Bronagh McCoy bm551@cam.ac.uk

bm551@cam.ac.uk

Position

Research Associate

Affiliation

Psychology

Keywords

Cognitive Neuroscience, Reinforcement Learning, Computational Psychiatry, Decision Making, Vision

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Prediction and Learning lab, led by principal investigator Dr. Rebecca Lawson.

My primary research interest is in reinforcement learning in uncertain environments, i.e., how people learn from positive and negative feedback under changeable conditions, and how this can be altered in disease and disorder. I use Bayesian computational methods to analyze participant responses in reinforcement learning tasks, combined with eye tracking, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of concurrent brain activity, and pharmacology, to understand uncertainty processing in adults with autism and anxiety. I carried out my PhD research at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the [Cognitive Psychology lab(https://www.vupsy.nl/) of Prof. Jan Theeuwes, where I investigated the computational and neural basis of reward influences on perception, using computational modelling, fMRI and pharmacological methods in both healthy adults and adults with Parkinson’s disease. I completed my honours BSc in Applied Physics at Dublin City University, Ireland. After working for several years as a financial IT consultant in RBS bank in London, I moved to Nijmegen, The Netherlands to complete my MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at Radboud University. My MSc project was on brain representations of visual mental imagery at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, in Prof. Floris de Lange’s Predictive Brain lab.

© 2021 StepWide

avatar

StepWideStepWide showcases the profiles of early career cis and trans women researchers from the University of Cambridge, UK.



You can perform a query by List View, Categories and Keywords. You can click in any of the research categories and subcategories below to retrieve
a subset of researchers with expertise on the field. The List View will show you a list of the researchers in the website and the researcher categories
linked to each one of them. Alternatively, view all the keywords linked to the researchers by looking into the Keywords.
Click on any of the researchers to see a full description of their profiles.

Contact

Add your profile to the site

If you are an early career cis and trans woman researcher from the University of Cambridge or affiliated institutes, you can add your profile to the site. Fill in this form and we will be in touch.

For anything else, don’t hesitate to reach out by emailing us stepwide.cam@gmail.com.

About

This website

This website showcases the profiles of early career cis and trans women researchers from the University of Cambridge, UK, and affiliated institutions. It originated as part of StepWide, a leadership programme that aims to support the next generation of female researchers.

We hope that by making the expertise and stories of early career women researchers more visible (and searchable!), will highlight how much they contribute to the research that is done in the University and affiliated institutions.

Who is it for

This website is designed for a wide audience, be it other researchers looking for particular expertise for a collaboration; the media looking for experts; those that are simply curious about what type of research is done in Cambridge, or those trying to get a clearer idea of what a ‘typical’ woman researcher in this years old institution does (there is no ‘typical’!).

The StepWide programme

StepWide was designed by 3 postdocs at Cambridge (see below for more on Marta, Laura and Cemre). It aims to support female postdoctoral researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, from any discipline, who feel that taking a step into leadership is not for them. The programme is designed to suit both early and more senior postdocs, providing them with the skills to challenge the current ideas of what a leader is, learn how to raise their public profiles, as well as a close and supportive network of peer-to-peer female postdocs.

StepWide ran for the first time in 2019/2021. We will post updates here when applications open for its next run.

Founders

Laura, Marta and Cemre (left to right on the photo) met at The Postdocs of Cambridge (PdOC) Society, at the University of Cambridge, UK. When the Researcher Development (RD) Pitch Competition was announced in late 2018, they felt this provided the ideal opportunity to work together to develop a leadership programme for women postdocs. They saw a gap in the current leadership RD provision, with a lack of opportunities that challenge current leadership views. Their proposal was successful and obtained funding for a one year pilot, giving rise to the StepWide programme.

Laura Fachal is a Senior Staff Scientist at Wellcome Sanger Institute. She earned her BS in Veterinary, MSc in Biotechnology and PhD from University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. She completed her postdoc at the Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, University of Cambridge. She is also a Research Associate at Lucy Cavendish College.

Marta Costa is a Senior Research Associate at the Department of Zoology. She did her undergrad in Biology in Lisbon, Portugal, followed by an MSc in Neuroscience at UCL in London. She then moved to Cambridge for her PhD, followed by a postdoc. She is also a Research Associate at Lucy Cavendish College.

Cemre Ustunkaya was a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. She earned her BSc in Biological Science, followed by an MSc in Archaeometry at Middle East Technical University, Turkey. She later moved to Australia for her PhD in Archaeology at The University of Queensland. She is also a postdoc affiliate at Newnham College.

Funding

Thanks and funding

StepWide was funded by the Researcher Development Pitch Competition which included support from the Researcher Development Programme, The Postdocs of Cambridge (PdOC) Society, the Postdoc Academy, the Postdoc Chairs’ Network and the Careers Service at the University of Cambridge. We are very thankful for their support. We would also like to thank Alba Gómez for her expert support with the first version of the website, and to Arian Jamasb for redesigning and implementing the newest version of this website. Finally, we thank Natacha Wilson and Rebecca Nestor for the advice and support they provided for the development of the workshops.

Social Links