Dr Sharon Leal
Senior Research Fellow
I obtained a first class honours degree in Psychology at the University of Portsmouth in 2000. The following year I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in research methods before embarking upon PhD research. My doctoral research was funded by the E.S.R.C and focused on the Central and Peripheral Physiology of Attention and Cognitive Demand, where multiple physiological responses were examined within the context of varying cognitive demand. Since completing my PhD I have received grants from the E.S.R.C. and UK / US governments to work with Aldert Vrij’s research team.
My current research focuses on the behavioural and physiological effects of cognitive load during deception. This research is very relevant for detecting how people engaged in ‘high stake’ deception respond verbally, non-verbally and physiologically. My work involves cooperation with national and international governments and police. I am a member of the European consortium of Psychological Research on Deception Detection (E-prodd). The consortium utilises cutting edge research from laboratories across Europe to optimise the detection of deception in serious crime.