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SASHlab updates

Outreach activities at Midlands Science

Sleep- something we all need! But how much do we actually know about it? As part of the 2016 Science Week, Dr. Ann-Marie Creaven was invited to speak at a Midlands Science event titled “While you were sleeping: The science of sleep.” Ann-Marie joined Dr. Craig Slattery, lecturer in pharmacology at UCD, and Dr. Silke Ryan, consultant in sleep medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital, to provide a psychologists’ perspective on sleep and sleep disorders. The event took place at the Little Theatre in Athlone and concluded with an interactive panel discussion with the audience. Thanks to the Midlands Science team for hosting an excellent event!

New publication: Individual differences and habituation to acute stress

Lab member Eoin Brown recently published his paper examining how performance feedback and self-esteem influence cardiovascular habituation to repeat stress exposure. The findings of this study suggest that negative performance feedback sensitizes cardiovascular reactivity to stress, whereas positive performance feedback enhances both cardiovascular and psychological habituation to recurring stressors. Additionally, an individual’s level of self-esteem appears to impact upon this process. (

Please have a look at the paper for yourself: Brown, E. G., & Creaven, A.-M. (2016). Performance feedback, self-esteem, and cardiovascular adaptation to recurring stressors. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 1-14.

Health Research Institute Seminar Series

SASHLab members also attended a talk delivered by Prof. David French of Manchester Health Psychology on increasing physical activity in older adults. There were lots of take home messages for the next steps in research in this area: interventions for young adults don’t work well for older adults – older adults are interested in enjoying activities, not in PA for the sake of PA – and more research on low SES groups is needed. Thanks to the HRI for hosting this excellent talk.

Upcoming events:

Our very talented PhD student Grace McMahon is making her own steps in the media world. Among her busy schedule and her hectic daily routine she has also started her very own blog. The blog documents Grace’s journey through her PhD and the challenges and tasks she faces. The blog gives individuals an insight into her world while also giving individuals tips and advice to try and manage their stress. The blog is also useful for those who are considering doing a PhD in psychology as it gives an insight into what is involved.

Click on the link below to read the full blog from Grace.

Also, SASHLab members are looking forward to the Psychology Health and Medicine Conference hosted at RCSI next Friday. See you there!

Welcome to our new research intern, Alanna O' Connor

We are very happy to welcome our new co-op student Alanna who will be working beside Dr. Ann-Marie Creaven and Dr. Stephen Gallagher this semester. Alanna, who is currently in her second year in college studying Psychology and Sociology, will gain a vast amount of experience in health research while on her Coop in the Psychology Department.

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