Dr Anna Hughes

Department of Psychology
Dr Anna Hughes



I completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge, and then worked at University College London and at the University of Exeter. I joined the University of Essex as a Lecturer in 2020. Broadly, I am interested in how humans and other animals perceive the world and how they use this information to make decisions.

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Visual search

Open to supervise

Visual camouflage and mimicry

Open to supervise

Cognitive modelling

Open to supervise

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Cognitive Psychology and Economics (EC956)

  • Discovering Psychology: The Science Behind Human Behaviour (PS111)

  • Preparing for University Psychology (PS116)

  • Seeing and Hearing (PS414)

  • Memory Attention and Language (PS415)

  • Advanced Seeing and Hearing (PS921)

  • Advanced Statistics for Research (PS947)


Journal articles (16)

Šulc, M., Hughes, AE., Troscianko, J., Štětková, G., Procházka, P., Požgayová, M., Piálek, L., Piálková, R., Brlík, V. and Honza, M., (2022). Automatic identification of bird females using egg phenotype. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 195 (1), 33-44

Clarke, A., Hunt, A. and Hughes, A., (2022). Foraging as sampling without replacement: a Bayesian statistical model for estimating biases in target selection. PLoS Computational Biology. 18 (1), e1009813-e1009813

Hughes, AE., Griffiths, D., Troscianko, J. and Kelley, LA., (2021). The evolution of patterning during movement in a large-scale citizen science game.. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288 (1942), 20202823-20202823

Koleček, J., Piálková, R., Piálek, L., Šulc, M., Hughes, AE., Brlík, V., Procházka, P., Požgayová, M., Capek, M., Sosnovcová, K., Štětková, G., Valterová, R. and Honza, M., (2021). Spatiotemporal patterns of egg laying in the common cuckoo. Animal Behaviour. 177, 107-116

Briolat, ES., Arenas, LM., Hughes, AE., Liggins, E. and Stevens, M., (2021). Generalist camouflage can be more successful than microhabitat specialisation in natural environments. BMC Ecology and Evolution. 21 (1), 151-

Šulc, M., Štětková, G., Jelínek, V., Czyż, B., Dyrcz, A., Karpińska, O., Kamionka-Kanclerska, K., Rowiński, P., Maziarz, M., Gruszczyński, A., Hughes, AE. and Honza, M., (2020). Killing behaviour of adult brood parasites. Behaviour. 157 (12-13), 1099-1111

Hughes, AE., Greenwood, JA., Finlayson, NJ. and Schwarzkopf, DS., (2019). Population receptive field estimates for motion-defined stimuli.. NeuroImage. 199, 245-260

Šulc, M., Troscianko, J., Štětková, G., Hughes, AE., Jelínek, V., Capek, M. and Honza, M., (2019). Mimicry cannot explain rejection type in a host–brood parasite system. Animal Behaviour. 155, 111-118

Hughes, A., Liggins, E. and Stevens, M., (2019). Imperfect camouflage: how to hide in a variable world?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 286 (1902), 20190646-20190646

Griffiths, AGF., Modinou, I., Heslop, C., Brand, C., Weatherill, A., Baker, K., Hughes, AE., Lewis, J., de Mora, L., Mynott, S., Roberts, KE. and Griffiths, DJ., (2019). AccessLab: Workshops to broaden access to scientific research.. PLoS Biology. 17 (5), e3000258-e3000258

Hughes, AE., (2018). Dissociation between perception and smooth pursuit eye movements in speed judgments of moving Gabor targets.. Journal of Vision. 18 (4), 4-4

Hughes, AE., Jones, C., Joshi, K. and Tolhurst, DJ., (2017). Diverted by dazzle: perceived movement direction is biased by target pattern orientation.. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 284 (1850), 20170015-20170015

Hughes, AE., Southwell, RV., Gilchrist, ID. and Tolhurst, DJ., (2016). Quantifying peripheral and foveal perceived differences in natural image patches to predict visual search performance.. Journal of Vision. 16 (10), 18-18

Hughes, AE., Magor-Elliott, RS. and Stevens, M., (2015). The role of stripe orientation in target capture success.. Frontiers in Zoology. 12 (1), 17-

Hughes, AE., Troscianko, J. and Stevens, M., (2014). Motion dazzle and the effects of target patterning on capture success.. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 14 (1), 201-

Troscianko, J., Lown, AE., Hughes, AE. and Stevens, M., (2013). Defeating crypsis: detection and learning of camouflage strategies.. PLoS One. 8 (9), e73733-e73733

Conferences (1)

Clarke, ADF. and Hughes, AE., (2021). A Generative Model of Target Switching Behaviour in Visual Foraging

Reports and Papers (1)

Clarke, ADF., Hunt, AR. and Hughes, A., Foraging as sampling without replacement: a Bayesian statistical model for estimating biases in target selection

Grants and funding


Developing a collaborative framework for naturalistic visual search

British Academy

Conspecific brood parasitism in an altricial passerine: physiological conditionals, behavioural adaptations and fitness consequences

Czech Academy of Sciences

+44 (0) 1206 873435


1.702, Colchester Campus

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