Naz Derakhshan, PhD
Professor of Experimental Psychopathology


1998 PhD in Experimental Psychopathology Royal Holloway University of London, UK


Nazanin Derakshan has been a Professor of Experimental Psychopathology at Birkbeck University of London, UK, since 2012, and is a former Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow. She is Director of the Risk and Resilience in Mental Well-Being laboratory, and the Director of the BRiC Centre (Centre for Building Resilience in Breast Cancer). Her research examines the neuro-cognitive mechanisms of emotional vulnerability in anxiety and depression and designs interventions that can reduce emotional vulnerability by enhancing cognitive plasticity and attentional control towards psychological well-being and resilience in vulnerable populations. She has published influential and highly cited theoretical and empirical papers, She has won various awards throughout her career. She is an advocate for public engagement of science at the Royal Society, the Wellcome Trust and the British Academy and has held major editorial posts in top international journals in her field. 

Research Interests

  1. Understanding the neurocognitive mechanisms behind anxiety and depressive vulnerability.
  2. Understanding the effects of anxiety and depression on cognitive and behavioural performance outcomes
  3. Targeting attentional control through adaptive cognitive training techniques to reduce emotional vulnerability and boost cognitive flexibility towards resilience.

Scientific Activities

Teaching Experience
2012-Present Professor of Experimental Psychopathology, Birkbeck University of London, UK
2013-2015 Visiting Professor, University of Oxford, UK
2012-2013 Visiting Research Associate, St John’s College, Oxford, UK
2009-2011 Reader in Psychology, logical Sciences, Birkbeck University of London, UK
2006-2008 Senior Lecturer in Psychology. Birkbeck University of London, UK
2004-2006 Lecturer in Psychology, Birkbeck University of London, UK
2000-2004 Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow in Experimental Psychopathology. University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
1999-2000 Postdoctoral Research Fellow. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
1998-1999 Temporary lecturer in Psychology, University of Sussex, UK
Honors & Awards
2012 Nominated for a National Teaching Fellowship Award by the Pro-Vice Master for Learning and Teaching at Birkbeck University of London, UK
2003 Teaching Award for excellence in teaching and learning, University of Leeds, UK
2002 Young Scientist and Early Career Award, International Society for Research on Stress and Anxiety
2000 Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship to advance the relatively new field of experimental psychopathology (She was the second person in the UK to have been awarded this prestigious fellowship in Psychology)


  1. Koster, E.W.H., Hoorelbeke, K., Onraedt, T., Owens, M., &Derakshan, N. (2017).A systematic review of findings from training studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 53: 79 – 92.
  2. Ducrocq, M., Wilson, M., Vine, S. &Derakshan, N. (2016). Training attentional control improves cognitive and motor task performance. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 38 (5), 521 – 533.
  3. Sari, B., Koster, E., Pourtois, G., &Derakshan, N. (2016). Training working memory to improve attentional control in anxiety: A proof-of-principle study using behavioral and electrophysiological measures Biological Psychology.
  4. Kalanthroff, E., Henik, A., Derakshan, N., & Usher, M. (2016). Anxiety, Emotional Primes and Attentional Control in the Stroop Task. Emotion, 16 (3), 293 – 300.
  5. Sari, B., Koster, E.W.H., &Derakshan, N. (2016). Active worrying reduces working memory capacity. Cognition & Emotion
  6. Eysenck, M.W., Allen, P., Derakshan, N. & Moser, J. (under review). Trait anxiety, processing efficiency and performance effectiveness: A neurocognitive framework for attentional control theory. Clinical Psychological Science
  7. Course-Choi, J., Saville, H., &Derakshan, N. (2017). Increasing processing efficiency in high worriers using working memory and mindfulness meditation training. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 89, 1 – 13.
  8. Berggren, N., &Derakshan, N. (2015). Enhanced visual detection in trait anxiety. Emotion, 15 (4), 477 – 483.
  9. Owens, M., Derakshan, N. & Richards, A. (2015). Trait susceptibility to worry modulates the effects of cognitive load on cognitive control: An ERP study. Emotion, 15 (5), 544-549.
  10. Myers, L.B., &Derakshan, N (2015). The relationship between two types of impaired emotion processing: repressive coping and alexithymia. Frontiers in Psychology (Emotion Science).
  11. Berggren, N., &Derakshan, N. (2014). Inhibitory deficits in trait anxiety: Increased stimulus-based or response-based interference? Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 21 (5), 1339 – 1345.
  12. Berggren, N., &Derakshan, N. (2013). Blinded by fear? Prior exposure to fearful faces enhances attentional processing of task-irrelevant stimuli. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 66, 2204-2218.
  13. Berggren, N., &Derakshan, N. (2013). The role of consciousness in attentional control differences in trait anxiety. Cognition and Emotion, 27, 923-931.
  14. Berggren, N., &Derakshan, N. (2013). Trait anxiety reduces implicit expectancy during target spatial probability cueing. Emotion, 13, 345-349.
  15. Berggren, N., &Derakshan, N. (2013). Attentional control deficits in anxiety: Why you see them and why you don’t. Biological Psychology, 92, 440-446.
  16. Berggren, N., Richards, A., Taylor, J., &Derakshan, N. (2013). Affective attention under cognitive load: Reduced emotional biases but emergent anxiety-related costs to inhibitory control. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 188.
  17. Owens, M., &Derakshan, N. (2013). The effects of dysphoria and rumination on cognitive flexibility and task selection. ActaPsychologica, 142, 323-331.
  18. Owens, M., Koster, E.W.H., &Derakshan, N. (2013). Improving attention control in dysphoria through cognitive training: Effects on working memory capacity and filtering efficiency. Psychophysiology, 50, 297-307.
  19. Berggren, N., Koster, E.W.H., &Derakshan, N. (2012). The effect of cognitive load in emotional attention and trait anxiety: An eye-movement study. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 24 (1), 79 – 91.
  20. Derakshan, N., &Koster, E.H.W. (2012). Introduction to the Special Issue on ‘Information processing, affect, and psychopathology: A Festschrift for Michael W. Eysenck. Festschrift in honour of Michael W. Eysenck’s career’. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 24 (1), 1 – 5.
  21. Everaert, J., Koster, E.H.W., &Derakshan, N. (2012). The combined cognitive bias hypothesis in depression. Clinical Psychology Review, 32, 413 – 424.
  22. Flykt, A., Lindeberg, S., &Derakshan, N. (2012). Fear makes you stronger: Responding to feared animal targets in visual search. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 74, 1437-1445.
  23. Unguetti-Pacheco, A. P, Acosta, A., Lupianez, J., Naiker, R., &Derakshan, N. (2012). Response inhibition and attentional control in anxiety. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65 (4), 646 – 660.
  24. Owens, M., Koster, E.H.W., &Derakshan, N. (2012). Impaired filtering efficiency in dysphoria: An ERP study. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 7, 752-763.
  25. Ansari, T.L., &Derakshan, N. (2011). The neural correlates of impaired inhibition in anxiety: An ERP study. Neuropsychologia, 49 (5), 1146 – 1153.
  26. Ansari, T.L., &Derakshan, N. (2011). The neural correlates of cognitive effort in anxiety: Effects on processing efficiency. Biological Psychology, 86, 337 – 348.
  27. Berggren, N., Hutton, S.B., &Derakshan, N. (2011). The effects of self-report cognitive failures and cognitive load on antisaccade performance. Frontiers in Cognition, 2, 280
  28. De Lissnyder, Derakshan, N., De Raedt, R., &Koster, E.H.W. (2011). Depressive symptoms and attentional control in a mixed antisaccade task: The specific effects of rumination. Cognition & Emotion. 25 (5), 886 – 897.
  29. Eysenck, M.W., &Derakshan, N. (2011). New perspectives in attentional control theory. Personality and Individual Differences. 50, 955 – 960.
  30. Fox, E., Derakshan, N., &Standage, H. (2011). The assessment of human attention. In Karl Christophe Klauer, Christoph Stahl, and Andreas Voss (Eds). Cognitive Methods in Social Psychology. Guilford Press. pp. 15 – 47.
  31. Koster, E.H.W., De Lissnyder, E., Derakshan, N., & De Raedt, R. (2011) Understanding depressive rumination from a cognitive science perspective: The impaired disengagement hypothesis. Clinical Psychology Review. 31(1), 138 – 145.
  32. Richards, A., Hannon, E.M., &Derakshan, N. (2011). Predicting and manipulating the incidence of inattentional blindness. Psychological Research, 74(6), 513 – 523.
  33. Richards, A., Hannon, E.M. and Derakshan, N. (2011). Why are some people inattentionally blind and can training reduce its frequency of occurrence? Proceedings of the thirtieth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Taylor Francis: USA. (peer reviewed paper)
  34. Ansari, T.L., &Derakshan, N. (2010). Anxiety impairs inhibitory control but not volitional action control. Cognition & Emotion, 24(2), 241-254.
  35. De Lissnyder, E., Koster, E.H.W., Derakshan, N., & De Raedt. R. (2010). The association between depressive symptoms and executive control impairments in response to emotional and non-emotional information. Cognition & Emotion, 24(2), 264-280.
  36. Derakshan, N. & Eysenck, M.W. (2010). Introduction to the special issue: Emotional states, attention, and working memory. Cognition & Emotion 24(2), 189-199.
  37. Derakshan, N., &Koster, E.H.W. (2010). Processing efficiency in anxiety: Evidence from eye-movements during visual search. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 46, 1180 – 1185.
  38. Schwerdtfeger, A., &Derakshan, N. (2010). The time line of threat processing and vagal withdrawal in response to a self-threatening stressor in cognitive avoidant copers: Evidence for vigilance-avoidance theory. Psychophysiology, 47(4), 786-795.

Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Advancements