Clea Desebrock

Stipendiary Lecturer

My research has two main threads: self-representation and social biases in (multisensory) perception and action; and adolescent wellbeing and mental health. I am currently working on new research at the intersection of these areas. Alongside self-representation, I have interests in anxiety and autistic cognition. I have extensive experience in patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) and co-production. I am passionate about public outreach and laying the groundwork for co-developing interventions and applications in wellbeing and mental health.

My research methodologies draw on techniques from cognitive, social, and developmental psychology, social neuroscience, and psychophysics (e.g., mental chronometry, surveys, and previously, EEG, tDCS), and involve both quantitative and qualitative research. I also use multisensory tasks (i.e. using audiovisual stimuli) to investigate social biases impacting both audition and vision.

At Somerville, I teach the undergraduate prelim course in Psychology (subjects including: developmental psychology, sensory processes and perception, social psychology, psychobiology, and cognitive psychology) and on the Psychology for Medicine course.

I completed my DPhil in Experimental Psychology at Oxford in 2022, and went on to join Somerville College as lecturer in Experimental Psychology, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in adolescent mental health (University of Reading). Prior to my DPhil, I worked as a Research Assistant in stroke research at the Cognitive Neuropsychology Centre (CNC), and as a Laboratory Demonstrator in Neuroanatomy and Perception, at the Department of Experimental Psychology. I also have a background in music and sound production, and alongside my academic research have engineered and consulted on sound for departmental academic research projects, as well as co-developed evidence-based music-, art-, and video-based ‘wellbeing tools’ to support adolescent mental health.


Selected Publications

Keil, J., Barutchu, A., Desebrock, C., & Spence, C. (2023). More of me: Self-prioritization of numeric stimuli. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

Desebrock, C., Barutchu, A., & Spence, C. (2022). The influence of empathy and perceived closeness on self- and friend-biases in arm-movements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

Desebrock, C., Spence. C., & Barutchu, A. (2022). Self-prioritization with unisensory and multisensory stimuli in a matching task. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics.

Desebrock, C., & Spence. C. (2021). The Self-Prioritization Effect: Self-referential processing in movement highlights modulation at multiple stages. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 83(6), 2656-2674 

Graven, T., & Desebrock, C. (2021). Touching and hearing the shapes: How auditory angular and curved sounds influence proficiency in recognising tactile angle and curve shapes when experienced and inexperienced in using haptic touch. British Journal of Visual Impairment.

Graven, T., & Desebrock, C. (2019). Investigating the effect of visual imagery and learning shape-audio regularities on bouba and kiki. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 151. e59954

Desebrock, C. (2019). The power of our names, faces, and the Self-Reference Effect: is there more than meets the eye? The Quarterly, 111, 17-19

Desebrock, C., Sui, J., & Spence, C. (2018). Self-reference in action: Arm-movement responses are enhanced in perceptual matching. Acta Psychologica, 190, 258-266.

Graven, T., & Desebrock, C. (2018). Bouba or kiki with and without vision: Shape-audio regularities and mental images. Acta Psychologica, 188, 200-212.

Desebrock, C., Sui, J., & Spence, C. (2016). The power of self-reference in action: Prioritized processing of self-relevant stimuli extends from perception to response execution. Perception, 45, 65-66.

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