Skip to main content
Solent Unviersity Southampton logo
Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

The Mind-Body Connections research group exists to gain a greater understanding of the interrelationship between the cognitive and physiological processes, and human behaviour. Mind-body connections is a dynamic and complex topic of interest that often requires a multidisciplinary approach. As such, our team of experts often work collaboratively to understand human function and the affect it has on our behaviour. Our research group contains experts within the following fields:

  • Exercise physiology
  • Sport psychology
  • Health and exercise psychology
  • Nursing
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychophysiology
  • Biomechanics

Research projects

A selection of current research projects and interests from members of the Mind-Body Connections research group:

  • The exploration of breathing interventions, HRV in sport settings, and HRV and executive function.
  • Multimodal research incorporating mobile brain imaging, ambulatory ECG and EMG to evaluate the relationships between cognitive and physical function.
  • Evaluation of electro-cortical brain activity in older adults and neurological diseases.
  • The use of simulated environments (VR) to optimise decision making and anticipation in sport and use of VR in treatment of sporting-related phobias
  • A collaborative research project with The University of Exeter exploring the validity and fidelity of simulated shipping environments within the maritime industry.
  • The effect of a psychoeducation and slow-paced breathing intervention on the wellbeing and cardiac vagal activity of student athletes.
  • An interdisciplinary psychophysiological case study in motor sport.
  • The European Super League: fan protests and English football's new regulatory regime.
  • The reliability and sensitivity of the sub-maximal yo-yo intermittent recovery (level 1) test in professional soccer players during a 6-week pre-season.
  • A novel cycling protocol to estimate critical power and the finite work capacity.


A selection of recent publications from members of the Mind-Body Connections research group:

  • Mosley, E., & Laborde, S. (2021). Heart rate variability in sport and exercise psychology: A systematic review. Under Review
  • Duncan, S., (2021). Extraction of the GSV electrical artefact from EEG recordings of the motor related cortical potential. Under review
  • Discombe, R. M., Bird, J. M., Kelly, A., Blake, R. L., Harris, D. J., & Vine, S. J. (2021). Effects of traditional and immersive video on anticipation in cricket: A temporal occlusion study. Psychology of Sport and Exercise.
  • Duncan, S., Gosling, A., Panchuk, D., & Polman, R.C.J. (2019). “Validation of a multidirectional locomotive dual-task paradigm to evaluate task-related differences in event-related electro-cortical activity” Journal of Behavioural Brain Research
  • Britton, D. M., Kavanagh, E. J., & Polman, R. C. (2019). A path analysis of adolescent athletes’ perceived stress reactivity, competition appraisals, emotions, coping, and performance satisfaction. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1151.

Person wired up for EEG testing

Postgraduate research opportunities

The The Mind-Body Connections research group offers supervision for MPhil/PhD’s within the above-mentioned research areas. We are currently accepting self-funded research students in a range of specialisms, who will be supported by our academic members. If you would like more information about postgraduate research opportunities, please contact Dr Shelley Duncan. More information regarding Solent University's research programme can be found here.

Areas of postgraduate supervision

  • Heart rate variability sport and exercise psychology
  • Mobile brain imaging
  • Breathing interventions
  • Virtual reality in sport and exercise psychology
  • Physiology of cycling

Current PhD project themes

  • Adherence and motivation to exercise.
  • Optimal functioning in strength and conditioning.
  • Health and wellbeing in a diabetic population.
  • Nursing pedagogy.
  • Psychological care and wellbeing within allied health professionals.
  • Achieving optimal running performance and economy.
  • Growth, mindset, and physical education.
  • Range of motion and muscle hypertrophy.

Get in touch

If you're interested in joining the group, please get in touch with Dr Shelley Duncan for more information.

Follow us on Twitter

Back to top