Dr Ailsa Millen

Lecturer in Psychology

Psychology University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Dr Ailsa Millen

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About me

About me

I am an ESRC fellow and Principal Investigator (PI) on The ConFace Project : Identifying Novel Markers of Concealed Face Recognition (ES/R008744/1, www.conface.org). The aim of the project is to advance our understanding of how our brains recognise faces. The practical aim of this project is to find ways to help police detect lies about face recognition. The focus of the research is on recognising faces and detecting that recognition, rather than detecting lies more generally.

Early Career Research and Teaching Fellow, 2016-2018

PhD in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Portsmouth International Research Center in Forensic Psychology (IRCFP). Faculty of Science Scholarship, 2009-2015

BSc Hons Psychology (1st Class) at University of Stirling, 1999-2003

In between my undergraduate and doctoral research, I worked as a assistant on projects in cognitive and computational neuroscience (Stirling, Glasgow and Strathclyde), social learning in humans (Stirling), developmental psychology (Stirling) and investigative interviewing (Aberdeen).

Research (1)

I am a cognitive psychologist interested in memory and attention. I investigate attentional orienting effects and their potential for detecting memory in the absence of convert recognition (i.e., concealed recognition, prosopagnosia, amnesia). I have a special interest in face recognition, and I pioneer novel approaches for the detection of concealed recognition (e.g., lying about recognising someone or something you know). I’m also exploring the potential for novel neurocomputing technologies to model interactions between brain signals relating to memory and deception.

My current ESRC grant seeks to identify novel approaches to detecting concealed face recognition when a person denies recognising someone they know. I combine methodologies to identify objective evidence of face recognition to better understand how our brains recognise faces. I test the robustness of these signals for recognition detection when (i) familiarity varies and (ii) individuals use strategies to conceal their recognition (countermeasures).

My research interests span: visual attention, visual perception, recognition memory (faces, objects, scenes), associative memory, episodic memory, deception, memory confidence, metacognition, metacognitive strategies, cognitive neuroscience, neurocomputing, human learning and developmental psychology.

I am a member and leader of the Cognition in Complex Environments Research Group in Stirling (CoRGiS). I am also a member of the Stirling Vision and Image Processing Group (SVIP). I am a chartered member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) where I am registered with the cognitive psychology, defense and security psychology and psycholobiology sections.


Identifying novel markers of concealed face recognition
PI: Dr Ailsa Millen
Funded by: Economic and Social Research Council

Outputs (13)



Ebersole CR, Mathur MB, Baranski E, Bart-Plange D, Buttrick NR, Chartier CR, Corker KS, Corley M, Hartshorne JK, IJzerman H, Lazarevic LB, Rabagliati H, Dering B, Hancock PJB & Millen A (2020) Many Labs 5: Testing Pre-Data-Collection Peer Review as an Intervention to Increase Replicability. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 3 (3), pp. 309-331. https://doi.org/10.1177/2515245920958687


Colling LJ, Szűcs D, De Marco D, Cipora K, Ulrich R, Nuerk H, Soltanlou M, Bryce D, Chen S, Schroeder PA, Henare DT, Chrystall CK, Hancock PJB, Millen AE & Langton SR (2020) A multilab registered replication of the attentional SNARC effect. [Registered Replication Report on Fischer, Castel, Dodd, and Pratt (2003).]. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 3 (2), pp. 143-162. https://doi.org/10.1177/2515245920903079



Cognitive Psychology Statistics for Individual Differences in Psychology Individual Differences Online Teaching Student-led electives (module creator and facilitator) Undergraduate project supervision (Single and Joint Honours) Masters project supervision Masters research placement supervision MSc Research Methods


Recognising and Advancing Teaching Excellence (RATE) Award scheme

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