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Dr Claire Rostron

Profile summary

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.  I then moved on 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 of the brain.  After this postdoctoral post I returned to work with Professor Winn investigating attentional 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 during goal directed behaviour whereby salient cues in our environment that predict reward come to capture attention and automatically drive behaviour.  My research work has included investigating goal directed behaviour in a model of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and I am now moving these interests towards investigating the motivation of food choices in type 2 diabetes. 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 teaching roles have included Qualification Director for the Health Sciences curriculum, and I have been extensively involved in the production of new modules during my years with the university. Many of the modules that I have produced have been cross disciplinary and incorporated into a number of accredited practice based profession degrees including paramedic practice, mental health nursing and counselling.

I have worked as an Academic Conduct Officer within STEM upholding the university's plagiarism policy.

I have worked on SDK100 Science and Health: An Evidence Based Approach producing module material online for Topic 3 Pain and Topic 6 Alcohol and I am now the SDK100 (J) presentation module team chair and module result panel chair.

I have been involved with S350 'Evaluating contemporary science', which develops professional scientist skills in readiness for the capstone project module at level 3 (SXL390). I was involved in planning the digital student science conference section of this module and also wrote a project topic on antibiotic resistance.

I was production module team chair for SDK228/SKYN228, The science of the mind: investigating mental health and continued into presentation as module team chair and award board chair. I then worked as a Topic author for the replacement module SK298 Brain, Mind and Mental Health and continue to work on the presentation module team.

I have written a project guide on Aging and overseen a project guide on Autism 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 continued to work as a topic specialist during presentation of this module supporting students and tutors.

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 (now redundant) 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: SK298 and SDK100. In the past I have held AL posts for SDK228, SDK125, SD226 and SD329 and have worked regularly as a scriptmarker across these modules.

Finally, I have been involved in producing supporting OpenLearn material for modules SK298, SDK228 and SDK100, as well as supporting content related to the BBC programme 'Count Down to Life: The Extraordinary Making of You' that aired in September 2015, and recently 'The Human Body: Secrets of your Life Revealed' which aired in September 2017.



Impact and engagement

I have worked as a distance learning Psychology education consultant for RDI (Resource Development International) and for Altura Learining (Anxiety for Health Professionals).

I have worked as a consultant to the BBC for the programme 'Countdown to life: The extraordinary making of you', and am currently working on 'The Human Body: Secrets of your Life Revealed'.

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 have worked as a STEM ambassador for Northants region.

External collaborations

I have been an external examiner for Bath Spa University MSc Principles of Applied Neuropsychology, and London Metropolitan University Undergraduate and Postgraduate Psychology and am currently starting appointments as EE for Cardiff Metropolitan and Leicester DeMontfort University (both Psychology).

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Biomedical Research Network (BRN)NetworkFaculty of Science


Externally funded projects

Postgraduate Research and Professional Development - Morgane Colom
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01 Oct 201830 Sep 2021King's College London (KCLU)

£10k for consumables from King's College London, collaboration with Dr Ellie Dommett. For Morgane Colom's studentship.


Instrumental conditioning for food reinforcement in the spontaneously hypertensive rat model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (2017-10-30)
Rostron, Claire L.; Gaeta, Victoria; Brace, Louise R. and Dommett, Eleanor J.
BMC Research Notes, 10, Article 525

Thalamic inputs to dorsomedial striatum are involved in inhibitory control: evidence from the five-choice serial reaction time task in rats (2017-08-31)
Saund, Jasjot; Dautan, Daniel; Rostron, Claire; Urcelay, Gonzalo P. and Gerdjikov, Todor V.
Psychopharmacology, 234(16) (pp. 2399-2407)

Is there a link between previous exposure to sport injury psychology education and UK sport injury rehabilitation professionals' attitudes and behaviour towards sport psychology? (2017-01-31)
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)
Rostron, Claire L.; Farquhar, Morag J.; Latimer, Mary P. and Winn, Philip
BMC Neuroscience, 9, Article 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.