What does CRACKLE do?
CRACKLE staff and graduate research students conduct research in “applied” or real-world aspects of cognition, learning and emotion with implications for psychological well-being and CRACKLE is part of the University Research Priority Area of Sport, Exercise and Well-Being. This involves research in natural and community situations alongside associated laboratory research, including EEG (electroencephalography) studies of relevant brain activity. The centre staff and students are primarily from the Psychology team in the School of Natural and Social Sciences within the university but they also collaborate with other university staff (e.g., from School of Sport and Exercise and the Media, Arts & Technology faculty) and with staff from other universities (eg., the University of Bristol, the University of the West of England, University of Brighton ) and from external agencies including the Fire and Rescue Services (in UK and across the EU), community Care agencies, Charities (e.g., ManKind), NHS including Bristol Royal Infirmary, occupational psychologist agencies and local businesses.
Recent and current projects include topics such as: Well-being in carers and care professionals; Forensic psychology issues: including psychological aspects of sexual offences and Forensic neuroscience (brain activity associated with psychopathy); Safety and Risk in Fireground Decision-making; Occupational Well-being including temporary worker issues; Neuroscience of Emotional Intelligence; Medical (Obstetric) Decision-making; Educational psychology issues including studies of ADHD, dyslexia and autism and the use of therapy animals in regard to special needs education ; Theoretical issues central to well-being research (e.g., nature-nurture debate); Health Psychology issues (aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease and study of the psychological correlates of diabetes); Neuroscience of unconscious emotion in learning and decision-making; Psychological aspects of military service; Neuroscience of mind-wandering (and meditative states) and Psychological aspects of usage of internet facilities including you-tube.
CRACKLE research and activity extends into the community and indeed involves projects across Europe and in Africa and New Zealand, but CRACKLE also has significant cutting-edge psychological laboratory facilities which include: dense-array EEG facilities, other psychophysiological apparatus, a comprehensive array of psychometric and other testing materials, laboratories for virtual-reality testing using Oculus Rift equipment and rooms designed for consultation, interview and observational research. These facilities are used in both staff and postgraduate research as well as for undergraduate research and practical classes and for workshops or projects with external partners and agencies.
CRACKLE researchers have been highly successful in obtaining external sources of funding. Research grant funds exceeding £500,000 have been obtained from a range of sources including: Erasmus Plus, the MoD Competition of Ideas, ESRC, Great Western Research fund, NHS, Headway Head Injury Trust and the British Academy. For example, CRACKLE staff in collaboration with Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and four other Fire and rescue training agencies in Europe (Poland, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium) recently won an Erasmus Plus grant to develop the FireMind project aimed at producing an online self-training portal to enhance fireground situation awareness.
CRACKLE staff regularly publish in refereed journals and professional publications and routinely present at both national and international conferences (see member profiles and outputs for examples). CRACKLE research has achieved awards such as the 2012 Emerald Publishing Literati Award and the Research Excellence prizes at the international Fire-related Research Conferences in 2011 and 2012. CRACKLE staff have also presented on community radio such as BBC Gloucestershire and at community events such as the Cheltenham Science Festival.
Members and Collaborators:
Current university members are: Graham Edgar and Di Catherwood (co-managers), Steven Baker, David Biggs, Julie Collins, Claire Cooke, Onyekachi David, Sharon Davis, Jonathan Elcock; Richard Evans, Kerry Hughes, Alice Jones, Dai Jones, Claire Marsh, Richard Moody, Janet Oostendorp-Godfrey, Terri Passenger, John Parker, Nazahar Rahim, Kerry Rees, Geoff Sallis, Helen Stivaros and Colin Terrell, Lauren Wilson, Matt Wilson. As well, Tico Romao and Nigel McLoughlin (Faculty of Media, Arts and Technology) and John Parker and Simon Fryer (School of Sport and Exercise) are developing collaborative research projects with CRACKLE staff. External members or collaborators include: Chris Alford, Bryony Strachan and Rachna Bahl (Obstetric Consultants, Bristol Royal Infirmary), Helen Gregory/Johnson (Univ. Brighton), Andrew Medley (Univ. Bath), Simon Toms, Dritan Nikolla (Electrical Geodesics) as well as JCA (occupational psychologists) Ltd. and staff from: Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service; Falck Fire Services Centre (Denmark); Fire Service Academy (Netherlands); CN-BOP (Laboratory of Fire Service, Poland); Provincial Centre for Education and Training (Emergency Services) (PLOT, Belgium). Full technical support is provided by David Brookes.