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Dr Claire Rostron

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Life, Health & Chemical Sciences
  • claire.rostron

Professional biography

I joined the Department of Life Health and Chemical Sciences at the Open University in April 2007.

I did my BPS accredited undergraduate Psychology degree at the University of Strathclyde and went on to study for a Behavioural Neuroscience PhD with Professor Philip Winn at the University of St Andrews.  The research I was involved in aimed to understand the role of the brainstem pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus in higher order (or executive) cognitive processes. These processes are usually associated with the frontal cortex.  Following an (incorrect) diagnosis of laboratory animal allergy I went to the University of Aberdeen to work with Dr John Ross on a large multidisciplinary HSE funded research project to investigate the long term health effects of occupational diving.  My role on this project was to set-up and conduct neuropsychological testing and to organise MRI scanning.  I then returned to work with Professor Winn investigating attention functions of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus before moving to the University of Abertay to gain some teaching experience.  Here I taught 2nd year undergraduate Biological Psychology and honours year Neuropsychopharamcology.


Research interests

My research interests lie primarily in Behavioural Neuroscience/Biological Psychology.  I am interested in understanding the brain mechanisms supporting cognition, particularly attention for goal directed behaviour, and in the valid and reliable capture of cognitive function and dysfunction using animal and human assessments.  Recently my work has included investigating the goal directed behaviour of the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat which is an animal model of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I have also conducted some research in the field of Sports Psychology education as PhD supervisor to Open University colleague Caroline Heaney.



Teaching interests

Health Sciences, Mental Health, Biological Psychology, Neuroscience, Neuropsychology

My main current teaching role is as Qualification Director for the Health Sciences curriculum and I work closely with the qualification director for the joint Health Care and Health Science degree as our Health Sciences modules are also used in this degree (Q96).

I am currently involved in production of new module, S350 'Evaluating contemporary science', which will be an interdisciplinary module that develops professional science skills in readiness for the capstone project module at level 3 (SXL390). I critically read all materials and have been involved in planning the digital student science conference section of this module. I have also written a project topic on antibiotic resistance.

I was production module team chair for SDK228/SKYN228, The science of the mind: investigating mental health and have continued into presentation as module team chair and award board chair, only stepping down from this role to take on the Qualification Director for Health Sciences role in 2013.

I have written a project guide on Aging for SXL390 our Health Sciences and Biology capstone dissertation project module. 

I have also worked as production team chair for SXL288 Attention and the Brain which converted my research interests directly into a practical science teaching topic.  I have continued to work as a topic specialist during presentation of this module.

I have worked as production module team member for SD329 Signals and Perception, with lead responsibility for updating the Somatosensation material. I have also worked as a production team member for SDK100 Science and health, an evidence based approach where I authored material on 'Pain' and 'Alcohol'.

I have been a presentation module team member for old modules SD226 Biological Psychology and SD805 Issues In Brain & Behaviour (Addiction and Neural Ageing).

In addition to this I currently hold 2 Associate Lecturer posts one each for: SDK228 and SDK100. In the past I have held AL posts for SDK125, SD226 and SD329.

Finally, I have been involved in producing new OpenLearn course material for modules SDK228 and SDK100, as well as article content related to the BBC programme 'Count Down to Life: The Extraordinary Making of You' that aired in September 2015. I am currently working as a consultant for a new BBC programme broadly in the field of the human body that is due to air in late 2017.



Impact and engagement

I have worked as a distance learning Psychology education consultant for RDI (Resource Development International).

I have worked as a consultant to the BBC for the programme 'Countdown to life: The extraordinary making of you'.

I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and hold Associate Fellow and Chartered Psychologist status with the British Psychological Society.

I am a member of several editorial boards for academic journals.

I work as a STEM ambassador for Northants region.

External collaborations

I am currently collaborating with researchers in Leicester university to study the role of the parafasicular nucleus in the thalamus on visual attention (the five choice serial reaction time task).

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Biomedical Research Network (BRN)NetworkFaculty of Science


Is there a link between previous exposure to sport injury psychology education and UK sport injury rehabilitation professionals' attitudes and behaviour towards sport psychology? (2017-01)
Heaney, Caroline A.; Rostron, Claire L.; Walker, Natalie C. and Green, Alison J.K.
Physical Therapy in Sport, 23 (pp. 99-104)
The impact of a sport psychology education intervention on physiotherapists (2017)
Heaney, Caroline A.; Walker, Natalie C.; Green, Alison J.K. and Rostron, Claire L.
European Journal of Physiotherapy, 19(2) (pp. 97-103)
Auditory responses in a rodent model of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (2015-12)
Brace, Louise R.; Kraev, Igor; Rostron, Claire L.; Stewart, Michael G. ; Overton, Paul G. and Dommett, Eleanor J.
Brain Research, 1629 (pp. 10-25)
Altered visual processing in a rodent model of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (2015-09-10)
Brace, L. R.; Kraev, I.; Rostron, C. L.; Stewart, M. G.; Overton, P. G. and Dommett, E. J.
Neuroscience, 303 (pp. 364-377)
Sport psychology education for sport injury rehabilitation professionals: a systematic review (2015-02)
Heaney, Caroline A.; Walker, Natalie C.; Green, Alison J. K. and Rostron, Claire L.
Physical Therapy in Sport, 16(1) (pp. 72-79)
Searching for inhibition of return in the rat using the covert orienting of attention task (2014-09)
Wagner, Ulf; Baker, Lucy and Rostron, Claire
Animal Cognition, 17(5) (pp. 1121-1135)
The effects of methylphenidate on cognitive performance of healthy male rats (2013-06-13)
Rostron, Claire; Kaplan, Elise; Gaeta, Victoria; Nigriello, Rachel and Dommett, Ellie
Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(97)
Appetitive and consummative responding for liquid sucrose in the spontaneously hypertensive rat model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (2013-02-01)
Dommett, Eleanor J. and Rostron, Claire L.
Behavioural Brain Research, 238 (pp. 232-242)
Psychological and physical correlates of musculoskeletal symptoms in male professional divers and offshore workers (2013)
Ross, John. A. S.; Macdiarmid, Jennifer. I.; Rostron, Claire L.; Watt, Stephen. J. and Crawford, John. R.
Extreme Physiology and Medicine, 2, Article 5
A qualitative and quantitative investigation of the psychology content of UK physiotherapy education (2012-10)
Heaney, Caroline; Green, Alison; Rostron, Claire and Walker, Natalie
Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 26(3)
Abnormal air righting behaviour in the spontaneously hypertensive rat model of ADHD (2011-11)
Dommett, Eleanor J. and Rostron, Claire L.
Experimental Brain Research, 215(1) (pp. 45-52)
The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus and the nucleus basalis magnocellularis: Do both have a role in sustained attention? (2008-01-30)
Rostron, Claire L.; Farquhar, Morag J.; Latimer, Mary P. and Winn, Philip
BMC Neuroscience, 9(16) (pp. 1-17)
Objective neuropsychological test performance of professional divers reporting a subjective complaint of 'forgetfulness or loss of concentration' (2006-08)
Taylor, C.L.; Macdiarmid, J.I.; Ross, J.A.S.; Osman, L.M.; Watt, S.J.; Adie, W.; Crawford, J.R. and Lawson, A.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 32(4) (pp. 310-317)
Excitotoxic lesions of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus in rats impair performance on a test of sustained attention (2005-04)
Kozak, Rouba; Bowman, Eric M.; Latimer, Mary P.; Rostron, Claire L. and Winn, Philip
Experimental Brain Research, 162(2) (pp. 257-264)
Safety culture and accident risk control: Perceptions of professional divers and offshore workers (2005-02)
Adie, Wendy; Cairns, John; Macdiarmid, Jennie; Ross, John; Watt, Stephen; Taylor, Claire L. and Osman, Liesl M.
Safety Science, 43(2) (pp. 131-145)
Effects of changing reward on performance of the delayed spatial win-shift radial maze task in pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus lesioned rats (2004-08-31)
Taylor, Claire L.; Kozak, Rouba; Latimer, Mary P. and Winn, Philip
Behavioural Brain Research, 153(2) (pp. 431-438)
Impaired delayed spatial win-shift behaviour on the eight arm radial maze following excitotoxic lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex in the rat (2003-12-17)
Taylor, Claire L.; Latimer, Mary P. and Winn, Philip
Behavioural Brain Research, 147(1-2) (pp. 107-114)
Bringing Sport Psychology into Physiotherapy (2016-11)
Heaney, Caroline; Walker, Natalie; Green, Alison and Rostron, Claire
In : British Association of Sport & Exercises Sciences (BASES) Conferences 2016 (29-30 Nov 2016, East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham)
RR230 - Co-ordinated investigation into the possible long term health effects of diving at work (2004-06-01)
Macdiarmid, Jennie I.; Ross, John A.S.; Taylor, Claire L.; Watt, Stephen J.; Adie, Wendy; Osman, Liesl M.; Godden, David; Murray, Alison D.; Crawford, John R. and Lawson, Andrew
Health and Safety Executive, UK.

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