PhD Studentship - Drug Therapies for ADHD: Using Eye Movements to Determine their Locus of Action

University of Sheffield

Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in Psychology at the University of Sheffield

This is one of many projects in competition for the current funding opportunities available within the Department of Psychology

Project title: Drug therapies for ADHD: Using eye movements to determine their locus of action

Primary supervisor: Dr T Stafford

Co Supervisor: Professor Paul Overton

Project description: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder, however the neural changes that underlie the disorder are poorly understood. Recent evidence suggests that a midbrain structure, the superior colliculus, is an important dysfunctional locus in the disorder. The superior colliculus plays a central role in the generation of eye movements, amongst them microsaccades (small amplitude saccades made during fixation), and we have recently shown that microsaccade rate positively correlates with ADHD-type symptoms in a non-clinical adult population, suggestive of a ‘hyper-active’ colliculus (Panagiotidi et al., 2017). The project we envisage will extend this work in two important ways: 1. By focusing on an adult population with a clinical diagnosis of ADHD, and 2. By tracking the effect of medication on microsaccade rate. This work will make an important contribution to a growing evidence base linking the colliculus to ADHD, and in particular will potentially identify one locus of therapeutic action for ADHD pharmacotherapies – a goal that has remained elusive for some time.

Panagiotidi, M., Overton, P., Stafford, T. (2017) Increased microsaccade rate in individuals with ADHD traits. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 10 (1), Article Number: 6

Start date: 1 October 2018

Requirements: Applicants must have a minimum of a first class or high upper second-class undergraduate honours degree and a distinction or high merit at Masters level in psychology or a related discipline.

Funding: Tuition fees £4194 per year Living Expenses £14,500.00

Science Graduate School

As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you'll be part of the Science Graduate School. You'll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You'll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience the breadth of technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit to learn more.

For further details and the application process please visit:

Closing date for applications is 5pm Wednesday 24 January 2018

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