Tom Bloniewski is a first-year PhD student who is working under the supervision of Dr Yulia Kovas. He got his MSc in the Science of Psychology, Genetics, and Education in 2014 at Birkbeck College. He is broadly interested in the topic of attention and perceptual capacity. He is also fascinated by the factors that can potentially mediate the increase/decrease of attentional capacity in relation to cognitive control and the impact of these on performance outcome measures of processing efficiency. In this respect, he is particularly interested in the role of top down prefrontal control of attention on the inhibition of task-irrelevant distraction. He is also excited about the new research building up around the recent genetic findings in the area of anxiety, and how the relation between genes and attention is modulated by individual differences in domains such as working memory. Currently, Tom is involved in the project on mathematical anxiety, looking at the twin dataset from the Western Reserve Reading and Math Project from the Ohio State University.
In February 2015, Tom spent two weeks in Moscow to take part in the ongoing pilot EEG study on mathematical anxiety in Russian students which is based at the laboratory of developmental behavior genetics at the Psychological Institute.