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Dr Megan Willis

BPsych Macq, PhD Macq.

Megan Willis

Associate Investigator

Contact Details

Phone : +61 2 9701 4501
email : Megan.Willis@acu.edu.au
ORCID : http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2310-0018

External Address

School of Psychology
Australian Catholic University

Profile

I completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) degree in 2005 at Macquarie University. My Honours research was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Darren Burke and investigated the effect of potential threat, configural information and stimulus presentation time on facial expression processing, within the visual search paradigm. In 2006, I joined MACCS to complete my PhD research which explored the cognitive and neural mechanisms involved in processing emotional expressions and using emotional expressions to guide social judgements. I am now a Lecturer in Psychology at the Australian Catholic University.

Recent External Appointments

  • Reviewer, Cognition and Emotion. (2014 continuing)
  • Reviewer, PLoS ONE. (2014 continuing)
  • Reviewer, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. (2013 continuing)
  • Reviewer, Social Neuroscience. (2013 continuing)
  • Reviewer, Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. (2012 continuing)
  • Reviewer, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. (2012 continuing)
  • Reviewer, British Journal of Psychology. (2011 continuing)
  • Reviewer, Emotion. (2011 continuing)
  • Reviewer, Biological Psychology. (2010 continuing)
  • Reviewer, Neuroimage. (2010 continuing)
  • Reviewer, Neuroscience. (2009 continuing)
  • Reviewer, Perception. (2009 continuing)

External Memberships

  • Australasian Experimental Psychology Society
  • Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society
  • Australasian Society for Psychophysiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Society
  • Social and Affective Neuroscience Society

Recent Grants Awarded

  • Australian Catholic University Research Funding (2016) "The effect of transcranial random noise stimulation on face identity and facial expression recognition." Willis, M., Bailey, P., & Palermo, R. ($48,481)
  • Australian Catholic University Research Funding Scheme Program Grant (2014 - 2018) "Innovations in psychological assessment and intervention: Cognition and emotion." Rendell, P.G., McLennan, S.N., Terrett, G., Vercammen, A., Willis, M.L., Henry, J.D., Kliegel, M., Curran, H.V., & Ruffman, T. ($1,230,000)
  • Australian Catholic University Research Funding (2014 - 2015) "The development of facial expression processing." Willis, M., Palermo, R., & Badcock, N.A. ($40,000)
  • Australian Catholic University Research Support Team (2013) "Clinical health psychology and the treatment of obesity and diabetes." Brennan, L., Mosely, K., Moffitt, R., Lang, C., Willis, M.L., & Rogers, J.M. ($15,000)
  • Australian Catholic University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Early Career Research Incentive Award (2013) "Understanding individual differences in prosocial behaviour." Willis, M.L. ($4,000)
  • Australian Catholic University Early Career Research Grant Scheme (2012) "The effect of ageing and anxiety on social cognition." Willis, M.L. ($9,500)
  • Australian Catholic University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Early Career Research Incentive Award (2012) "The role of verbal and non-verbal feedback on confidence and performance." Willis, M.L. ($5,478)
  • Australian Catholic University Faculty Research Grant Scheme (2012) "The psychophysiological indices of implicit and explicit facial expression processing." Willis, M.L., Terrett, G., & Rendell, P. ($5,044)

Media Engagement

Selected Publications

Periodicals

  • Willis, M.L., Lawson, D.L., Ridley, N.J., Koval, P., & Rendell, P.G. (2015). The contribution of emotional empathy to approachability judgements assigned to emotional faces is context specific. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1209. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01209
  • Willis, M.L., Murphy, J.M., Ridley, N.J., & Vercammen, A. (2015). Anodal tDCS targeting the right orbitofrontal cortex enhances facial expression recognition. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10(12), 1677-1683. doi:10.1093/scan/nsv057
  • Willis, M.L., Palermo, R., McGrillen, K., & Miller, L. (2014). The nature of facial expression recognition deficits following orbitofrontal cortex damage. Neuropsychology, 28(4), 613-623. doi:10.1037/neu0000059
  • Willis, M.L., Dodd, H.F., & Palermo, R. (2013). The relationship between anxiety and the social judgements of approachability and trustworthiness. PLoS ONE, 8(10), e76825. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076825
  • Palermo, R., Willis, M.L., Rivolta, D., McKone, E., Wilson, C.E., & Calder, A.J. (2011). Impaired holistic coding of facial expression and facial identity in congenital prosopagnosia. Neuropsychologia, 49, 1226-1235.
  • Willis, M.L., Palermo, R., & Burke, D. (2011). Judging approachability on the face of it: The influence of face and body expressions on the perception of approachability. Emotion, 11(3), 514-523. doi:10.1037/a0022571
  • Willis, M.L., Palermo, R., & Burke, D. (2011). Social judgments are influenced by both facial expression and direction of eye gaze. Social Cognition, 29(4), 415-429. doi:10.1521/soco.2011.29.4.415
  • Willis, M.L., Palermo, R., Burke, D., Atkinson, C., & McArthur, G. (2010). Switching associations between facial identity and emotional expression: A behavioural and ERP study. NeuroImage, 50, 329-339. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.11.071
  • Willis, M.L., Palermo, R., Burke, D., McGrillen, K., & Miller, L. (2010). Orbitofrontal cortex lesions result in abnormal social judgements to emotional faces. Neuropsychologia, 48, 2182-2187. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.04.010

Published Abstracts

  • Bentvelzen, A., McArthur, G., Badcock, N.A., Johnson, B., Willis, M.L., Lee, S., & Savage, G. (2013). Right-hemisphere memory: Lateralisation effects of material, modality, novelty, verbalisation and sex [Abstract]. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25(Suppl. 1), 51.
  • Bentvelzen, A., McArthur, G., Johnson, B., Willis, M., Lee, S., & Savage, G. (2011). Event-related EEG suggests modality rather than material specific memory lateralisation [Abstract]. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, 43(3), 224-225. doi:10.1177/1550059412444821
  • Burke, D., Sulikowski, D., Willis, M.L., McKone, E., & Favelle, S. (2011). Judging approachability on the face of it [Abstract]. Australian Journal of Psychology: Combined Abstracts of 2011 Australian Psychology Conferences.
  • Palermo, R., Willis, M.L., Rivolta, D., McKone, E., Wilson, C.E., & Calder, A. (2011). Holistic coding of facial expression and facial identity is impaired in congenital prosopagnosia [Abstract]. Australian Journal of Psychology: Combined Abstracts of 2011 Australian Psychology Conferences.
  • Palermo, R., Willis, M., Rivolta, D., Wilson, C.E., & Calder, A.J. (2010). Holistic perception of facial expression in congenital prosopagnosia [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 10, 591. doi:10.1167/10.7.591
  • Willis, M.L., Palermo, R., Burke, D., McGrillen, K., & Miller, L. (2010). The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in the evaluation of approachability [Abstract]. Australian Journal of Psychology: Combined Abstracts of 2010 Australian Psychology Conferences.
  • Savage, G., Johnson, B., Willis, M., Lee, S., & McArthur, G. (2009). ERP measures of material specificity for crossmodal relational memory [Abstract]. NeuroImage, 47, S98.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., & Burke, D (2009). Deciding to approach other people: The influence of face and body expressions [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 9(8), 489.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., & Miller, L. (2009). The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in facial expression processing [Abstract]. Australian Journal of Psychology, 61, 58.
  • Palermo, R., Atkinson, C., Willis, M., de Lissa, P., Sewell, C., & McArthur, G. (2008). Implicit and explicit processing of facial expression in childhood, adolescence and adulthood [Abstract]. Australian Journal of Psychology, 60(Suppl. 1), 92.
  • Palermo, R., Atkinson, C., Willis, M., de Lissa, P., Sewell, C., & McArthur, G. (2008). Implicit and explicit processing of facial expression in childhood, adolesence and adulthood: An ERP study [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 8(6), 704.
  • Savage, G., Willis, M., Lee, S., Johnson, B., & McArthur, G. (2008). ERP measures of material specificity in recognition memory [Abstract]. Australian Journal of Psychology, 60(Suppl. 1), 223.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., McArthur, G., Burke, D., & Atkinson, C. (2008). Switching associations between facial identity and emotional expression is more difficult for angry expressions compared to happy expressions: A behavioural and ERP study [Abstract]. NeuroImage, 41, S119.
  • Willis, M.L., Palermo, R., & Burke, D. (2008). Don't go giving me the evils! The role of emotional expression in the evaluation of approachability [Abstract]. Australian Journal of Psychology, 60(1), 105.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., McArthur, G., Burke, D., & Atkinson, C. (2007). Switching associations between facial identity and emotional expression: A behavioural and ERP study [Abstract]. Australian Journal of Psychology, 59(Suppl. 1), 64.
  • Willis, M., & Burke, D. (2006). Processing facial expressions of emotion in a visual search task: The role of potential threat, configural information and stimulus presentation time [Abstract]. Australian Journal of Psychology, 58, 95.

Conference Presentations, Colloquia, and other presentations

  • Willis, M.L., Badcock, N.A., Ridley, N.J., & Palermo, R. (2016, August). Perceptual processing and emotional conceptual knowledge skills are associated with the development of facial expression recognition abilities from childhood to adulthood. Poster session presented at the 39th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP2016), Barcelona, Spain.
  • Willis, M.L., Badcock, N.A., Ridley, N.J., & Palermo, R. (2016, July). The development of facial expression recognition. Paper presented at the 12th Annual Asia Pacific Conference on Vision (APCV 2016), Fremantle.
  • Willis, M.L. (2014, December). The psychology of emotions. Paper presented at the Conference for Emotions in International History, Melbourne.
  • Willis, M.L., Netscher, C.P., Terrett, C., & Rendell, P.G. (2014, July). Losing the feel for social 4 judgements: Age-­related physiological changes when evaluating the approachability of emotional faces. Poster session presented at the 12th International Cognitive Neuroscience Conference, Brisbane.
  • Willis, M.L., Windsor, N., Amiss, D., & Ridley, N. (2014, April). Help! I need somebody! Paper presented at the 41st Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference, Brisbane.
  • Bentvelzen, A., McArthur, G.M., Badcock, N. A., Johnson, B., Willis, M., Lee, S., & Savage, G. (2013, July). Right-hemisphere memory: Lateralisation effects of material, modality, novelty, verbalisation and sex. Poster session presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, USA.
  • Willis, M.L., Palermo, R., McGrillen, K., & Miller, L. (2013, April). Detecting facial expression processing deficits following orbitofrontal cortex damage. Poster session presented at the 6th Annual Meeting of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, USA.
  • Willis, M.L., Palermo, R., & Burke, D. (2012, July). The factors influencing approachability: The role of facial expression, body expression and social anxiety. Paper presented at the Experimental Psychology Society Meeting, Bristol, UK.
  • Willis, M.L., Palermo, R., Jacob, S., & Burke, D. (2012, July). The factors influencing judgements of approachability: Exploring the influence of facial expression, body expression and social anxiety. Paper presented at the Experimental Psychology Society Meeting, Bristol, UK.
  • Willis, M.L. (2012, June). Beyond explicit recognition: The influence of facial expressions on behaviour. Colloquium at the School of Psychology, The University of Western Australia, Perth.
  • Bentvelzen, A., McArthur, G., Johnson, B., Willis, M., Lee, S., & Savage, G. (2011, December). Material-specific memory lateralisation depends on modality: event-related EEG. Poster session presented at the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference - 21st Meeting of the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Bentvelzen, A., McArthur, G., Johnson, B., Willis, M.L., Lee, S., & Savage, G. (2011, December). Event-­related EEG suggests modality rather than material specific memory lateralisation. Poster session presented at the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference - 21st Meeting of the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Bentvelzen, A., McArthur, G., Johnson, B., Willis, M., Lee, S., & Savage, G. (2011, November). Material-specific memory lateralisation depends on modality: event-related EEG. Poster session presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) Annual Workshop, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Burke, D., Sulikowski, D., Willis, M.L., McKone, E., & Favelle, S. (2011, April). Is holistic/configural processing restricted to human faces? Poster session presented at the 38th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Palermo, R., Willis, M.L., Rivolta, D, McKone, E., Wilson, C.E., & Calder, A.J. (2011, April). Impaired holistic coding of facial expression and facial identity is impaired in congenital prosopagnosia. Paper presented at the 38th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Palermo, R., Willis, M.L., Rivolta, D., McKone, E., Wilson, C.E., & Calder, A.J. (2011, April). Holistic coding of facial expression and facial identity in congenital prosopagnosia. Paper presented at the 38th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Willis, M.L., Palermo, R., & Burke, D. (2011, April). Judging approachability on the face of it. Paper presented at the 38th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Palermo, R., Willis, M., Rivolta, D., Wilson, C. E., & Calder, A.J. (2010, June). Holistic coding of identity and expression in congenital prosopagnosia. Paper presented at the International Society for Behavioral Neuroscience, Collioure, France.
  • Palermo, R., Willis, M., Rivolta, D., Wilson, C.E. and Calder, A.J. (2010, May). Holistic perception of facial expression in congenital prosopagnosia. Poster session presented at the 10th Annual Meeting of the Visual Sciences Society (VSS), Naples, USA.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., Burke, D., McGrillen, K., & Miller, L. (2009, November). The effect of orbitofrontal cortex lesions on facial expression processing. Paper presented at the Faculty of Human Sciences Higher Degree Research Showcase, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., & Miller, L. (2009, August). Impaired facial expression processing in patients with lesions of the orbitofrontal cortex. Poster session presented at the The Emotional Brain, Sydney, Australia.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., & Miller, L. (2009, July). Facial expression processing deficits following orbitofrontal cortex lesions. Poster session presented at the Experimental Psychology Society Meeting, York, UK.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., & Burke, D. (2009, May). Deciding to approach other people: The influence of face and body expressions. Poster session presented at the 9th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society, Florida, USA.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., & Miller, L. (2009, April). The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in facial expression processing. Paper presented at the 36th Experimental Psychology Conference, Wollongong, Australia.
  • Palermo, R., Atkinson, C., Willis, M., de Lissa, P., Sewell, C., & McArthur, G. (2008, July). The development of facial expression perception. In W. Hayward & G. Rhodes (Chair), Expertise effects in face processing. Invited paper presented at the Asia-Pacific Conference on Vision, Brisbane.
  • Palermo, R., Atkinson, C., Willis, M., de Lissa, P., Sewell, C., & McArthur, G. (2008, June). Perceiving facial expressions in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Paper presented at the International Society for Behavioral Neuroscience, Sydney.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., McArthur, F., Burke, D., & Atkinson, C. (2008, June). Switching associations between facial identity and emotional expression is more difficult for angry expressions compared to happy expressions: A behavioural and ERP study. Poster session presented at the Organisation for Human Brain Mapping, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Palermo, R., Atkinson, C., Willis, M., de Lissa, P., Sewell, C., & McArthur, G. (2008, May). Implicit and explicit processing of facial expression. in childhood, adolescence and adulthood: An ERP study. Paper presented at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society, Florida, USA.
  • Palermo, R., Atkinson, C., Willis, M., de Lissa, P., Sewell, C., & McArthur, G. (2008, March). Implicit and explicit processing of facial expression in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Paper presented at the 35th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference, Fremantle.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., & Burke, D. (2008, March). Don't go giving me evils! The role of emotional expression in the evaluation of approachability. Paper presented at the 35th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference, Fremantle, Western Australia..
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., & Miller, L. (2008, January). Facial expression deficits following lesions of the orbitofrontal cortex. Paper presented at the Department of Linguistics and Psychology Research Festival, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
  • Willis, M., & Palermo, R. (2007, December). The role of emotional expression in the evaluation of approachability. Paper presented at the Department of Linguistics and Psychology Research Festival, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., McArthur, G., Burke, D., & Atkinson, C. (2007, April). Switching associations between facial identity and emotional expression: A behavioural and ERP study. Paper presented at the 34th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference, Canberra.
  • Willis, M., Palermo, R., McArthur, G., Burke, D., Atkinson, C. (2006, December). Reversal learning and facial expressions of emotion: An ERP study. Paper presented at the Department of Linguistics and Psychology Research Festival, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
  • Willis, M., & Burke, D. (2006, April). Processing facial expressions of emotion in a visual search task: The role of potential threat, configural information and stimulus presentation time. Paper presented at the 33rd Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Brisbane.

Further Information

Contact Details

Telephone: +61 2 9850 4127
Email : ccd@mq.edu.au
Web : www.ccd.edu.au

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