Dr Peter Murphy

Psychology

Assistant Professor / Lecturer

Education House
First
2.1.3

Biography

Dr. Peter Murphy (B.A., Dip.Stat., Ph.D.) joined the Department of Psychology as an Assistant Professor/Lecturer in September 2022. Before joining Maynooth University, he graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin in 2009 and completed his Ph.D., also at Trinity College, in 2012. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Leiden University, The Netherlands (2012-2015), and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany (2015-2020), and returned to Trinity College to complete a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (2021-2022).

Peter has published his research findings in leading international neuroscience and general science journals including Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, Nature Communications, eLife, and Journal of Neuroscience. He has won funding from the European Commission (Horizon 2020) and Irish Research Council, and was awarded the Early Career Investigator Award by Neuroscience Ireland in recognition of his research.

Research Interests

Dr. Murphy investigates how brains encode information about the world (sensory perception), maintain that information over time (short-term or ‘working’ memory), and prioritize or combine it in ways that allow us to make good decisions (decision-making, cognitive control, attention). He also studies how these cognitive functions might be altered in aging and psychiatric populations. This work makes use of several methods and approaches: carefully designed paradigms for psychophysical interrogation of human task performance; measurement of brain activity using non-invasive methods (EEG, fMRI, MEG); and monitoring changes in arousal by measuring pupil size. A theme common to much of Dr. Murphy’s work is the use of computational models to link neural and behavioural observations and arrive at deeper insights about cognitive and neural mechanisms. This can involve using normative models to assess (departures from) optimal strategies; fitting algorithmic cognitive models to decompose observed behaviour into latent component processes; and interrogating hand-tuned and/or trained neural networks to understand neural implementation.

Research Projects

  Project Role Funding Body / Program Description Start Date End Date Award (€)
Common mechanisms for decision-making and working memory in health and old age Lead EU Horizon 2020 / 14-JAN-21 16-AUG-22
Manipulation of adaptive evidence accumulation in cortical decision networks Postdoc / 02-NOV-15 10-JAN-20
Noradrenergic control of human cognition Postdoc / 12-NOV-12 30-OCT-15
Measurement of locus coeruleus-noradrenergic function in the human brain and its influence on executive function Scholarship holder Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology / IRCSET / 14-SEP-09 14-SEP-12

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
2023 'Short bursts of transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation enhance evoked pupil dilation as a function of stimulation parameters'
D'Agostini, M; Burgerm AM; Franssen, M; Perkovic, A; Claes, S; von Leupoldt, A; Murphy, PR; van Diest, I (2023) 'Short bursts of transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation enhance evoked pupil dilation as a function of stimulation parameters'. Cortex, [DOI] [Details]
2023 'Flexible sensory-motor mapping rules manifest in correlated variability of stimulus and action codes across the brain'
van den Brink, RL; Hagena, K; Wilming, N; Murphy, PR; Buchel, C; Donner, TH (2023) 'Flexible sensory-motor mapping rules manifest in correlated variability of stimulus and action codes across the brain'. Neuron, [DOI] [Details]
2022 'The Effects of Neural Gain on Reactive Cognitive Control'
Tromp, Jeshua and Nieuwenhuis, Sander and Murphy, Peter (2022) 'The Effects of Neural Gain on Reactive Cognitive Control'. Computational Brain \& Behavior, :1-12 [Details]
2022 'Time estimation and arousal responses in dopa-responsive dystonia'
Becker, Leonie F and Tunc, Sinem and Murphy, Peter and B\"aumer, Tobias and Weissbach, Anne and Pauly, Martje G and Al-Shorafat, Duha M and Saranza, Gerard and Lang, Anthony E and Beste, Christian and others (2022) 'Time estimation and arousal responses in dopa-responsive dystonia'. Scientific Reports, 12 (1):1-10 [Details]
2021 'Understanding neural signals of post-decisional performance monitoring: An integrative review'
Desender, Kobe and Ridderinkhof, K Richard and Murphy, Peter R (2021) 'Understanding neural signals of post-decisional performance monitoring: An integrative review'. Elife, 10 [Details]
2021 'Adaptive circuit dynamics across human cortex during evidence accumulation in changing environments'
Murphy, Peter R and Wilming, Niklas and Hernandez-Bocanegra, Diana C and Prat-Ortega, Genis and Donner, Tobias H (2021) 'Adaptive circuit dynamics across human cortex during evidence accumulation in changing environments'. Nature neuroscience, 24 (7):987-997 [Details]
2021 'Temporal expectation hastens decision onset but does not affect evidence quality'
van den Brink, Ruud L and Murphy, Peter R and Desender, Kobe and de Ru, Nicole and Nieuwenhuis, Sander (2021) 'Temporal expectation hastens decision onset but does not affect evidence quality'. Journal of Neuroscience, 41 (1):130-143 [Details]
2020 'Prediction of attentional focus from respiration with simple feed-forward and time delay neural networks'
Melnychuk, Michael Christopher and Murphy, Peter R and Robertson, Ian H and Balsters, Joshua H and Dockree, Paul M (2020) 'Prediction of attentional focus from respiration with simple feed-forward and time delay neural networks'. Neural Computing and Applications, 32 (18):14875-14884 [Details]
2020 'Large-scale dynamics of perceptual decision information across human cortex'
Wilming, Niklas and Murphy, Peter R and Meyniel, Florent and Donner, Tobias H (2020) 'Large-scale dynamics of perceptual decision information across human cortex'. Nature communications, 11 (1):1-14 [Details]
2020 'Pupillometric investigation into the speed-accuracy trade-off in a visuo-motor aiming task'
Naber, Marnix and Murphy, Peter (2020) 'Pupillometric investigation into the speed-accuracy trade-off in a visuo-motor aiming task'. Psychophysiology, 57 (3) [Details]
2019 'A postdecisional neural marker of confidence predicts Information-Seeking in Decision-Making'
Desender, Kobe and Murphy, Peter and Boldt, Annika and Verguts, Tom and Yeung, Nick (2019) 'A postdecisional neural marker of confidence predicts Information-Seeking in Decision-Making'. Journal of Neuroscience, 39 (17):3309-3319 [Details]
2018 'U-turns in the brain'
O’Connell, Redmond G and Murphy, Peter R (2018) 'U-turns in the brain'. Nature neuroscience, 21 (4):461-462 [Details]
2018 'Coupling of respiration and attention via the locus coeruleus: Effects of meditation and pranayama'
Melnychuk, Michael Christopher and Dockree, Paul M and O'Connell, Redmond G and Murphy, Peter R and Balsters, Joshua H and Robertson, Ian H (2018) 'Coupling of respiration and attention via the locus coeruleus: Effects of meditation and pranayama'. Psychophysiology, 55 (9) [Details]
2018 'Noradrenergic and cholinergic modulation of belief updating'
Jepma, Marieke and Brown, Stephen BRE and Murphy, Peter R and Koelewijn, Stephany C and de Vries, Boukje and van den Maagdenberg, Arn M and Nieuwenhuis, Sander (2018) 'Noradrenergic and cholinergic modulation of belief updating'. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 30 (12):1803-1820 [Details]
2017 'Global gain modulation generates time-dependent urgency during perceptual choice in humans (vol 7, 13526, 2016)'
Murphy, Peter R and Boonstra, Evert and Nieuwenhuis, Sander (2017) 'Global gain modulation generates time-dependent urgency during perceptual choice in humans (vol 7, 13526, 2016)'. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 8 [Details]
2017 'Parsing the neural signatures of reduced error detection in older age'
Harty, Siobh\'an and Murphy, Peter R and Robertson, Ian H and O'Connell, Redmond G (2017) 'Parsing the neural signatures of reduced error detection in older age'. Neuroimage, 161 :43-55 [Details]
2016 'Cognitive control, dynamic salience and the imperative toward computational accounts of neuromodulatory function'
Warren, Christopher M. and Murphy, Peter R. and Nieuwenhuis, Sander (2016) 'Cognitive control, dynamic salience and the imperative toward computational accounts of neuromodulatory function'. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39 [Details]
2016 'The accessory stimulus effect is mediated by phasic arousal: A pupillometry study'
Tona, Klodiana-Daphne and Murphy, Peter R and Brown, Stephen BRE and Nieuwenhuis, Sander (2016) 'The accessory stimulus effect is mediated by phasic arousal: A pupillometry study'. Psychophysiology, [Details]
2016 'Catecholaminergic regulation of learning rate in a dynamic environment'
Jepma, Marieke and Murphy, Peter R and Nassar, Matthew R and Rangel-Gomez, Mauricio and Meeter, Martijn and Nieuwenhuis, Sander (2016) 'Catecholaminergic regulation of learning rate in a dynamic environment'. PLoS computational biology, 12 (10) [Details]
2016 'Pupil diameter tracks lapses of attention'
Van Den Brink, Ruud L and Murphy, Peter R and Nieuwenhuis, Sander (2016) 'Pupil diameter tracks lapses of attention'. PLoS One, 11 (10) [Details]
2016 'Catecholaminergic neuromodulation shapes intrinsic MRI functional connectivity in the human brain'
van den Brink, Ruud L and Pfeffer, Thomas and Warren, Christopher M and Murphy, Peter R and Tona, Klodiana-Daphne and van der Wee, Nic JA and Giltay, Eric and van Noorden, Martijn S and Rombouts, Serge ARB and Donner, Tobias H and others (2016) 'Catecholaminergic neuromodulation shapes intrinsic MRI functional connectivity in the human brain'. Journal of Neuroscience, 36 (30):7865-7876 [Details]
2016 'Commentary: Sensory integration dynamics in a hierarchical network explains choice probabilities in cortical area MT'
Urai, Anne E and Murphy, Peter R (2016) 'Commentary: Sensory integration dynamics in a hierarchical network explains choice probabilities in cortical area MT'. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 10 [Details]
2016 'The pupillary orienting response predicts adaptive behavioral adjustment after errors'
Murphy, Peter R and van Moort, Marianne L and Nieuwenhuis, Sander (2016) 'The pupillary orienting response predicts adaptive behavioral adjustment after errors'. PLOS One, 11 (3) [Details]
2016 'Global gain modulation generates time-dependent urgency during perceptual choice in humans'
Murphy, Peter R and Boonstra, Evert and Nieuwenhuis, Sander (2016) 'Global gain modulation generates time-dependent urgency during perceptual choice in humans'. Nature communications, 7 (1):1-15 [Details]
2015 'Neural evidence accumulation persists after choice to inform metacognitive judgments'
Murphy, Peter R and Robertson, Ian H and Harty, Siobhan and O'Connell, Redmond G (2015) 'Neural evidence accumulation persists after choice to inform metacognitive judgments'. Elife, 4 [Details]
2015 'The classic P300 encodes a build-to-threshold decision variable'
Twomey, Deirdre M and Murphy, Peter R and Kelly, Simon P and O'Connell, Redmond G (2015) 'The classic P300 encodes a build-to-threshold decision variable'. European journal of neuroscience, 42 (1):1636-1643 [Details]
2014 'Pupil-linked arousal determines variability in perceptual decision making'
Murphy, Peter R and Vandekerckhove, Joachim and Nieuwenhuis, Sander (2014) 'Pupil-linked arousal determines variability in perceptual decision making'. PLoS computational biology, 10 (9) [Details]
2014 'Pupil diameter covaries with BOLD activity in human locus coeruleus'
Murphy, Peter R and O'connell, Redmond G and O'sullivan, Michael and Robertson, Ian H and Balsters, Joshua H (2014) 'Pupil diameter covaries with BOLD activity in human locus coeruleus'. Human brain mapping, 35 (8):4140-4154 [Details]
2012 'An electrophysiological signal that precisely tracks the emergence of error awareness'
Murphy, Peter R and Robertson, Ian H and Allen, Darren and Hester, Robert and O'Connell, Redmond G (2012) 'An electrophysiological signal that precisely tracks the emergence of error awareness'. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 6 [Details]
2011 'Pupillometry and P3 index the locus coeruleus--noradrenergic arousal function in humans'
Murphy, Peter R and Robertson, Ian H and Balsters, Joshua H and O'connell, Redmond G (2011) 'Pupillometry and P3 index the locus coeruleus--noradrenergic arousal function in humans'. Psychophysiology, 48 (11):1532-1543 [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2020 Early Career Investigator Award Neuroscience Ireland
2021 Postdoctoral Publication of the Year Prize TCD School of Psychology
2012 George White Memorial Prize for outstanding research-based publication TCD School of Psychology
2009 Gold Medal Award Trinity College Dublin
2021 Research Boost Programme Award Trinity College Dublin

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Society for Neuroscience Member /
Neuroscience Ireland Member /

Employment

  Employer Position From / To
Trinity College Dublin Senior Research Fellow 18-JAN-21 / 31-AUG-22
University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf Postdoc 02-NOV-15 / 10-JAN-20
Leiden University Postdoc 28-SEP-12 / 30-OCT-15

Education

  Year Institution Qualification Subject
2013 Trinity College Dublin Ph.D. Cognitive neuroscience
2011 Trinity College Dublin Dip.Stat. Statistics
2009 Trinity College Dublin B.A. Psychology