Gillian completed her PhD in UCC’s Driving Simulator Lab under the supervision of Dr Ciara Greene (UCD) and Dr Samantha Dockray (UCC). Her doctoral research examined driver attention and distraction under perceptual and cognitive load. Driver’s emotional states can have an impact on their cognitive processes and so Gillian is investigating the effect of stress, anxiety and happiness on driver attention also. These studies involve biological measures (cortisol, blood pressure, heart rate variability) and driving performance indicators (reaction to hazards, lateral vehicle control, speed variation, inattentional blindness). The goal of this work is to understand the interaction between environment, cognition and biology in driver inattention. Gillian’s PhD is funded by the Irish Research Council.
Gillian is also currently involved in research projects examining drivers’ eye-witness reports, individual differences in mindfulness, predictors of parental stress and validations of new Brain Computer Interface (BCI) technology.