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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Alison Lane, BSc, MA, PhD

Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 40431
Room number: RH005

(email at


I completed my undergraduate degree, Masters degree and PhD all at Durham University, here in the Psychology department. I then worked as a post-doctoral research associate on a project examining the neural mechanisms of visuo-spatial attention with Dr Ellison. Throughout these positions I began to specialise in the clinical neuropsychology of vision, which remains my main area of interest.

Research Interests

My main research interest is in clinical neuropsychology, specifically vision and spatial attention. I am involved in research examining compensatory interventions for people with visual field defects and I am mainly interested in the role which attention plays in such rehabilitation. As part of this work we have developed Durham Reading and Exploration (DREX) training which is free app for the rehabilitation of partial visual loss. More information can be found at:


My additional research involves examining the neural mechanisms of visual attention, with focus on the roles of areas such as posterior parietal cortex and frontal eye fields. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are the primary techniques that I employ in this area.

More broadly I am also interested in mental health and wellbeing, particularly issues like stress and stigma. This includes an interest in how factors such as this could also influence successful rehabilitation following neurological injury.

Research Groups

Department of Psychology

Research Interests

  • Visual Field Defects
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Visuospatial attention

Teaching Areas

  • MSc Current Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience

    (5 hours/year.)
  • Yr 1 Classic Papers in Applied Psychology

    (8 hours/year.)
  • Yr 3 Cognitive Neuroscience in Practice

    (22 hours/year.)
  • Yr 3 Psychology in the Workplace

    (10 hours/year.)
  • Dissertation Supervision
  • MSc Techniques in Cognitive Neuroscience (11 hours/year.)
  • Yr 2 Tutorials

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • Ellison, Amanda, Dunne, Stephen & Lane, Alison R. (2020). Real-world applications in vision and attention: How to help patients find their (golf) balls again. In Real-World Applications in Cognitive Neuroscience. Parkin, Beth Louise Elsevier. 253: 169-200.

Journal Article

  • Musa, Azuwan, Lane, Alison R. & Ellison, Amanda (2022). The effects of induced optical blur on visual search performance and training. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 75(2): 277-288.
  • Lane, Alison R., Ball, Keira & Ellison, Amanda (2015). Dissociating the neural mechanisms of distance and spatial reference frames. Neuropsychologia 74: 42-49.
  • Aimola, Lina, Lane, Alison R., Smith, Daniel T., Kerkhoff, Georg, Ford, Gary A. & Schenk, Thomas (2014). Efficacy and feasibility of home-based training for individuals with homonymous visual field defects. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair 28(3): 207-218.
  • Ellison, A., Ball, K.L., Moseley, P., Dowsett, J., Smith, D.T., Weis, S. & Lane, A.R. (2014). Functional Interaction between Right Parietal and Bilateral Frontal Cortices during Visual Search Tasks Revealed Using Functional Magnetic Imaging and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. PLoS ONE 9(4): e93767.
  • Lane, A.R., Ball, K., Smith, D.T. , Schenk, T & Ellison, A. (2013). Near and far space: understanding the neural mechanisms of spatial attention. Human Brain Mapping 34(2): 356-366.
  • Ball, K., Lane, A. R., Smith, D. T. & Ellison, A. (2013). Site-Dependent Effects of tDCS Uncover Dissociations in the Communication Network Underlying the Processing of Visual Search. Brain Stimulation 6(6): 959-965.
  • Hesse, C, Lane, AR, Aimola, L & Schenk, T (2012). Pathways involved in human conscious vision contribute to obstacle-avoidance behaviour. European Journal of Neuroscience 36(3): 2383-2390.
  • Lane, A.R., Smith, D.T., Schenk, T. & Ellison, A. (2012). The involvement of posterior parietal cortex and frontal eye fields in spatially primed visual search. Brain Stimulation 5(1): 11-17.
  • Ball, K., Lane, A., Ellison, A. & Schenk, T. (2011). Spatial priming in visual search: memory for body-centred information. Experimental Brain Research 212(3): 477-485.
  • Lane, A.R., Smith, D.T., Schenk, T. & Ellison, A. (2011). The involvement of posterior parietal cortex in feature and conjunction visuomotor search. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 23(8): 1964-1972.
  • Lane, A. R. , Smith, D. T., Ellison, A. & Schenk, T. (2010). Visual exploration training is no better than attention training for treating hemianopia. Brain 133(6): 1717-1728.
  • Smith, D.T., Lane, A.R. & Schenk, T. (2008). Arm position does not attenuate visual loss in patients with homonymous field deficits. Neuropsychologia 46(9): 2320-2325.
  • Lane, A.R., Smith, D.T. & Schenk, T. (2008). Clinical treatment options for patients with homonymous visual field defects. Clinical Opthalmology 2(1): 93-102.
  • Ellison, A., Lane, A. R. & Schenk, T. (2007). The interaction of brain regions during visual search processing as revealed by transcranial magnetic stimulation. Cerebral Cortex 17(11): 2579-2584.

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Vision / eye movement: Rehabilitation of visual function
  • Neuroscience:
  • Medical and health research topics:
  • Psychology:
  • Vision / eye movement:

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2015: BPS William Inman Prize: Awarded the BPS William Inman Prize for the paper entitled "Efficacy and feasibility of home-based training for individuals with homonymous visual field defects"

Selected Grants

  • 2019: Can cognitive tests differentiate Progressive Supranuclear Palsy from Parkinson's disease? (£148494.43 from The Dunhill Medical Trust)
  • 2016: An examination of factors influencing the success of a training app for individuals with a partial visual loss (£68644.00 from The Dunhill Medical Trust)
  • 2015: Seedcorn Impact Funding: Rehabiliation of visual deficits following brain injury; getting training into clinical practice
  • 2014: Rehabilitation of visual function after brain injury (£105000.00 from AHSN)