Dr Benjamin Dering


Psychology University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Dr Benjamin Dering

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About me

About me

My PhD thesis focused on face perception, specifically how faces are perceived differently from other objects using event-related potentials (ERPs). ERP technique allows for the mapping of combined neuronal activity over time, building a picture of the brain's first responses to presented stimuli with millisecond precision. Our findings indicate that as early as 100 ms after stimulus presentation, neural responses for faces can be distinct from other object categories.

In 2012 I worked at the Salk institute for biological studies in California, with Dr. Ursula Bellugi on classifying the social phenotype of Williams syndrome (WS), a rare genetic condition caused by a micro-deletion of 25-28 genes on chromosome 7q11.23. Among the multitude of health problems the condition presents with, WS individuals exhibit low IQ scores, poor visuo-spatial abilities, and high frequency hearing loss manifesting as a sensitivity to sound. However, they use language relatively fluently and affectively, have an affinity to music, and are intensely fascinated by faces. Above all, they are characterised by their love of social interaction. Please see the Williams syndrome association's website: http://www.williams-syndrome.org/

After a period of time as a research fellow at the University of Stirling, and Lecturer at Staffordshire University, I returned to Stirling as a Lecturer. My main area of focus since returning to work in Stirling has been the impact of alcohol on the developing brain and subsequently cognition.


My current research focus explores the impact of alcohol on development of the brain, and subsequently cognition, across the lifespan. Within a number of different projects my collaborators, my students, and I are exploring the pathogenic mechanisms of alcohol damage to the brain, the acute and long-term impacts of alcohol-induced memory blackouts, and we are also exploring the impact of alcohol upon visual perception - specifically the interaction between context and vision affected by alcohol.

Outputs (22)



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

Conference Proceeding

Dering B, Hoshino N & Thierry G (2012) N170 Modulation is expertise driven: Evidence from word-inversion effects in speakers of different languages. In: Ojima S, Otsu Y, Connolly J & Thierry G (eds.) Future Trends in the Biology of Language. CARLS Proceedings: Future Trends in the Biology of Language, 7. Future Trends in the Biology of Language 2011, Keio University, Japan, 09.03.2011-10.03.2011. Tokyo: Keio University. http://www.keio-up.co.jp/np/isbn/9784766419269/



I am lead supervisor for currently 4 PhD projects investigating alcohol, memory, and visual perception, and supervise 2 other PhD students as a 2nd supervisor.

I also supervise student research projects at undergraduate and masters levels, and give lectures across a range of postgraduate modules. I have coordinated a number of psychology modules, specifically:

2020/21: Module Coordinator for PSYU9A4: Brain & Behaviour: Clinical Perspectives

2015/16-2019/20: Module coordinator PSYU917: Psychology Dissertation project; PSYU9RP: Psychology and Biology Dissertation Project

2017/18-2019/20: Module coordinator for PSYU918: Joint Honours research project in psychology

2015/16 - 2017/18: Module coordinator for PSYU9X7, PSYU9Y7, PSYU9X8, PSYU9Y8: Psychology elective classes

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