Principal Investigator

Gina Gina M. Grimshaw, PhD.

Gina has an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Waterloo. After postdoctoral work at the University of California San Diego she became an Associate Professor at California State University San Marcos. Gina moved to Victoria University of Wellington in 2007, and is director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory and an Associate Professor/Reader. Her research has been funded by the Marsden Fund; Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE); National Institute of Mental Health (US); and the Neurological Foundation (NZ).

You can view Gina’s staff profile on the Victoria University of Wellington website here.

Research Fellow

Michael Michael Tooley, PhD.

Michael has been working in the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab since 2008. He recently completed his PhD, which examined emotion regulation and vulnerability to depression. He was particularly interested in psychophysiological and electrophysiological markers of vulnerability and their relationship to cognitive and emotional processes. Michael now works as a neuroscience lab technician, and a teaching fellow for the Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience Masters program at VUW.

Lab Members

32835_gck1116.jpg Amy Walsh, PhD. student 

Amy Walsh was a member of The Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience lab while completing her Masters in Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience in 2009 – 2010. After living in the UK for a few years she came back to the CAN lab to complete her PhD, researching how motivation and reward can improve people’s ability to ignore emotional distractions.

sophie-hedley Sophie Hedley, PhD. student 

Sophie completed her BSC (Hons) in Psychology at Victoria University. She first came into the lab as an honours student in 2013, where she investigated the cognitive biases of interpretation in both language and in faces. She has since returned to the lab to undertake her PhD study broadly in the area of creativity and schizotypy.

kealagh-robinson-print Kealagh Robinson, PhD student 

Kealagh completed both her BSc(Hons) in 2014, and her MSc thesis in 2017, in the CAN Lab. In collaboration with Victoria University of Wellington’s Youth Wellbeing Study, her research uses psychophysiology to understand how adolescents who self-injure respond to stress.

Justin Murphy, PhD Student


Dayna Mercer, MSc Student 

Dayna completed her BSc in Psychology at Victoria University. She first came into the lab as a first year Masters student in the Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience Program where she assisted Thomas Scott-Smith on his Masters thesis. She has since returned to complete her own Masters thesis looking at attentional biases towards appetitive stimuli.

  Kelly Hewitt, MSc Student


Other Lab Members

Lauren Bell, Cathryn Bjarnesen, Andre Botes, Petra Bolitho, Kieran Carnegie, Angus Chapman, Nikki Duff, Shannon Garland Duignan, Rebecca Hamilton, Kelly Hewitt, Line Johansen, Winter Jones, Claire Marsh, Linda Martis, Jeremy Meier, Tawhai Moss, Sophia Noble, Amy O’Connell, Hannah Quigan, Billy Richardson, Anne Rijnink, Elliot Robins, Elisabeth Schrammen, Brendan Sturt, Nurul Zani Soenarsono, Annabelle Wride.

Lab Alumni


Kameron Christopher (2018).

Hazel K. Godfrey (2017). Thesis title: A role for attentional bias in cognitive deficits in chronic pain?

Jessica Clifton (2015). Thesis title: Training the Interpretation of Ambiguity [link]

Michael Tooley (2015). Thesis title: Emotion Regulation and Vulnerability to Depression: A Longitudinal Test of the Diathesis-Stress Model [link]

Julie Anne Séguin (2013). Thesis title: The Effect of Emotion on Time Perception for Complex Visual Stimuli [link]

Master of Science

Daniel Jenkins (2018). Thesis title: Awareness and Integration: Understanding the challenges of inferring multisensory integration outside of awareness

Thomas Scott-Smith (2018). Thesis title: Alcohol and the Dysregulation of Cognitive Control: Exploring the Role of Emotion

Rosanna Ellen Moody (2015). Thesis title: Testing the Asymmetric Inhibition Model: Frontal EEG Asymmetry Does Not Predict Inhibitory Control of Emotional Distractors

Justin Lawrence Murphy (2015). EEG Evidence for the Effective Proactive Control of Emotional Distraction

Adele Hogan (2015). Thesis title: Distortions in Predicted Motion: Pitch and Direction Influence Imagined Speed for a Visual Object during Occlusion [link]

Laura Kranz (2015). Thesis title: Proactive Control of Emotional Distraction: An ERP Investigation [link]

Lisa Michelle Hunkin (2014). Thesis title: Engagement with Angry Faces during Attentional Bias Modification: Insights from the N2pc [link]

Joshua James Foster (2013). Thesis title:  Attention Capture by Angry Faces Depends on the Distribution of Attention [link]

Jessie E. Stewart (2012). Thesis title: Do You Have a “Strict Purse”? The Routes to Meaning in Metaphor [link]

Frances Marie Bryson (2012). Thesis title: The Time-Course of Induced Interpretive Biases in Healthy Individuals Varying in Depressive Symptoms [link]

Hazel K. Godfrey (2011). Thesis title: Conceptual Metaphors of Emotion in Spoken Language: Good Is Up in Semantics and Prosody [link]

Amy Walsh (2010). Thesis title:  Words and Faces on Left and Right: Perceptual Asymmetries as a Marker for SSRI Responsiveness [link]

Megan Humphrey (2009). Thesis title: A Signal Detection Approach to the Perception of Affective Prosody in Anxious Individuals: A Developmental Study  [link]


Ruth Ann Atchley, University of Kansas

David Carmel, University of Edinburgh

Paul Corballis, University of Auckland

Christel Devue, Victoria University of Wellington

Steve Most, University of New South Wales

Mike Nicholls, Flinders University

Sebastian Ocklenburg, Ruhr Universitat Bochum

Jutta Peterburs, University of Muenster