Graham Pluck

Graham Pluck
Chulalongkorn University · Faculty of Psychology

BSc, BA, PhD
Committed to developing evidence-based higher education and building research capacity.

About

81
Publications
136,683
Reads
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1,808
Citations
Introduction
Internationally-focused academic, researching clinical cognitive sciences. Currently Visiting Psychology Faculty at Chulalongkorn University. Founder of the Institute of Neurosciences at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador. Previous posts in Kazakhstan and Japan. Postdoctoral training at University of Sheffield and King's College London. PhD from University College London. BSc., BA, PhD, AFBPsS.
Additional affiliations
December 2018 - present
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)
Position
  • Managing Director
January 2012 - January 2014
Chuo University
Position
  • Lecturer in Social Science
January 2012 - present
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
September 2005 - June 2015
The University of Sheffield
Field of study
  • Spanish and Latin American Studies (part-time studies)
October 1996 - January 2000
University College London
Field of study
  • Medical Sciences
September 1993 - June 1996
University of Birmingham
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (81)
Article
Full-text available
Mass migration and people seeking political refuge are critical social issues facing Latin America. Ecuador has the largest population of recognized refugees in the region. Youths from a migration background have an increased risk of becoming NEET (Young people not in employment, education, or training). Such youths struggle more with mental health...
Article
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Una parte fundamental de la evaluación del estado cognitivo es la determinación de la capacidad cognitiva general. Sin embargo, las pruebas cognitivas más comunes no están estandarizadas para su uso en Ecuador. Esto ha limitado el alcance y la precisión de las evaluaciones clínicas neuropsicológicas en el país. Se aplicó la Escala de Inteligencia p...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose There are differences in epidemiology, etiology, and outcome in status epilepticus (SE) between developing and developed countries, which limits generalizability. We evaluated factors related to outcome at 3 months in SE patients in a developing country- Ecuador. Methods Retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected dataset of patien...
Chapter
‘Street children in Latin America’ examines the phenomenon of street-connected youth in Latin American countries, in particular, associations with mental illness and substance abuse. Children may be street-connected for many reasons, including being homeless. However, many street children do have family homes to return to, and their unsupervised pr...
Article
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Introduction: In research, a simple measure of general cognitive ability is often required. One method is the Matrix Matching Test, a brief, free-to-use, language-free assessment of general cognitive ability or intelligence in adults, which taps both fluid and crystalized processes. We investigated its reliability and validity with adolescent parti...
Conference Paper
Smartphone use has become ubiquitous among college students, with several reports suggesting that students spend over six hours per day on their devices. However, the potential effects of extended engagement with of smartphones on cognitive ability and academic achievement are not well understood. In this research we compared problematic self-repor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Widely recognized in differential psychology, but less so in cognitive science, the positive manifold is the phenomena of all cognitive tests inter-correlating positively. Frequently demonstrated in people, it can also be observed in non-human species. With 217 Ecuadorian adult participants, who performed 11 cognitive tests, we show that all 55 pai...
Article
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Computational modeling and brain imaging studies suggest that sensitivity to rewards and behaviorist learning principles partly explain smartphone engagement patterns and potentially smartphone dependence. Responses to a questionnaire, and observational measures of smartphone use were recorded for 121 university students. Each participant was also...
Preprint
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Objective: Estimation of premorbid function is essential to accurate identification of cognitive impairments. We explored how lexical tasks can be used to estimate various cognitive functions. Methods: Adults with cognitive impairment due to neurological illness (n = 15) and a non-clinical sample of adults (n = 143) completed tests of word pronunc...
Article
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Family socioeconomic status (SES) is closely associated with cognitive ability in children and adolescents. However, most of the research has come from high-income countries. There is only limited research on ‘street children’, who represent an aspect of low-SES particularly associated with low- and middle-income counties. The current research in Q...
Article
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Adolescents in foster care are exposed to maltreatment and inadequate social support which can have lasting repercussions on their emotional development. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of social support on the use of emotional regulation strategies in Ecuadorian adolescents in foster care and non-foster peers. This study recruited...
Article
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The Tower Test in the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) is a widely-used assessment of executive function in young people. It is similar to other Towers of Hanoi type tasks, for which doubts about reliability have been raised previously. Here we present data on the internal consistency, unidimensionality, and test-retest reliability o...
Chapter
Full-text available
The transfer of information processed by human beings from their short-term memory (STM) to their semantic memory creates two kinds of knowledge: a semantic network of associations and a structured set of rules to govern human deliberate behaviour under explicit attention. This paper focuses on the memory processes that create the first of these tw...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Few studies have evaluated the incidence, predisposing factors and impact of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) in relation to outcomes among patients with status epilepticus (SE). Objective: To investigate the variables associated with development of HCAIs among patients with SE and the impact of factors relating to HCAIs on mor...
Article
Full-text available
A classical distinction in cognitive science is between fluid and crystalized abilities. Fluid ability is captured by many common executive function and intelligence tests. Crystalized ability, on the other hand, can be measured quite simply via lexical decision tasks including the English-language Spot-the-Word Test. However, no similar Spanish-la...
Preprint
Full-text available
Socioeconomic status (SES) is linked to development of cognitive abilities, particularly language and executive processes. It is unclear whether these represent a single, or independent correlates. We studied 110 Ecuadorian youths aged 12-17 with measures of SES, language, executive function and theory of mind (ToM), a.k.a. mentalizing. A subsample...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: Smartphone use provides unprecedented levels of interpersonal communication and access to information. Constant presence of the technology permits frequent and prolonged use, providing social reward signals and competing for attention with non-online life. University students typically spend over 6 hours per day directly interacting w...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The ABO blood group system is associated with neurological health and cognitive impairment, and also with structural differences in the healthy human brain. The current research aimed to examine how blood group may be associated with neuropsychological functions in non-clinical participants.Method: Participants were 132 students at two...
Preprint
Smartphone use has become ubiquitous. Keeping smartphones close and always on, with alerts for new messages, etc., means that users experience unprecedented levels of distracting and reinforcing stimulation, with wide-ranging psychological implications. We interviewed 121 students to record aspects of smartphone use, personality, psychological dist...
Article
Background: People experiencing homelessness are at increased risk of neurological disorder due to multiple factors such as substance abuse, infection, and higher rates of serious mental illness and traumatic brain injury. This could affect cognitive and language skills. Indeed, past research has suggested that certain language-related skills tend...
Article
Executive functions are proposed to underpin intelligent goal-directed behavior. Such skills, linked through multiple neuropsychological studies to functioning of the frontal lobes, are theorized to predict achievement in non-routine activities. Furthermore, patients with frontal lobe damage often display disorganized behavior and real-life failure...
Preprint
Background People vary between each other on several neurobehavioral traits, which may have implications for understanding academic achievement.Methods University-level Psychology or Engineering students were assessed for neurobehavioral traits, intelligence, and current psychological distress. Scores were compared with their grade point average (G...
Article
The concept of intelligence as a measurable trait of intellectual function continues to be an important issue in psychology. Traditionally, a core field of differential psychology and widely employed in applied settings, it is also important in various research fields. Here, I describe development of a new assessment of general intelligence of adul...
Article
Background: There is a dearth of research on the roles of non-declarative (implicit) learning linked to the striatum and declarative (explicit) learning associated with the medial temporal lobes as predictors of academic attainment. Methods: Participants were 120 undergraduate students, studying Psychology or Engineering, who completed several l...
Article
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The prediction of academic achievement with cognitive testing has important practical and theoretical implications. Although there are associations between cognitive performance and school grades, this does not extend well to higher education. An alternative to intelligence or IQ testing as a predictor of grades is lexical reading. Access to the me...
Article
Socioeconomic status (SES) is known to have a considerable influence on the development of neuropsychological functions. In particular there is strong evidence for less efficient development of prefrontal-cortex-related functions in children raised in low-SES households. “Street children” are a common feature of low SES in many low- and middle-inco...
Article
Full-text available
Objetivo: La valoración premórbida de la función cognitiva es esencial para la interpretación de la presencia y severidad del deterioro cognitivo. El método más confiable para evaluar esto en países hispanohablantes es el Word Accentuation Test (WAT) / Test de Acentuación de Palabras (TAP), ya que predice los resultados de pruebas de inteligencia m...
Article
It is hypothesized that performance on frontal-lobe neuropsychological tests and intelligence tests may independently contribute to variation in academic achievement in higher education. We examined the ability of an IQ test (the WAIS-IV) to predict grade point averages (GPA) in a sample of 64 undergraduate students. We also included a battery of f...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Frequently in research there is a need to assess general intellectual functioning. However, commercial tests are expensive and available only in the main world languages. This can stifle research in many poorer countries. Here we present a new free-to-use test, the Matrix Matching Tasks. Language free and administrable in 10-20 minutes, it is compo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Homelessness is a common feature of many developed countries. Some homeless adults may be at risk of developing neuropsychological disorders due to factors associated with homelessness, such as substance abuse. Alternatively, homelessness may be a consequence of acquired neuropsychological impairment for some individuals. We have taken a social neu...
Article
Objective: Homelessness has frequently been associated with neuropsychological impairment. This has been observed using general screening tests for dementia as well as tests of more focal abilities, particularly executive function. Most studies have been of homeless individuals from North America with none reported from Japan. Methods: In this expl...
Article
Extremely poor youths working and/or living unsupervised in urban environments are a common feature in many developing low and middle income countries. Such ‘street children’ may or may not be homeless, but all are inevitably vulnerable to exploitation and violence. Furthermore, there tends to be a high prevalence of substance abuse, particularly ‘...
Article
無住居状態における認知機能障害:東京における調査的研究 概要 目的: 無住居状態はしばしば神経心理学的な機能障害と関連付けられてきた。 これらの障害は認知症のスクリーニング検査や認知機能検査を主とする、局所 神経機能検査で認めることが出来る。大半の研究は北アメリカの無住居状態の 個人が対象であり、日本人を対象に研究が行われた報告はない。 方法:東京において実施した調査では、我々(著者ら 3 人)は、16 人の無住居 状態の成人を抽出し、認知機能検査、外傷性脳損傷の有無を査定する検査、常 習行為(薬物、賭博、アルコール乱用)に関する検査を行い、無住居状態の詳 細についても記録した。発病前 IQ を測るための認知機能検査は、日本語版 NART を使用した。 (Japanese Adult Rea...
Article
'Street children' live or work in the cities of many countries, particularly in low- and middle-income countries of Latin America, Africa and Asia. They are exposed to violence and abuse and are frequently exploited. Levels of substance abuse are typically very high, particularly glue sniffing. On the other hand, many 'street children' demonstrate...
Article
Full-text available
Background The occurrence of personality disorder among community supervised offenders may have important implications for their management. There is, however, a dearth of contextual information on personality disorder in such populations.AimsThis study aimed to identify demographic, substance use and forensic features that distinguish community-se...
Article
Background There is a dearth of information on suicidal thoughts and acts or other acts of deliberate self-harm by offenders under community supervision.AimsThe objective of this study is to estimate lifetime and one month prevalence of deliberate self-harm and to determine ongoing risk among offenders in the community under probation supervision.M...
Article
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) remains the most acutely effective treatment for severe depression, but its use has declined since its introduction more than 70 years ago. To provide some historical perspective on changes in ECT practice, the objective of the present study was to identify trends in ECT practice in selected teaching hospitals in Sou...
Article
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Teaching academic material through English as a foreign language presents additional challenges for the students, but also additional benefits. I report on a module of medical psychology taught in English to Ecuadorian university students whose first language is Spanish. Comparisons of pre and post module reading comprehension scores showed that th...
Article
Background: Homelessness is associated with an increased incidence of mental illness and risk of self-harm, including suicide. Aims: To assess the prevalence of self-harm (including nonsuicidal self-injury and attempted suicide) among a UK sample of homeless adults and to compare demographic, clinical, and homeless-related variables to determine...
Article
Self-harming (e.g., self-cutting or self-poisoning, irrespective of suicidal intent) is common among young people. We studied 586 consecutive referrals (474 individuals) to a specialist self-harm service over five years. We found that young people who repeated self-harm, compared to those that did not, tended to have complex family and personal his...
Article
Although relatively rare in industrialised and developed countries, the phenomenon of young people spending much of their time in urban environments in the context of extreme poverty is common in the cities of the developing world. Interventions are generally focused on bringing the children into education systems. However, the children have often...
Article
Negative symptoms are most widely recognized as being a common feature of schizophrenia and were recognized even in the first clinical descriptions of the disorder by Kraepelin. These negative features can be understood in psychological terms as representing a wide spectrum impairment of goal directed behavior. However, there are many other clinica...
Chapter
Full-text available
Childhood abuse has multiple negative impacts on lifetime development. Increased levels of psychiatric problems are well documented, in particular personality disorder and substance abuse. Furthermore, effects can be long lasting and heavily influence the life course of the abused individuals. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that homeless ad...
Article
Purpose: To investigate demographic, clinical and neuropsychological aspects of self-harm in schizophrenia and identify which are independently predictive of and therefore the most relevant to clinical intervention. Subjects and methods: Eighty-seven patients with schizophrenia were interviewed regarding substance misuse, depression, hopelessnes...
Article
Levels of mental illness amongst prisoners are high, but little is known about the situation of those serving community sentences. More information is needed at a time when the UK Department of Health is seeking to improve mental health service access for all offenders. To estimate the prevalence of both current and lifetime mental illness, an epid...
Article
We asked 24 schizophrenia patients and 24 healthy comparison subjects to complete a parametric working memory version of the continuous performance test. Patients exhibited a relatively rapid performance decline with increasing working memory demands. We suggest an interaction between sustained attention and working memory abnormalities in schizoph...
Article
Personality disorder (PD) is an important indicator of future recidivism, and a brief assessment of PD would be of great value to those working in the criminal justice system. There is insufficient research on PD among probation populations. We examined the concurrent validity of a mini-interview for PD, the Standardised Assessment of Personality—A...
Article
Full-text available
There is an established corpus of evidence linking substance abuse with neuropsychological impairment, particularly implicating frontal lobe functions. These could potentially be premorbid to, rather than consequences of, direct effects of substance abuse. A matched pairs design was employed in which currently abstinent opiate abusers in treatment...
Article
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Curiosity is an aspect of intrinsic motivation that has great potential to enhance student learning. Theory and evidence describing curiosity are discussed, focusing on psychological and pedagogical literature relating to adult education. In particular, the concept of ‘information gaps’ as a source of academic curiosity is explored. In addition, th...
Article
To compare electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) practice between London in the United Kingdom and Bengaluru in India. A retrospective case note study was conducted to compare patterns of referrals for ECT in university teaching hospitals in London (n = 46) and Bengaluru (n = 345) during a 1-year period. Further comparison of ECT practice was made for a...
Article
Full-text available
Parkinson's disease (PD) patients display low novelty seeking scores on the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ), which may reflect the low dopamine function that characterises the disease. People with PD also display raised harm avoidance scores. Due to these and other observations, a “parkinsonian personality” has been suggested. Howeve...
Article
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has a long history of use in treating depression. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been introduced more recently to the treatment spectrum. Its cost-effectiveness has not been explored. Forty-six right-handed people with severe depressive episodes referred for ECT were randomised to receive eit...
Article
Methohexitone has been the most widely used anaesthetic for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). However, recent scarcity and erratic availability has led to use of other anaesthetics with differing effects upon ECT. We compared treatment parameters and response to ECT in patients anaesthetised with different anaesthetics in a routine clinical setting....
Article
Using the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI; P. G. Zimbardo & J. N. Boyd, 1999), the authors found that homeless people, in comparison with a control group, had a significantly more negative outlook concerning their past and present as evinced by high Past-Negative and Present-Fatalistic scores and low Past-Positive scores on the ZTPI. Howe...
Article
Effectiveness of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for major depression is unclear. The authors performed a randomized controlled trial comparing real and sham adjunctive rTMS with 4-month follow-up. Fifty-nine patients with major depression were randomly assigned to a 10-day course of either real (n=29) or sham (n=30) rTMS of the...
Article
Patients with schizophrenia have difficulty recognising the emotion that corresponds to a given facial expression. According to signal detection theory, two separate processes are involved in facial emotion perception: a sensory process (measured by sensitivity which is the ability to distinguish one facial emotion from another facial emotion) and...
Article
Full-text available
To investigate if repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was as effective as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in treating major depressive episodes and to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis. A single-blind pragmatic multicentre randomised controlled trial (RCT) with 6 months of follow-up to test equivalence of rTMS with ECT. The Sout...
Article
Full-text available
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been reported to be as effective as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for major depression. The authors conducted a multicenter randomized, controlled trial to test the equivalence of rTMS with ECT. Forty-six patients with major depression referred for ECT were randomly assigned to either a 15-d...
Article
Objetivo: Se ha publicado que la estimulación magnética transcraneal repetitiva (EMTr) es tan efectiva como la terapia electroconvulsiva (TEC) para tratar la depresión mayor. Los autores realizaron un ensayo controlado y aleatorizado ulticéntrico para evaluar la equivalencia de la EMTr y la TEC. Método: Cuarenta y seis pacientes con depresión mayor...
Chapter
Full-text available
The evidence for the efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in depression is substantial. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that ECT is an effective treatment for depression and probably more effective than drug therapy.1 However, there are fewer research data available for the use of ECT in mania and in bipolar depression...
Article
Full-text available
We report the case of a patient with left parietal damage (MH) who is selectively impaired at both detecting and localising targets defined in terms of their orientation. Performance was relatively good in other tasks where the target was defined either by a single feature (colour) or an orientation conjunction. The results are consistent with the...
Article
To assess apathy in patients with Parkinson's disease and its relation to disability, mood, personality, and cognition. Levels of apathy in 45 patients with Parkinson's disease were compared with a group of 17 similarly disabled patients with osteoarthritis. Additional neuropsychiatric data were collected concerning levels of depression, anxiety, a...
Article
Reviews the book, Personality and psychopathology by C. Robert Cloninger (see record 1999-08169-000). The American Psychopathological Association annually publishes review volumes in the general field of mental health. In this edited volume the relationship between affective disorder and premorbid personality and in particular personality disorder...
Thesis
Full-text available
Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) are often described as failing to show a normal range of goal directed behaviours. Among explanations that have been proposed for this apathy are effects of personality, depression and disability. This thesis investigated the phenomena from a neuropsychological perspective. It was found that PD patients are si...
Article
In many neurological and psychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, symptoms are present that appear to reflect an essential absence of normal movement, cognition and emotional states. These negative symptoms might reflect fundamental impairments in basic brain mechanisms that underlie goal-directed behaviour. Knowledge...
Article
Full-text available
A great deal of research into visual attention has used search tasks. From these a distinction has arisen between fast parallel search and slower, serial search. Parallel search can be used when a target differs from all of the distracters by a single feature, but a serial search strategy must be used if the target differs only by a combination of...

Questions

Questions (10)
Question
It is said that the p value for a t-test can be calculated as one-tailed or two-tailed. This makes sense as Condition A scores can be higher, or lower than Condition B scores (so a two-directional hypothesis is often appropriate).
We can also analyse the same data with One-way ANOVA and get the exact same p value (for a two-tailed t-test). But this time it is said that the analysis is one-tailed (because the F distribution is one-tailed). But it is effectively being used to assess a two-directional hypotheses (as the F distribution doesn't care which condition scores are higher).
Consequently, if we were to test a one-directional hypothesis with an ANOVA, would we have to divide the p value by 2? Or should we just avoid using ANOVA for one-directional hypotheses?

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
We are developing several cognitive tests. Some are novel assessments of cognitive ability, particularly measures of current and premorbid intelligence. We are also validating some existing tests, and norming some for use in Ecuador. We have collaborators in Riobamba, Guayaquil and Manta for the norming aspect.
Project
The research has two goals: 1. To investigate who smartphone use may be linked to attention, e.g. sustained attention or response inhibition. 2. To investigate the role of instrumental learning in smartphone use, e.g. are people with high use more conditionable or do they respond to potential rewards differently to people low smart phone use.
Project
When adolescents cannot live with their families they may need to be raised in institutional group homes. Lack of contact with parents may lead to abnormal emotional and cognitive development. In this research we are examining the neurocognitive and psychosocial status of adolescents living in group homes around Quito, Ecuador, and comparing scores to a control group of adolescents living with their families.