 121-125.

Grigoryan, V.G., Agababuan, A.R., Taroyan, N.A., & Arakelyan, A.N. (1996). The individual typological characteristics of computer operators during long-term monotonous activity. Zhurnal Vysshei Nervnoi Deyatelnosti Imeni I.P. Pavlova, 46 (5), 864-865.

Conference papers

Taroyan, N., Acaster, S., Soranzo, A., & Reidy, J. (2019). Behavioural and event-related potential responses to lightness contrast and assimilation. Abstract only. Perception, 48 (S1), 90. http://doi.org/10.1177/0301006618824879

Acaster, S., Soranzo, A., Taroyan, N., & Reidy, J. (2018). ERP responses to stimuli which elicit lightness contrast and assimilation. In 41st European Conference on Visual Perception, Trieste, Italy, 26 August 2018 - 30 August 2018. https://www.ecvp2018.org/

Acaster, S., Soranzo, A., Taroyan, N., & Reidy, J. (2015). The effects of depth separation on lightness contrast and lightness assimilation. In ECVP 2015 ; European Conference on Visual Perception, Liverpool (UK), 23 August 2015 - 27 August 2015. http://ecvp.org/2015/

Taroyan, N.A., Frisby, J.P., & Buckley, D. (1998). Cyclopean and frontoparallel plane equidistance horopters measured with the sequential stereopsis paradigm. PERCEPTION, 27, 106-107.

Theses / Dissertations

Acaster, S. (2018). Behavioural and electrophysiological correlates of lightness contrast and assimilation. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Taroyan, N. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00157

Lethbridge, E.M. (2015). Callous-unemotional trait modulation of the neurological processing of empathy and emotion. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Richardson, P., Reidy, L., & Taroyan, N.

Presentations

Ypsilanti, A., Shaban, U., Darbishire, B., Serby, M., & Taroyan, N. (2018). Choosing your battles: Investigating positivity bias in older adults using a lexical decision task. Presented at: International Federation on Ageing 14th Global Conference, Toronto, Canada

Postgraduate supervision

Naira supervises three PhD students who are carrying out projects in research areas of Reading and Language and Visual Perception.

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