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Ashleigh Johnstone

Lecturer in Psychology, Arden University

Ashleigh arrived at Bangor University in 2012 to undertake a BSc in Psychology with Neuropsychology. After falling in love with the School of Psychology at Bangor and developing an interest in the area of cognitive control and executive functions, she applied for an MSc and PhD with Dr Paloma Marí-Beffa. Ashleigh is now in the final writing up stage of the PhD and working on a project aimed at assessing potential cognitive changes associated with martial arts practice. Despite her topic, she does not take part in martial arts herself, preferring to investigate the effects of the sport from an outside perspective.

Through her enthusiasm for investigating cognitive control, Ashleigh has developed a specific interest in whether we are able to train this aspect of our cognition. Even more specifically, she has often found herself pondering brain training games, and whether they are as effective as other methods, such as exercise and mindfulness, appear to be.

Following her PhD, she now works as a Lecturer in Psychology at Arden University, where she enjoys sharing her love of cognitive psychology with her students.


  • 2022–present
    Lecturer in Psychology, Arden University
  • 2016–2021
    PhD Student in Cognitive Psychology, Bangor University


  • 2021 
    Bangor University, PhD in Psychology
  • 2016 
    Bangor University, MSc Psychological Research
  • 2015 
    Bangor University, BSc Psychology with Neuropsychology


  • 2018
    The effects of Martial Arts training on attentional networks in typical adults, Frontiers in Psychology