• United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

My research is focused on understanding human memory and attention, and how these cognitive processes are affected by adult ageing, emotion (especially anxiety), and lifestyle factors (such as cognitive engagement). 

I gained my PhD in cognitive ageing at Glasgow Caledonian University in 2007. I then worked as a postdoctoral fellow, first at Glasgow Caledonian and then at The University of Edinburgh, where I worked on European Research Council and Leverhulme Trust-funded research projects. Prior to joining Strathclyde, I was a Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University (2011-2014). Some of my research on cognitive ageing has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

I am Director of the Strathclyde Ageing Network, comprising Strathclyde's multidisciplinary ageing-related researchers and professionals, including the Centre for Lifelong Learning.

I am a Fellow of the Psychonomic Society and the Higher Education Academy, and a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society.

Research Interests

I am interested in cognitive ability in young and older adults. My research focuses upon understanding short-term ("working") memory and attention mechanisms, with an emphasis on processing and retaining visual information. A current area of focus is upon the ability to associate ("bind") visual information in working memory, and the ways in which this may be affected by ageing. Some of my research in this area has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. I am also interested in how young and older adults can maintain and even improve their cognitive functioning, for example by using cognitive strategies or by considering lifestyle factors such as level of cognitive engagement, nutrition, or exercise.

Teaching Interests

My teaching is focused in cognition and the psychology of ageing. I am the class leader of the honours topic "psychology and ageing", and I teach in this area in the level 3 Development class. I also supervise undergraduate, masters, and PhD level research. 

Expertise & Capabilities

- human memory and attention

- visual and spatial short-term ("working") memory

- cognitive ageing

- lifestyle effects on cognition

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Glasgow Caledonian University

Master of Science, University of Stirling

Bachelor of Arts, University of Strathclyde


  • Cognitive Ageing
  • Memory
  • Attention

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Louise Brown Nicholls is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Short-Term Memory Medicine & Life Sciences
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Semantics Medicine & Life Sciences
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Executive Function Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2008 2020

Research Output 2005 2020

Anger linked to illness in old age

Brown Nicholls, L., 9 May 2019, The Conversation.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Open Access
20 Downloads (Pure)

Globalising strategies to meet global challenges: the case of ageing and dementia

Parra, M. A., Butler, S., McGeown, W. J., Brown Nicholls, L. A. & Robertson, D. J., 1 Dec 2019, In : Journal of Global Health. 9, 2, 8 p., 020310.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
Latin America
Organized Financing


Chartered Psychologist

Louise Brown (Recipient), Jun 2015

Prize: Other distinction

Elected Member of the Experimental Psychology Society

Louise Brown (Recipient), Jan 2011

Prize: Election to learned society

Activities 2001 2018

Speaker at the University of the Third Age, Paisley & District.

Louise Brown (Speaker)
5 Jul 2018

Activity: Other activity typesTypes of Public engagement and outreach - To be assigned

Working Memory Discussion Meeting

Louise Brown (Speaker), Elaine Niven (Participant), Emma Hartley (Participant), Aimee Mulgrew (Participant), Martin Nemec (Participant), Catherine Smith (Participant)
Jun 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference