Adolescent Depression Network

Charlotte Booth recently attended a meeting in Berlin on Adolescent Depression with fellow experts from around the world. The Adolescent Depression Research Network was started in 2019 to initiate a collaboration of innovative research projects that tackle this important topic. Watch this space!


Improving Psychological Science

Sam Parsons recently attended the 2019 meeting of the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Sam co-led an unconference session on measurement error, in which participants discussed how we can improve our measurement practices. In another exciting session, participants discussed how we can promote the teaching of open and reproducible research practices and better support teachers. Watch this space for more teaching news!

Making Waves in Boston

Earlier this year in March 2019, the OCEAN Lab attended the Society for Affective Science Annual Meeting in Boston to present some of the latest research from the CogBIAS project. Sam Parsons spread the word on a longitudinal network approach, Annabel Songco talked about the role of negative biases on worry over time, and Maud Grol shared some insights on un-healthy eating habits. A great conference and looking forward to next year!


Successful Year of Conferences

At the OCEAN Lab we have enjoyed a successful year of conferences in 2018 and presented our research to colleagues around the world.  In April, many of us attended the Society for Affective Science (SAS) conference in Los Angeles, California. Annabel Songco, Sam Parsons, Charlotte Booth, and Maud Grol each presented a different aspect of the CogBIAS project (pictured below).  In April, Maud presented at the Consortium of European Research on Emotion (CERE) in Glasgow, Scotland. In June, Sam presented at the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  In July, Sam presented at the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) in Glasgow, Scotland.  In July, Elaine gave a keynote address at the European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (ESCAN) in Leiden, Netherlands.  Annabel also presented at the same conference in Leiden.  In September, Annabel took part in a symposium on anxiety and cognitive biases at the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EABCT) in Sofia, Bulgaria.


PhD Theses Submitted!

We recently celebrated the hand in of Annabel Songco, Charlotte Booth, and Emilia Boehm’s PhD theses. Pictured below at Exeter college in view of the stunning Radcliffe camera. Annabel and Charlotte will be continuing their work on the CogBIAS longitudinal study, writing up research papers on this rich data-set, which includes three time points of adolescent development. Watch this space!


“I’m a Researcher, Get me out of here!”

While some of the OCEAN Lab hosted a games stall “Do you see what I see?” on Broad Street, our own Sam Parsons was participating in the live final of “I’m a Researcher, Get me out of here!” During the event, students and their parents were able to interact with the 5 researchers that had won the most votes throughout September and ask their questions in person. We had lively conversations about how our research gets published, what our most exciting findings were, and how our research can help the world. Congratulations to Priyanka Dhopade who won and donated the winnings to a charity that works towards encouraging girls into STEM subjects. Although Sam didn’t achieve the winning vote, he is keen to follow on from “I’m a Researcher” and continue his blog/podcast regularly to answer more students questions and to talk about the realities of being a researcher.

Find out more on his blog post here…


Fun day at the Curiosity Carnival!

The OCEAN Lab had a fantastic time at the Curiosity Carnival, which took place on Friday 29th September 2017. Maud Grol, Annabel Songco, and Charlotte Booth took to the streets of Oxford to showcase the labs research and speak to the public about cognitive biases. They hosted a games stall on Broad street, which was called “Do you see what I see?” and included three different games to introduce the concepts of i) attention bias, ii) interpretation bias and iii) memory bias. The attention bias game required groups of the public to find the happy or angry “face in the crowd” on specially made posters as fast as they could. The interpretation bias game asked people to imagine a picture in their head associated with a list of ambiguous words, after which they were shown pictures to represent the different interpretations people have. For example the word “Bark” – could be interpreted as either tree bark (neutral interpretation) or dog bark (threatening interpretation). The memory bias game involved showing people a poster with many different healthy and unhealthy foods for 30 seconds, after which they were asked to write down as many items as they could remember. Remembering more of one category would indicate a bias towards healthy or unhealthy foods. The games were very well received and introduced the idea that we all see the world differently, as we all have filters or biases in our cognition. This sparked many interesting discussions on why we develop these biases and under which conditions these might be helpful or sometimes unhealthy. All in all, It was a truly fascinating event and great opportunity to share scientific research with the public. Looking forward to the next one!


Upcoming Curiosity Carnival

On the 29th September 2017 the streets and museums of Oxford will be bustling with activity for the Curiosity Carnival, which is an exciting opportunity for the public to engage with Oxford scientists from all disciplines. The University of Oxford was ranked top for world-leading research in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF, 2014). The Curiosity Carnival will be a chance to meet these world-class researchers and hear about their fascinating research in a slightly different way – through games stalls, live experiments, and snappy to-the-point talks. The OCEAN Lab will be presenting a games stall on Broad Street, which will include fun games to engage the public with getting to know their own cognitive biases. Come down to check us out – our event is FREE to attend!

Find out more…

Oxford Town and Gown 10k

This year the OCEAN Lab participated in the Oxford 10k Town and Gown race, which is an annual event that raises money in aid of the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK. The ‘OCEAN’s Eleven’ team did a fantastic job on the day, navigating the 10km route around the scenic parks and rivers of Oxford. Well done to those who beat their personal bests! A great team effort for an amazing cause!

Find out more…


MQ: Transforming Mental Health

Elaine Fox, Sam Parsons, and Annabel Songco presented at MQ’s Annual Science Meeting, which was held in London in February 2017. The two day event brought together leading experts from across the world of mental health research, from a diverse range of disciplines, to discuss how innovative research can drive improvements to outcomes and inform policy to bring about changes. It was an inspiring event with valuable insights into the latest developments in mental health research.

Find out more…