Personal profile

Research interests

Research interests Lauren's research interests lie in the area of adult development and ageing. As the UK older population is projected to increase by 60% over the next thirty years (compared to 10% for the general population), and the fastest growing group 'the oldest old' is expected to more than double (Government Actuary's Department, 2006), Lauren's research aims to find ways to maintain and enhance the abilities, health, and quality of life of the older people who make up large proportions of our communities.Current research activities focus on how cognitive ageing impacts the control and regulation of action in everyday tasks, and how relationships between perception and action change with age to impact everyday functional ability (e.g., visual control of walking, the perception of 'usability' of everyday objects and wider environments). Lauren is also interested in: how participation and functional ability are influenced by social-cognitive factors such as attitudes and beliefs; the large variation in abilities between older people and thus the psychological and other factors associated with 'normal' (healthy) versus pathological (disease related) ageing; and how we can apply research in these areas to maintaining and enhancing everyday functioning across the whole adult lifespan through the development of appropriate interventions, psychological assessment tools, and the 'inclusive' design of everyday objects and environments.


Lauren trained in Counselling before achieving a first class honours degree in Applied Psychology from Heriot-Watt (2001), along with the University's premier award; the Watt Club Medal for the Highest Academic Distinction. She gained her PhD in the psychology of ageing while working as an Honorary Research Fellow (Strathclyde University 2001-2005) on a large EPSRC-funded multidisciplinary project investigating the biomechanical and psychological parameters of older people's abilities to carry out a range of everyday tasks. This project aimed to encourage designers to take older people's abilities into account so that they can design everyday household objects that everyone can use ('inclusive' design).Lauren returned to Heriot-Watt in 2005 as Lecturer in Applied Psychology, and gained Chartered Psychologist status in teaching and research. 

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Research Output 2006 2018

How Prior Expectations Influence Older Adults’ Perception and Action During Object Interaction

Buckingham, G., Reid, D. & Potter, L. M. 2018 In : Multisensory Research. 31, 3-4, p. 301-316 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Aging and performance on an everyday-based visual search task

Potter, L., Grealy, M., Elliott, M. & Andres, P. 1 May 2012 In : Acta Psychologica. 140, 13, p. 208-217 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Healthy ageing, perceived motor-efficacy, and performance on cognitively demanding action tasks

Potter, L. M., Grealy, M. A. & O'Connor, R. C. Feb 2009 In : British Journal of Psychology. 100, 1, p. 49-70 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Statistical Factor Analysis
factor analysis

Aging and inhibition of a prepotent motor response during an ongoing action

Potter, L. M. & Grealy, M. A. Mar 2008 In : Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. 15, 2, p. 232-255 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Inhibition (Psychology)