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David C. Greatrex

David C. Greatrex

PhD (2013-2017): Investigating the effects of temporal expectation on complex decision making

MPhil (2010-2011): A cross modal investigation into dynamic attending theory


Decision making
Sensory entrainment
Dynamic attending
Sequential sampling

Psychophysical experimentation
Sound lateralization
Decision weight analysis
Computational modelling

David Greatrex uses experimental psychology methods to investigate how temporal expectations bias complex decision making and whether current timing theories generalise under experimental tasks that are representative of complex everyday decision making. This is achieved via psychophysical sound lateralization experiments, complex averaging and valuation experiments, decision weight analysis and computational modelling. The work aims to better understand the interdependence between temporal expectations and complex decision making and to build a predictive framework on which to quantitively map out underlying cognitive processes. David is currently looking to apply the outputs of his research to the field of human-machine interface design with the aim of helping people make more accurate classification decisions. The PhD has so far been examined by neuroscientist Dr Benedetto De Martino and senior lecturer in sound processing Dr Marcus Pearce and is supervised by Professors Ian Cross and Sarah Hawkins. The research is fully funded by a research council studentship received in 2013. In the same year David received an offer to study a PhD at the department of physiology and neuroscience at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Professors Kia Nobre and Jan Schnupp

In addition to his PhD, David gained an MPhil from the CMS between 2010-2011. He conducted psychological research into cross-modal effects of temporal expectation which involved audio-visual experimentation in which participants detected on-screen avatar movements whilst moving rhythmically. The work showed that acoustically induced temporal expectations were accompanied by fluctuations in visual selective attention, highlighting the potential dangers of listening to loud beat based music whilst driving. Prior to Cambridge, David graduated with a first class degree from Birmingham Conservatoire.

Aside from academia, David has a strong business analytic background having worked as a financial analyst for Visa Europe, a technology startup in Poland and now AstraZeneca in Cambridge. He currently sits on the professional advisory board of a UK based research charity called Reverse Rett who fund scientific research into Rett Syndrome and related MECP2 disorders. He is also a keen programmer and helps to lead the Cambridge University algorithmic trading society (CUATS).


Departments and Institutes

Christ's College

Wolfson College