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Prof Leigh Riby


Department: Psychology

Leigh Riby 255He obtained his PhD in 2001 from Bristol University (executive functioning in old age) before moving on to Stirling to undertake a post-doctoral position investigating episodic memory using EEG and fMRI methodology.  Leigh also held a lectureship at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • An EEG investigation of alpha and beta activity during resting states in adults with Williams syndrome, Greer, J., Riby, D., Mcmullon, M., Hamilton, C., Riby, L. 5 May 2021, In: BMC psychology
  • Mindfulness in primary school children as a route to enhanced life satisfaction, positive outlook and effective emotion regulation, Amundsen, R., Riby, L., Hamilton, C., Hope, M., Mcgann, D. Dec 2020, In: BMC psychology
  • Frogs' Legs Versus Roast Beef: How Culture Can Influence Mind-Wandering Episodes Across the Lifespan, Martinon, L., Smallwood, J., Hamilton, C., Riby, L. 7 Jun 2019, In: Europe's Journal of Psychology
  • Patterns of on-task thought in older age are associated with changes in functional connectivity between temporal and prefrontal regions, Martinon, L., Riby, L., Poerio, G., Wang, H., Jefferies, E., Smallwood, J. 1 Jun 2019, In: Brain and Cognition
  • Perfectionism and PERMA: The Benefits of Other-Oriented Perfectionism, Birch, H., McGann, D., Riby, L. 3 Apr 2019, In: International Journal of Wellbeing
  • Reduced semantic control in older adults is linked to intrinsic DMN connectivity, Krieger-Redwood, K., Wang, H., Poerio, G., Martinon, L., Riby, L., Smallwood, J., Jefferies, E. 1 Sep 2019, In: Neuropsychologia
  • The disentanglement of the neural and experiential complexity of self-generated thoughts: A users guide to combining experience sampling with neuroimaging data, Martinon, L., Smallwood, J., McGann, D., Hamilton, C., Riby, L. 15 May 2019, In: NeuroImage
  • Glucose regulation and face recognition deficits in older adults: the role of attention, Jones, N., Riby, L., Smith, M. 2018, In: Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition
  • An event related potential study of inhibitory and attentional control in Williams syndrome adults, Greer, J., Hamilton, C., McMullon, M., Riby, D., Riby, L. 10 Feb 2017, In: PLoS One
  • Daydream Believer: Rumination, Self-Reflection and the Temporal Focus of Mind Wandering Content, Shrimpton, D., McGann, D., Riby, L. 30 Nov 2017, In: Europe's Journal of Psychology

PGR Supervision

  • Léa Martinon Mind-Wandering Experiences in Ageing: Neurocognitive Processes and Other Influencing Factors Start Date: 01/10/2015 End Date: 07/02/2019
  • Joanna Greer A Behavioural and Electrophysiological Investigation of Cognitive and Executive Dysfunction in Older Adults with Williams Syndrome Start Date: 01/03/2010 End Date: 03/01/2017

Further Information

Prof. Riby began his academic life studying for a PhD at Bristol University in experimental psychology on the topic of attentional control and multi-tasking in ageing. He then moved on to Stirling University to obtain his post-doctoral training in the use of multimodal brain imaging in the investigation of human memory. This early work was influential in driving his interest in the use of mixed methodology (behavioural, neuropsychological and imaging) to explore some of the critical research challenges in the field of gerontology.  For instance, a programme of work is using brain imaging techniques (EEG and fMRI) to examine self-generated thought and mind-wandering patterns across the lifespan. The research examines how differences in brain network connectivity in ageing between temporal and prefrontal brain regions predicts positive impacts on behaviour (e.g. creativity; problem-solving; positive aspects of self-reflection).  Beyond fundamental science, his intervention work aims to use what we have learnt in the lab to build novel and engaging programmes to encourage the use of untapped brain resources, promoting enhanced mental performance and wellbeing as we grow older. Prof. Riby’s work overall aims to lead theoretical and methodological development of successful and less successful ageing (e.g. diabetes; dementia) with the emphasis that decline is not inevitable. Further interests include the nutritional neurosciences, cognitive neuroscience of mindfulness/meditation and the link between mindful running and psychological wellbeing.


  • Psychology PhD October 01 2007
  • Psychology BSc (Hons) September 01 1993

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