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Department of Psychology


Dr Daniel Smith, MSc, PhD

Personal web page

Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 40436
Room number: L73

(email at

Research Interests

My research examines the interaction between the motor system, specifically the oculomotor system, and cognitive processes such as attention, working memory and motivation. My goal is to understand how activity in the motor system helps resolve competition between different representations in the visual system. I also try to apply these findings to developing novel techniques for neurorehabilitation. I use a variety of techniques, including neuropsychological studies of people with brain injuries, lab-based studies with healthy participants, eye-tracking and neurostimulation (TMS / TDCS). I am also interested in motivation, in particular the effect of goals on persistence in athletes. You can follow my progress on twitter @AttentionLab.

Indicators of Esteem

Research Groups

Research Interests

  • Neurorehabilitation of visual field defects
  • Visual attention
  • Oculomotor control
  • Goals and motivation in sport

Teaching Areas

  • Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

    (11 hours/year.)
  • Psychology into Schools

    (15 hours/year.)
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology

    (22 hours/year.)

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Show all publications

Related Links

Selected Grants

  • 2018: Laidlaw Scholarship in Research and Leadership (£6000 studentship + £1500 research costs)
  • 2016: Control of Attention by the Motor System: A Motor Bias Theory of Attention (£342080.00 from ESRC)
  • 2016: Durham University Seedcorn Funding for project “Aesthetic/Cognitive Appreciation of the Cycle of Jacob and his Twelve Sons by Francisco de Zurbarán at Auckland Castle: Insights from Eye-tracking”
  • 2015: EPS Workshop Grant (£3500)
  • 2014: EPS Undergraduate Research Bursary (£1800)
  • 2014: Rehabilitation of visual function after brain injury (£105000.00 from AHSN)
  • 2011: EPS Undergraduate Research Bursary (£2000)
  • 2011: How does the eye-movment system mediate the formation, retention and recall of visuospatial working memories? (£76054.84 from ESRC)
  • 2009: Searching for rewards: Can operant conditioning modulate saccade metrics?. OneNorthEast
  • 2008: Home-based training for patients with visual field deficits. NIHR PB-PG-0407-12038
  • 2007: EPS Small Grant (£2000)