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Iro Ntonia

PhD student

Department of Psychology

Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit


Thesis title: Modulation of lateralised responses to primary affect.

Supervisor: Dr Elliot Freeman

Overview and research interests

Iro's doctoral research explores the neurological pathways underlying primary emotional processing and visual attention. Prevalent themes in her research include the pre-attentive processing of threat; speed-accuracy trade off as a function of anxiety in the perception of primary emotions; approach/avoidance responses to perceived threat; and the exploration of individual differences in amygdala volume as a marker of differential and lateralised responses to emotional stimuli. 

Iro's thesis posits a modulation of lateralised response patterns to positive and negative affect by timing, individual differences, nasal/temporal display of emotional stimuli, and auditory threat.

Research interests

  • Neuroscience of primary affect
  • Pre-attentive perception of threat
  • Cortical and subcortical processing pathways for primary emotion
  • Cerebral lateralisation of affect
  • Automatic responses to near-threshold threat-related stimuli

Iro has a DipRes in Psychology Research (Oxford Brookes University), an MSc (Merit) in Cognitive Neuroscience (Oxford Brookes University) and a BSc (Hons) in Neuropsychology (University of Central Lancashire).


  • Ntonia, I., Savva, G., Joseph, L. & Freeman, E.D. (2013). Lateralised responses to angry and fearful faces are modulated by gaze direction and auditory threat. British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience Annual Meeting (Book of Abstracts).
  • Ntonia, I. & Freeman, E.D. (2012). State Anxiety and Subliminal Threat. British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience Annual Meeting (Book of Abstracts).
  • Ntonia, I. & Ntonias, S. (2006). Differential Hemispheric Activation in Emotional Responses: Evidence by Conjugate Lateral Eye Movements. Annals of General Psychiatry 5 (suppl. 1): S303
  • Ntonia, I. & Ntonias, S (2006). Hemispheric Lateralisation of Affect: Relationship to Handedness and Schizotypy. The 2nd Dual Congress on Psychiatry and the Neurosciences (Book of Abstracts): p.70.

Awards and grants

  • April 2013: British Association of Cognitive Neuroscience Bursary (£200)


  • Module leader for Research design & statistics.
  • SPSS clinics for Doctoral, DPsych, MSc and 3rd year Undergraduate students.
  • Research methods in Psychology
  • Research design & analysis (laboratory methods)

Iro has also been a Visiting Lecturer at London Southbank University.