Clearing 2021

Dr Gethin Hughes

Senior Lecturer
Department of Psychology
Dr Gethin Hughes



I completed my PhD at Goldsmiths, University in London in 2008, having also obtained my BSc and MSc at the same institution. I then completed an 18-month post-doc at the University of Oxford followed by 3 years at Université Paris Descartes before joining the Department of Psychology, University of Essex in September 2012.

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Sense of Agency

The sense of Agency refers to the the feeling that we are in control of our actions, and the effects that they have on the environment. This can be measured explicitly, or implicitly (using intentional binding or sensory attenuation). The sense of agency is also impaired in Schizophrenia and Autism. My research in this area uses a combination of behavioural, EEG and brain stimulation techniques.

Key words: Sense of Agency
Open to supervise


I am interested in various aspects of metacognition. From metacognition of vision (how confident are you in what you saw), to metacognition of action (how difficult was it to respond on that trial). I am also interested in the link between metacognition and psychopathologies such as anxiety and depression.

Key words: Action control
Open to supervise

Action Understanding

My research in this are focuses on how we understand the actions of others, and how this is influenced by things like object knowledge, person knowledge and other context. We investigate these questions using behavioural methods, as well as EEG and TMS.

Key words: Mirror Neurons
Open to supervise

Multisensory Integration

My research in this area investigates the degree to which individual differences in the rate at which we sample the world (and integrate sensory information), influences our perception more generally, and ultimately contributes to things like delusional beliefs in schizophrenia.

Key words: Temporal binding Window
Open to supervise

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Psychology Project (PS300)

  • Brain and Behaviour (PS411)

  • The Neuroscience of Human Nature (PS495)

  • Psychopathology (PS504)

  • MSc Psychology Research Project (PS900)

  • Research Project (MSc) (PS934)

  • Advanced Brain and Behaviour (PS943)

  • Theory and Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology (PS949)

Previous supervision

Peter Leslie Thomas Gooding
Peter Leslie Thomas Gooding
Thesis title: The Association Between Belief in Free Will, Personal Control, and Life Outcomes
Degree subject: Psychology
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 16/7/2020
Benjamin James Fenner
Benjamin James Fenner
Thesis title: Timing the Senses and Sensing the Time: Individual Differences in Subjective Duration
Degree subject: Psychology
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 21/2/2020
Joshua Paul Irvin Moreton
Joshua Paul Irvin Moreton
Thesis title: Causality and Sense of Agency: A Social-Cognitive Approach with Temporal and Spatial Binding
Degree subject: Psychology
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 21/8/2019


Journal articles (30)

Callan, MJ., Moreton, J. and Hughes, G., (2021). Immanent Justice Reasoning by Spatial Proximity. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 12 (1), 25-33

Harrison, AW., Mannion, DJ., Jack, BN., Griffiths, O., Hughes, G. and Whitford, TJ., (2021). Sensory attenuation is modulated by the contrasting effects of predictability and control.. NeuroImage. 237, 118103-118103

Han, N., Jack, BN., Hughes, G., Elijah, RB. and Whitford, TJ., (2021). Sensory attenuation in the absence of movement: differentiating motor action from sense of agency.. Cortex. 141, 436-448

Venskus, A. and Hughes, G., (2021). Individual differences in alpha frequency are associated with the time window of multisensory integration, but not time perception.. Neuropsychologia. 159, 107919-107919

Van Lierde, E., Goubert, L., Vervoort, T., Hughes, G. and Van den Bussche, E., (2020). Learning to fear pain after observing another's pain: An experimental study in schoolchildren. European Journal of Pain. 24 (4), 791-806

Muscarella, C., Mairesse, O., Hughes, G. and Van den Bussche, E., (2020). Behavioral and neural dynamics of cognitive control in the context of rumination. Neuropsychologia. 146, 107503-107503

Fenner, B., Cooper, N., Romei, V. and Hughes, G., (2020). Individual differences in sensory integration predict differences in time perception and individual levels of schizotypy. Consciousness and Cognition. 84, 102979-102979

Van den Bussche, E., Alves, M., Murray, YPJ. and Hughes, G., (2020). The effect of cognitive effort on the sense of agency. PLoS One. 15 (8), e0236809-e0236809

Berntsen, MB., Cooper, NR., Hughes, G. and Romei, V., (2019). Prefrontal transcranial alternating current stimulation improves motor sequence reproduction. Behavioural Brain Research. 361, 39-49

Muscarella, C., Mairesse, O., Hughes, G., Neu, D. and Van den Bussche, E., (2019). Recruitment dynamics of cognitive control in insomnia. Sleep. 42 (5)

Hughes, G., (2018). The role of the temporoparietal junction in implicit and explicit sense of agency. Neuropsychologia. 113, 1-5

Gooding, PLT., Callan, MJ. and Hughes, G., (2018). The Association Between Believing in Free Will and Subjective Well-Being Is Confounded by a Sense of Personal Control. Frontiers in Psychology. 9 (MAY), 623-

Moreton, J., Callan, MJ. and Hughes, G., (2017). How much does emotional valence of action outcomes affect temporal binding?. Consciousness and Cognition. 49, 25-34

Desender, K., Van Opstal, F., Hughes, G. and Van den Bussche, E., (2016). The temporal dynamics of metacognition: Dissociating task-related activity from later metacognitive processes. Neuropsychologia. 82, 54-64

Hughes, G., (2015). ERP and behavioral evidence of increased sensory attenuation for fear-related action outcomes. Biological Psychology. 111, 8-13

Roussel, C., Hughes, G. and Waszak, F., (2014). Action prediction modulates both neurophysiological and psychophysical indices of sensory attenuation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 8 (1 FEB), 115-

Hughes, G. and Waszak, F., (2014). Predicting faces and houses: Category-specific visual action-effect prediction modulates late stages of sensory processing. Neuropsychologia. 61 (1), 11-18

Hughes, G., Mathan, S. and Yeung, N., (2013). EEG indices of reward motivation and target detectability in a rapid visual detection task. NeuroImage. 64 (1), 590-600

Bussche, EVD., Vermeiren, A., Desender, K., Gevers, W., Hughes, G., Verguts, T. and Reynvoet, B., (2013). Disentangling conscious and unconscious processing: a subjective trial-based assessment approach. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 7 (NOV), 769-

Jones, A., Hughes, G. and Waszak, F., (2013). The interaction between attention and motor prediction. An ERP study. NeuroImage. 83, 533-541

Hughes, G., Desantis, A. and Waszak, F., (2013). Attenuation of auditory N1 results from identity-specific action-effect prediction. European Journal of Neuroscience. 37 (7), 1152-1158

Hughes, G., Desantis, A. and Waszak, F., (2013). Mechanisms of intentional binding and sensory attenuation: The role of temporal prediction, temporal control, identity prediction, and motor prediction.. Psychological Bulletin. 139 (1), 133-151

Roussel, C., Hughes, G. and Waszak, F., (2013). A preactivation account of sensory attenuation. Neuropsychologia. 51 (5), 922-929

Desantis, A., Hughes, G. and Waszak, F., (2012). Intentional Binding Is Driven by the Mere Presence of an Action and Not by Motor Prediction. PLoS ONE. 7 (1), e29557-e29557

Waszak, F., Cardoso-Leite, P. and Hughes, G., (2012). Action effect anticipation: Neurophysiological basis and functional consequences. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 36 (2), 943-959

Hughes, G. and Yeung, N., (2011). Dissociable correlates of response conflict and error awareness in error-related brain activity. Neuropsychologia. 49 (3), 405-415

Hughes, G., Schutz-Bosbach, S. and Waszak, F., (2011). One Action System or Two? Evidence for Common Central Preparatory Mechanisms in Voluntary and Stimulus-Driven Actions. Journal of Neuroscience. 31 (46), 16692-16699

Hughes, G. and Waszak, F., (2011). ERP correlates of action effect prediction and visual sensory attenuation in voluntary action. NeuroImage. 56 (3), 1632-1640

Bussche, EVD., Hughes, G., Humbeeck, NV. and Reynvoet, B., (2010). The relation between consciousness and attention: An empirical study using the priming paradigm. Consciousness and Cognition. 19 (1), 86-97

Hughes, G., Velmans, M. and De Fockert, J., (2009). Unconscious priming of a no-go response. Psychophysiology. 46 (6), 1258-1269

Grants and funding


Sense of Agency in the Ouija Board Experience

Bial Foundation

+44 (0) 1206 874154


4.710, Colchester Campus