Researchers at UCD


Ciara Greene

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

School Of Psychology

Tel: +353 1 7168334


Ciara Greene is an Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology, UCD where she also heads up the Attention and Memory Laboratory ( Ciara's expertise is in identifying and exploiting links between the cognitive processes of attention and memory. Ongoing research in the A&M lab focuses on topics such as reducing distraction to improve learning and memory; the phenomenon of inattentional blindness (i.e. the failure to notice unexpected objects in the environment); and the influence of emotional state on memory. 
Ciara is a 2016 Fulbright Scholar and will be conducting research at Harvard University during 2016/17.

Ciara graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2005 with a BA (Hons.) in Psychology and then completed a PhD in Neuroscience in Trinity College Dublin in 2008. She gained postdoctoral experience at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge and at Imperial College London before taking up a lecturing post at University College Cork in 2012. She moved to UCD in 2014.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2016.
Title: Fulbright Scholar Award
Year: 2013.
Title: Translational Research Access Programme grant
Year: 2012.
Title: British Academy Small Research Grant
Year: 2007.
Title: WCPG Travel Fellowship Award
Year: 2007.
Title: Travel Bursary, Berlin Summerschool on Genetic Imaging
Year: 2005.
Title: Interdisciplinary PhD Scholarship
Year: 2005.
Title: Derek Forrest Prize in Psychology


Employer: University College Cork
Position: Lecturer
Employer: Imperial College London
Position: Postdoctoral research associate
Employer: MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
Position: Postdoctoral researcher


Year 2009 Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 2007 Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Qualification: PG DIP Subject:
Year 2005 Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Qualification: BA (Mod) Subject:



Peer Reviewed Journals

Murphy, G; Greene, CM. (2017) 'Load theory behind the wheel; Perceptual and cognitive load effects'. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, . [DOI] [Details]
Greene, CM; Murphy, G; Januszewski, J (2017) 'Under high perceptual load, observers look but do not see'. Applied Cognitive Psychology, . [DOI] [Details]
Murphy, G; Greene, CM (2017) 'The elephant in the road: Auditory perceptual load affects driver perception & awareness'. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 31 (2):258-263. [Details]
Murphy, G; Greene, CM (2017) 'Visual feature vs. conjunction searches as a robust manipulation of perceptual load'. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 29 (3):305-326. [Details]
O'Connell, A; Greene, CM (2016) 'Not strange but not true: Self-reported interest in a topic increases false memory'. Memory, . [Details]
Murphy, G; Greene, CM (2016) 'Perceptual load affects eyewitness accuracy and susceptibility to leading questions'. Frontiers in Psychology, 7 :1322. [DOI] [Details]
Jollans, L., Zhipeng, C., Icke, I., Greene, C.M., Kelly, C., Banaschewski, T¿. & Whelan, R. (2016) 'Ventral striatum connectivity during reward anticipation in adolescent smokers'. Developmental Neuropsychology, 41 (1-2):6-21. [DOI] [Details]
Murphy, G. & Greene, C.M. (2016) 'Perceptual load induces inattentional blindness in drivers'. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30 (3):479-483. [DOI] [Details]
Murphy, G; Groeger, JA; Greene, CM (2016) 'Twenty years of load theory - Where are we now, and where should we go next?'. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 23 (5):1316-1340. [DOI] [Details]
Murphy, G; Greene, CM (2015) 'High perceptual load causes inattentional blindness and deafness in drivers'. Visual Cognition, 23 (7):810-814. [DOI] [Details]
Greene, CM; Kennedy, K; Soto, D (2015) 'Dynamic states in working memory modulate guidance of visual attention: evidence from an n-back paradigm'. Visual Cognition, 23 (5):546-560. [Details]
Greene, CM; Vidaki, K; Soto, D (2015) 'Fractionating the neural substrates of incidental recognition memory'. Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), 22 (1):24-30. [Details]
Greene, C.M.; Flannery, O.; Soto, D. (2014) 'Distinct parietal sites mediate the influences of mood, arousal, and their interaction on human recognition memory'. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, . Link to full text [Details]
Greene, C.M.; Soto, D. (2014) 'Functional connectivity between ventral and dorsal frontoparietal networks underlies stimulus-driven bottom-up and memory-driven top-down sources of visual distraction'. Neuroimage, 81 (1):290-298. Link to full text [Details]
Rose, E.J.; Morris, D.W.; Hargreaves, A.; Fahey, C.; Greene, C.; Garavan, H.; Gill, M.; Corvin, A.; Donohoe, G. (2013) 'Neural effects of the CSMD1 genome-wide associated schizophrenia risk variant rs10503253'. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B, 162B (6):530-537. [Details]
Soto D.; Greene, C.M.; Kiyonaga, A.; Rosenthal, C.; Egner, T. (2012) 'A Parieto-Medial Temporal Pathway for the Strategic Control over Working Memory Biases in Human Visual Attention'. Neuroscience, 32 (49):17563-17571. Link to full text [Details]
Greene, C.M.; Soto, D. (2012) 'Neural repetition effects in the medial temporal lobe complex are modulated by previous encoding experience'. PLoS ONE, 7 (7):e40870. Link to full text [Details]
Rose, E.J.; Morris, D.; Fahey, C.; Robertson, I.H.; Greene, C.M.; O¿Doherty, J.; Newell, F.; Garavan, H.; McGrath, J.; Bodke, A.; Gill, M.; Corvin, A.P.; Donohoe, G. (2012) 'The effect of the neurogranin schizophrenia risk variant rs12807809 on brain structure and function'. Twin Research And Human Genetics, 15 (3):296-303. [Details]
Soto, D.; Greene, C.M.; Chaudhary, A.; Rotshtein, P. (2012) 'Competition in working memory reduces frontal guidance of visual selection'. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 22 (5):1159-1169. [Details]
Rose, E.J.; Greene, C.M.; Kelly, S.; Morris, D.; Robertson, I.H.; Fahey, C.; Jacobson, S.; O¿Doherty, J.; Newell, F.; Gallagher, L.; Bodke, A.; Garavan, H.; Frodl, T.; Gil, M.; Donohoe, G. (2012) 'The NOS1 polymorphism rs6490121 is associated with variation in prefrontal function and gray matter density in healthy individuals'. Neuroimage, 60 (1):614-622. [Details]
Greene, C.M.; Bahri, P.; Soto, D. (2010) 'Interplay between affect and arousal in recognition memory'. PLoS ONE, 5 (7):e11739. Link to full text [Details]
Greene, C.M.; Robertson, I.H.; Gill, M.; Bellgrove, M.A. (2010) 'Dopaminergic genotype influences spatial bias in healthy adults'. Neuropsychologia, 48 (9):2458-2464. [Details]
Greene, C.M.; Bellgrove, M.A.; Gill, M.; Robertson, I.H. (2008) 'Noradrenergic genotype predicts lapses in sustained attention'. Neuropsychologia, 47 (2):591-594. Link to full text [Details]
Greene, C.M.; Braet, W.; Johnson, K.A.; Bellgrove, M.A. (2008) 'Imaging the genetics of executive functions'. Biological Psychology, 79 (1):30-42. Link to full text [Details]
Mahon, P.; Greene B.R.; Greene, C.M.; Boylan, G.B.; Shorten, G.D. (2008) 'Behaviour of Spectral Entropy, Spectral Edge Frequency 90% (SEF 90), and Alpha and Beta Power Parameters during Low-Dose Propofol Infusion'. British Journal of Anesthesia, 101 (2):213-221. [Details]


Research Interests

My research interests include the cognitive processes of attention and working memory, and the manner in which they interact. I use neuroimaging techniques such as functional MRI to investigate the neural underpinnings of these cognitive functions. I am particularly interested in the modulation of these processes by other factors, including genetic variants and emotional state.

I'm also interested in in applying theoretical cognitive constructs to real-world problems. One such project, in collaboration with a research student at University College Cork, involves validating a well-established, but entirely theoretical model of attention in a driving context. I have also recently embarked on an investigation of the effects of perceptual load on learning and memory, which is funded by a New Horizons grant from the Irish Research Council. I am particularly interested in the factors that affect false memory and eyewitness memory, and have received a Fulbright Scholar award to investigate this issue at Harvard University in 2017.


Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Perceptual Load Affects Eyewitness Accuracy & Susceptibility to Leading Questions
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUL-16 / 30-JUN-17
Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : Perceptual load and memory: enhancing learning by reducing distraction
Start Date / End Date : 01-NOV-15 / 28-FEB-17
Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : Predicting internal thought: distinguishing the content of task-unrelated thoughts through their interactions with sustained attention and perception
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-15 / 30-SEP-18

Recent Postgraduates

Gillian Murphy, University College Cork. Thesis title: Load Theory behind the Wheel: An Experimental Application of a Cognitive Model to Simulated Driving. Thesis submitted and awaiting examination.

Dr. Sean Ó Donnchadha, University College Dublin. Thesis title: A biopsychosocial and lifespan approach to overweight and obesity using general and clinical samples. Graduating 2016. 

Current Postgraduate Students

Denise Rogers, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Jose Antonio Rodas, Master of Literature (MLitt)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Aisling Davies, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor



Modules Coordinated

201600   PSY30410     Psychology: Advanced Cognitive Psychology
201600   PSY30050     Psychology: Behavioural Neuroscience
201600   PSY40020     Psychology: Neuropsychology
201600   PSY30400     Psychology: Cross-Cultural Psychology
201600   PSY20150     Psychology: Foundations of Psychology


Internal Collaborators

I am collaborating with Dr. Robert Whelan in the School of Psychology on a study of genetic links to cognitive function. This study makes use of data from the IMAGEN project.

I am collaborating with Dr Jessica Bramham and Dr. Sean O Donnchadha in the School of Psychology to investigate the relationship between obesity and cognitive function. 

I am also supervising a PhD student in the School of Psychology, Aisling Davies, who is studying the behavioural and neural correlates of mindwandering.  

External Collaborators

I regularly collaborate with Dr. David Soto at  Imperial College London, UK. Our research investigates the relationship between the cognitive functions of attention and memory, and has resulted in several high impact publications. 
I am also involved in a collaboration with Prof. Mark Bellgrove at Monash University, Melbourne Australia, with whom I am studying the effect of genetic markers in the dopamine system on  working memory.

I am supervising the PhD studies of Gillian Murphy, a student at University College Cork. Gillian's work is predominantly focused on the application of Load Theory, a model of selective attention, to driving. Gillian and I are also conducting a number of studies investigating the role of perceptual and cognitive load in other real-world situations such as eyewitness memory.