Our Research

Our research aims to build resilience in women who've been diagnosed with primary as well as secondary breast cancer. 

Using a range of neuroscientific and cognitive methods, BRiC conducts cutting edge research to reduce the psychological impact of diagnosis and treatment and boost resilience in women who've been diagnosed with breast cancer. Based on evidence that impairments in cognitive flexibility and attentional control can enhance emotional vulnerability to anxiety and depression, BRiC's research attempts to underpin neurocognitive mechanisms behind emotional vulnerability in breast cancer. Capitalising on recent advances in affective neuroscience, our research targets those mechanisms through reliable adaptive cognitive control training interventions, to boost resilience, enhance brain function and processing efficiency, improving cognitive and emotional health. It is amongst BRiC's missions to examine how neurocognitive training interventions can aid in the efficacy of treatments such as mindfulness and CBT that rely on processing efficiency.

News!! Check out our recent publication, "Training Cognitive Control to Reduce Emotional Vulnerability in Breast Cancer" in Psycho-oncology. Here’s a preview.  And more. !! 

Our research team:

Professor Nazanin Derakshan (Head of the team) specialises in neurocognitive markers of anxiety and depressive vulnerability to develop neurocognitive interventions that promote cognitive efficiency, psychological flexibility and resilience

Professor Beth Grunfeld specialises in psycho-social oncology and the psychosocial outcomes following diagnosis and treatment (mainly among patients with benign and non-benign lesions) and on the development of interventions to support patients.

Professor Jason Moser is a clinical neuroscientist and specialises in the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying our ability to regulate cognition, emotion and behaviour, and their clinical significance in terms of their roles in the development, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety and depression. 

Jessica Swainston: is a PhD student funded by the ESRC. She investigates the neurocognitive markers of cognitive function and emotional vulnerability in breast cancer as well as the efficacy of neurocognitive interventions in reducing emotional vulnerability in breast cancer, independently and in combination with other more traditional methods of psychotherapy such as expressive writing and mindfulness meditation.

Bethany Chapman: is a PhD student funded by the ESRC. She is pursuing research into the neurocognitive mechanisms of processing efficiency in breast cancer and is assessing the efficacy of neurocognitive interventions in helping survivors of breast cancer return to work and sustain performance efficiency and effectiveness in the work place.

Samantha Shulman (past MSc student): is examining the efficacy of neurocognitive interventions on everyday memory, attention and cognitive function in women with breast cancer.

Narges Azizi (past MSc student): is investigating the nature of intrusions in women with a history of breast cancer and their effects on everyday attention and memory.