School of Psychology - Directory - People - Dr Helena Purkis

Dr Helena Purkis
  – Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Picture of 'Dr Helena Purkis'
Dr Helena Purkis
Email:
Fax:
+617 3365 4466
Postal Address:

School of Psychology
McElwain Building
The University of Queensland
St Lucia, QLD 4072
Australia

Username: purkis
Picture of 'Dr Helena Purkis'
Dr Helena Purkis
Qualifications:

BSc, BA (Hons. 1), PhD (UQ)

Picture of 'Dr Helena Purkis'
Dr Helena Purkis
Research Activities:

I am interested in processes related to learning, attention and emotion. I am particularly interested in how fear relevant stimuli, such as snakes and spiders, can so quickly capture our attention. I am also interested in whether a similar attentional bias exists for sufficiently positive stimuli.

Current projects involve stimulus relevance and preferential attention; boundary conditions of evaluative learning; and learning and awareness.

Most of my work is conducted in the Emotion, Learning and Psychophysiology Laboratory: http://www2.psy.uq.edu.au/~landcp/

More information about my work in preferential processing and fear relevance is available on the project website: http://experiment.psy.uq.edu.au/fear/

 

Representative Publications:

 

Book chapters

Field, A.P., & Purkis, H.M. (2012). Associative learning and phobias, in: M. Haselgrove & L. Hogarth (Eds.), Clinical applications of learning theory. Psychology Press: Hove.

Field, A.P., & Purkis, H.M. (2012).The role of learning in the aetiology of child and adolescent fear and anxiety, in W. Silverman and A. Field (Eds). Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents: Research, Assessment, and Intervention (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Journal Papers

Purkis, H.M., Lester, K.J., & Field, A.P. (2011) But what about the empress of Racnoss: The allocation of attention to spiders and Dr Who in a visual search task is predicted by fear and expertise. Emotion, 11, 1484-1488.

Forbes, S.J., Purkis, H.M., & Lipp, O.V. (2011). Better safe than sorry: Simplistic fear-relevant stimuli capture attention. Cognition and Emotion, 25, 794-804.

Coelho, C.M., Gonçalves, D.C., Purkis, H., Pocinho, M., Pachana, N.A., & Byrne, G.J. (2010). Specific phobias in older adults: Characteristics and differential diagnosis. International Psychogeriatrics, 22, 702-711.

Purkis, H. M., & Lipp, O. V. (2010). Stimulus competition in pre/post and online ratings in an evaluative learning design. Learning and Motivation, 41, 84-94.

Coelho, C.M. , & Purkis, H. M. (2009).The origins of specific phobias: Influential theories and current perspectives, Review of General Psychology, 13, 335-348.

Purkis, H. M., Lipp, O. V., Edwards, M. E., & Barnes, R. (2009). An increase in stimulus arousal has differential effects on the processing speed of pleasant and unpleasant stimuli. Motivation and Emotion, 33, 353-361.

Purkis, H. M. & Lipp, O. V. (2009). Are snakes and spiders special? Acquisition of characteristics of fear relevant stimuli by non fear relevant stimuli. Cognition and Emotion, 23, 430-452.

Alhadad, S., Lipp, O. V., & Purkis, H. M. (2008). Modality specific attentional startle modulation during continuous performance tasks: a brief time is sufficient. Psychophysiology, 45, 1068-1078.

Fernández, M.C., Vila, J., Lipp, O.V., & Purkis, H.M. (2008). The effect of startle reflex habituation on cardiac defense: Interference between two protective reflexes. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 69, 27-32.

Blechert, J., Michael, T., Williams, S. L., Purkis, H. M., & Wilhelm, F. H. (2008) When Two Paradigms Meet: Does Evaluative Learning Extinguish in Differential Fear Conditioning? Learning and Motivation, 39, 58-70.

Lipp, O.V., Alhadad, S., & Purkis, H. M. (2007) Startle blink facilitation during the go signal of a reaction time task is not affected by movement preparation or attention to the go signal. Neuroscience Letters, 427, 94–98.

Purkis, H.M., & Lipp, O. V. (2007). Automatic attention does not equal automatic fear: Preferential attention without implicit valence. Emotion, 7, 314-323.

Lipp, O.V., Kaplan, D. M., & Purkis, H. M. (2006). Reaction time facilitation by acoustic task-irrelevant stimuli is not related to startle. Neuroscience Letters, 409, 124-127.

Lipp, O. V. & Purkis, H. M. (2006). The effects of assessment type on verbal ratings of conditional stimulus valence and contingency judgments: Implications for the extinction of evaluative Learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behaviour Processes, 32, 431-440

Lipp, O. V. & Purkis, H. M. (2005). No support for dual process accounts of human affective learning in simple Pavlovian conditioning. Cognition and Emotion, 19, 269-282.

Purkis, H.M., & Lipp, O. V. (2001). "Does affective learning exist in the absence of contingency awareness?", Learning and Motivation, 32, 84-99.

Picture of 'Dr Helena Purkis'
Dr Helena Purkis
Topics:
Fear learning, phobias and anxiety, evaluative learning (likes and dislikes), human associative learning, attentional biases and preferential processing of relevant/important stimuli.
Keywords:
Fear learning, Phobias, Evaluative learning, Human associative learning, Associative learning - human, Psychology - fear, Fear - psychology, Attentional biases - psychology, Preferential processing of stimuli
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