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Personal profile


I joined the Psychology Department at Aston University and the School of Life and Health Sciences in May 2013, having spent the previous 7.5 years at the Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging and the School of Psychology at Glasgow University.
I obtained my Diploma in Psychology from Mannheim University in 1995. I also finished my PhD in Mannheim (1999) while working at the Collaborative Research Centre "Situated Artificial Communicators" at Bielefeld University. I was then employed as a researcher at the Wolfson Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Wales, Bangor and subsequently in the MEG (Magnetoencephalography) Laboratory at Duesseldorf University before coming back to the UK.

I am member of the Aston Neuroscience Institute (ANI) management group, PI at the Aston Brain Centre (ABC), and co-Director of ALIVE (a recently established virtual reality research facility).

Research Interests

My research interests include attention, executive function, and working memory, as well as embodied social alignment at various levels of complexity, ranging from simple mirroring to high-level mentalizing. More recently, I have investigated these research interests with my team using novel multi-method approaches to individual and group differences in relation to culture, autism, compulsive checking, and neurocognitive decline in ageing. We are applying behavioural methods, Virtual Reality (VR) and neuroimaging, such as Magnetoenecephalography (MEG), Electroencephalogram (EEG), and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), to understand high-level cognitive functions, characteristic of our species, in their typical and clinical expressions. Additionally, I collaborate at Aston University as well as nationally and internationally with colleagues on a variety of projects and including additional methods such as (f)MRI, transcranial electric stimulation, and new MEG technology using optically pumped magnetometers. 


05/2013 -- Present     Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University
09/2010 – 04/2013     Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Glasgow
08/2005 – 08/2010     Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Glasgow University
05/2002 – 07/2005     Research Officer, MEG Laboratory, Department of Neurology, Duesseldorf University
02/2001 – 04/2002     Research Officer, School of Psychology, University of Wales, Bangor
02/1995 – 01/2001     Research Assistant (postdoctoral after June 1999), Department of Linguistics, Bielefeld University


  •   Diploma in Psychology (Dipl-Psych), Mannheim University (Germany) 1994

  •   PhD in Psychology, Mannheim University (Germany) 1999

Teaching Activity

In Psychology I convene and teach a 2nd year module on "Brain and Behaviour" (PY2242) together with Dr Dan Shaw and Dr Ed Walford (convenor of practical element) and a 3rd year module on “Basics of Joint Attention” (PY3005). 

I also teach on the Msc "Cognitive Neuroscience" and convene the module "Advanced Methods of Cognitive Neuroscience".


Please get in touch (k.kessler@aston.ac.uk) if you would like to discuss a psychology final year project or an MSc project.

Contact Details

email: k.kessler@aston.ac.uk
telephone: +44 (0) 121 204-3187

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Research Output

Age-Related Changes in Attentional Refocusing during Simulated Driving

Huizeling, E., Wang, H., Holland, C. & Kessler, K., 7 Aug 2020, In : Brain Sciences. 10, 8, p. 1-22 22 p., 530.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • A Neuro-VR toolbox for assessment and intervention in Autism: Brain responses to non-verbal, gaze and proxemics behaviour in Virtual Humans.

    Kelly, C., Bernardet, U. & Kessler, K., 11 May 2020, Proceedings - 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VRW 2020. IEEE, p. 565-566 2 p. 9090451

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference publication

  • Reduced auditory steady state responses in autism spectrum disorder

    Seymour, R. A., Rippon, G., Gooding-williams, G., Sowman, P. F. & Kessler, K., 1 Jul 2020, In : Molecular Autism. 11, 1, 56.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • The right temporoparietal junction is causally associated with embodied perspective taking

    Martin, A. K., Kessler, K., Cooke, S., Huang, J. & Meinzer, M., 8 Apr 2020, In : Journal of Neuroscience. 40, 15, p. 3089-3095 7 p., 2637-19.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Dysregulated oscillatory connectivity in the visual system in autism spectrum disorder

    Seymour, R. A., Rippon, G., Gooding-Williams, G., Schoffelen, J. M. & Kessler, K., 1 Oct 2019, In : Brain. 142, 10, p. 3294-3305 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access