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Staff Profile For Dr Peter Etchells

Senior Lecturer in Biological Psychology. School of Society, Enterprise and Environment.

BSc(Hons) [University of Bristol], MSc [University of Bristol], PhD [University of Bristol].

Personal Statement:

My current research interests lie in understanding the short- and long-term behavioural effects of playing video games. I'm also interested in the interaction between scientists and the media, and particularly how scientific research (for example, about video games) gets picked up in the mainstream news. I coordinate the science blogs network for the Guardian, where I also write the psychology blog Head Quarters.

Previously, I received a first-class BSc in Psychology from Bristol in 2006, followed by a Masters in Research Methods the year after. The dissertations for both of these degrees looked at how motion information is (or isn't) used during visual search. I completed a PhD in 2011 under the supervision of Dr Chris Benton, Professor Iain Gilchrist and Dr Casimir Ludwig. My thesis looked at how the human visual system uses velocity information about a moving target when generating orienting saccadic eye movements. Following that, I worked as a post-doctoral research assistant in the Bristol Vision Institution Motion Laboratory (M-Lab) with Professor Ian Penton-Voak, Dr Andrew Clark and Dr Jeremy Burn. The project looked at biomechanical, social and evolutionary factors that underpin the perception of attractiveness and personality in human gait.

Professional Qualifications:

Fellow, HEA

Membership of Professional Bodies/Subject Associations:

Member, Association of British Science Writers
Life member, Applied Vision Association

Teaching Specialism:

Biological Psychology
Science communication/science writing

Key Publications/Exhibitions/Performances:


Howell, E. C. , Etchells, P. J. and Penton-Voak, I. S. (2012). The sexual overperception bias is associated with sociosexuality. Personality and Individual Differences. 53, 8, 1012-1016.

Etchells, P. J., Benton, C. P., Ludwig, C. J. H., and Gilchrist, I. D. (2011). Testing a simplified method for measuring velocity integration in saccades using a manipulation of target contrast. Frontiers in Perception Science, 2, 115.

Etchells, P. J., Benton, C. P., Ludwig, C. J. H., and Gilchrist, I. D. (2010). The target velocity integration function for saccades. Journal of Vision, 10(6):7, 1-14.

Benton, C. P., Etchells, P. J., Porter, G., Clark, A. P., Penton-Voak, I. S., and Nikolov, S. G. (2007). Turning the other cheek: the viewpoint dependence of facial expression after-effects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 274(1622), 2131-2137.

Conference Abstracts
Duensing, S.J., Heard, P.F., Perks, L., Haigh, S., Etchells, P.J. and Leonards, U. (2009). Eye movements of science centre visitors. Perception, S38, 167-167.

Etchells, P.J., Benton, C.P., Ludwig, C.J.H. and Gilchrist, I.D. (2009). Intercepting moving targets: Estimating motion integration and saccadic dead time. Journal of Vision, 9(8), 428.

Etchells, P.J., Benton, C.P., Ludwig, C.J.H. and Gilchrist, I.D. (2008). Hitting a moving target: interaction between 'when' and 'where' in saccade programming. Perception, S37, 132-132.

Scott-Samuel, N.E., Etchells, P.J. and Leonards, U. (2006). Is visual search more efficient in dynamic environments? Perception, S35, 64-64.

Book Reviews
Etchells, P. (2009). Visual reflections: A perceptual deficit and its implications.Perception, 38(9), 1420-1421.

Etchells, P. (2007). Basic vision: An introduction to visual perception. Perception, 36(1), 161-162.

Other External Roles:

Associate Editor for AIMS Neuroscience
Associate Editor for BMC Psychology
Science blogger for the Guardian
Science blogs network coordinator for the Guardian

Last Updated: 16 June 2015.

This page is created by the above named individual. The views expressed are theirs and are not those of Bath Spa University. BSU is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced.