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Research interests

Shahd is a Lecturer in Psychology at the College of Health and Human Sciences. She completed a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science at Macquarie University in 2015 then went on to work as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and a Cognitive and Behavioural Scientist at Defence Science and Technology. Her chief academic work concerns information processing and decision-making. 


Shahd's interest is in uncovering the factors that give rise to flexible control of behaviour; that is, to understand: how do humans seamlessly navigate a world that is constantly bombarding them with new information? Her research concerns the way in which information in the visual world is processed by the visual system then manipulated by the cognitive system to guide decision-making. Shahd's projects ask: What enables humans to know what information should be selected? Can the selection of objects or features occur independently of the selection of spatial locations? If so, do different neural mechanisms underpin each mode of information selection? Shahd is interested in applying this research to understanding failures or changes to information selection as a result of brain injury, disorder or degeneration in, for example, persons with prosopagnosia or mild cognitive impairment. She investigates these research questions using behavioural measures (response latency and accuracy), neuroimaging (fMRI) and neuronal interference/stimulation (TMS).


Recently, Shahd's work has focused on optimising information selection, particularly in dynamic settings, such as in a ground control station, through the use of emerging technologies (e.g., augmented-reality, virtual-reality, artificial intelligence). The aim of this research is to improve the rapidity and accuracy of decision-making (whilst reducing cognitive load). 



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