Cai Longman

Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile


I completed my PhD investigating Spatial Attention in Task Switching with eye-tracking and EEG under the supervision of Aureliu Lavric and Stephen Monsell in 2014.

I then went on to complete a post doctoral research fellowship under the supervision on Frederick Verbruggen working on an ERC funded project investigating transfer, instructed learning and abstract representation.

My Bachelor's degree is in Cognitive Science, and I also hold a Masters Degree in Psychological Research Methods.

Before returning to the study of Psychology in 2008, I was working as a secondary school teacher specialising in ICT.

Area of academic expertise - outline

My expertise is broadly in the areas of cognitive control (attention control, task-set control) and learning (associative learning, instructed learning, category learning, transfer), though I am also familiar with some of the literature on categorization, sense of agency, testing effects, and the broader area of cognition.

I am a strong advocate of open science and try, where possible, to share all raw data files, experiment scripts and data analysis scripts.

I have expertise in eye-tracking, EEG and behavioural experiment design/analysis.

I am familiar with several data collection and analysis software packages, but I currenlty favour PsychoPy and R respectively.

Current research activities

Currently, I am particularly interested in research investigating learning, transfer, instrucions, and abstract representation. That is, what kinds of skills/knowledge/representations are likely to spontaneously transfer beyond the learning context, and how instructions can influence what is learned and/or the likelihood of transfer taking place.

My recent research has tended to use behavioural methods, though I am interested in using eye-tracking and/or EEG again if they are the appropriate tools to answer the research question.

Desired research direction

I am keen to start applying my theoretical lab-based experimental psychology on learning to the classroom.

I am a passionate educator with experience at secondary as well as tertiary education. My current research has provided me with a solid theoretical basis for how to encourage transfer of learning in students and I would like to further develop these ideas in the classroom. I am also interested in developing my knowledge in most areas of psychology that include an educational/learning aspect (e.g., testing effects, implementation intentions, behaviour change, etc.).

As an experienced teacher, I am also sensitive to the pressures placed on teachers and hope to relieve some of that burden by streamlining the way teaching can be delivered. My theoretical research on learning, transfer and instructions is an important step toward that goal. I hope that my interest in other education-facing areas of psychology will also contribute to my knowledge in this area.

Target collaborative organisations

1. Local schools

2. Local Education Authorities

3. Higher Education Academy

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education


  • BF Psychology
  • Learning
  • Transfer
  • Instructions
  • Education


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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