Successful Ageing

elderly group sitting chatting representing  Successful ageing psychology research at the University of Leeds

The Successful Ageing Group has expertise across a spectrum of areas that include (but are not limited to):

Ongoing projects

Below are some of the current research projects being conducted as part of the Successful Ageing group in the School of Psychology.

  • Inducing plasticity in the ageing brain: This project investigates the nature of plasticity (adaptability of neurons) in parietal and frontal brain regions, and how brains stimulation techniques could improve cognition in individuals experiencing cognitive decline. It implements functional near-infra-red spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure brain activity and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to induce plasticity during cognitive tasks.
  • Ageing and working memory: This project looks at how working memory changes across the life-course and considers strategies for better retention of information. The project looks at how re-enactment and/or verbal/written instruction can facilitate learning.
  • The benefits of natural dietary supplements on cognition in ageing: The aim of this research project is to look at how phospholipids can influence memory, attention and information processing in individuals with self-reported memory problems.
  • Ageing and appetite: ongoing research into improving appetite and nutrition in older adults in care homes.
  • Inter-Hemispheric changes in ageing: This project aims to identify changes between hemispheres interactions in older age using EEG and behavioural measures. 

Facilities and Resources

The School of Psychology has a wide range of specialised facilities and resources available for research projects. The Successful Ageing Group have access to:

  • Eyelink 1000Hz eye-tracker (SR Research Ltd)
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS, MagStim Rapid2)
  • Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) System (Artinis Ltd, Oxymon)
  • Button boxes and touch-screens
  • Cognitive/motor testing software
  • BioSemi 64 Channel system
  • Optotrac system for measuring limb motion


Dr Richard Allen
Professor David Bunce
Dr Melanie Burke
Dr Rachel Coats
Dr Jean-Francois Delvenne
Professor Louise Dye
Professor Marion Hetherington
Dr Clare Lawton