Keynote Speaker

The Distinguished Spielberger Address

Michael Eysenck

Royal Holloway, University of London
& Roehampton University, UK

Michael W. Eysenck graduated from University College London. He then moved immediately to Birkbeck University of London as a lecturer, where he completed his Ph.D. on the von Restorff and “release” memory effects.  His research focuses mainly on cognitive factors associated with anxiety in normal and clinical populations. He has recently developed two new theories. First, there is attentional control theory (with Nazanin Derakshan, Rita Santos, and Manuel Calvo), which provides a cognitive account of the effects of anxiety on performance. Second, there is vigilance-avoidance theory (with Nazanin Derakshan and Lynn Myers), which provides a detailed theory of repressive coping. His current research with collaborators is designed to test these two theories in detail.

He has published 40 books in psychology (many relating to human memory), including two research monographs on anxiety and cognition. He has been in “Who’s Who” since 1989.

Michael Eysenck’s personal webpage at Royal Holloway
Michael Eysenck on Wikipedia


Michael Eysenck’s Distinguished Spielberger Address takes place on Thursday, 5 August 2010, from 08:30 to 09:30.

How Does Anxiety Affect Cognition?
It is well established that anxiety often impairs performance, but it is less clear why and how this happens. According to attentional control theory (Eysenck et al., 2007), anxiety impairs attentional control. As a result, anxious individuals find it difficult to inhibit task-irrelevant processing. They also have difficulty in switching attention optimally within and between tasks. Brain-imaging research indicates that anxious individuals use additional processing resources to prevent anxiety from impairing performance. Recent theoretical developments are discussed and evaluated.

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