School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


Dr Thom Wilcockson CPsychol, FHEA, PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons)

Photo of Dr Thom Wilcockson

Thom Wilcockson completed his BSc, MSc, and PhD at Swansea University. During his PhD, he developed novel eye tracking measures of addiction. He then performed post-doc research for two years at London South Bank University where he was able to continue eye tracking research. In May 2015, Thom moved to Lancaster University to work as a post-doc on a large eye tracking project investigating whether eye tracking techniques could be utilised to aid in patient diagnosis. Since January 2019, Thom is a psychology lecturer at Loughborough University.

Thom Wilcockson uses eye tracking techniques in order to understand the cognition of a number of different patient groups. His research has enabled him to work with substance abuse, behavioural addictions, learning deficits, eating disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and neurological disorders. Thom is interested in attention, attentional bias, automaticity, inhibitory control, and saccadic eye movements.

Thom Wilcockson is a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society (BPS), and a Member of the Dyslexia Association of Singapore’s Scientific Review Committee.

Thom is a reviewer for Addictive Behaviors; Addictive Behaviors Reports; Alcoholism, Drug Abuse & Substance Dependence; Appetite; Asian Pacific Journal of Developmental Differences; Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology; Health Science Journal; Journal of Dual Diagnosis; Journal of Medical Internet Research; Mental Health in Family Medicine; PLOS ONE; Psychology of Addictive Behaviors; Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Recent presentations:


  • Wilcockson, T.D.W. (2018). Gamma entrainment and Alzheimer’s disease. Invited talk at Defying Dementia Conference (22nd Sept 2018).
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W. (2017). Using eye movement for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Talk at University Third Age Health Conference (26th Oct 2017).
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W. (2017). Monitoring Dementia using Eye Movements: Detecting Cognitive Decline Using Eye Movement Scanpaths. Talk at AAIC 2017 (18th July 2017).
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W. (2017). Nicotine-related attentional biases in dependent and non-dependent smokers. Poster at Gordon Conferences Eye Movements 2017 (9th July 2017)
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W. (2017). Using eye movements as diagnostic markers: Implications from HCI Devices. Talk at Intelligent Decision Technologies 2017 conference (23rd June 2017).
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W. (2016). Introduction to human eye-tracking. Invited talk at SynaNET, Lancaster (26th Sept 2016).
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W., Zhang, Y., Kwang I.K., Crawford, T.J. Gellersen, H. & Sawyer, P., (2016). Monitoring Dementia with Automatic Eye Movements Analysis. Talk at Intelligent Decision Technologies conference (18th June 2016)



  • Wilcockson, T.D.W., & Pothos, E.M. (2015). Measuring inhibitory processes for alcohol-related attentional biases: introducing a novel attentional bias measure. Addictive Behaviors, 44, 88-93.
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W., & Pothos, E.M. (2016a). The automatic nature of habitual goal-state activation in substance use; implications from a dyslexic population. Journal of Substance Use. 21(3), 244-248.
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W., Pothos, E.M., & Fawcett, A.J. (2016). Dyslexia and Substance Use in a University Undergraduate Population. Substance Use and Misuse. 51(1), 15-22.
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W & Pothos, E.M. (2016b). How cognitive biases can distort environmental statistics: Introducing the Rough Estimation Task. Behavioural Pharmacology. 27(2 and 3-Special Issue), 165-172
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W. & Sanal, N.E.M. (2016). Heavy cannabis use and attentional avoidance of anxiety-related stimuli. Addictive Behavior Reports 3, 38-42.
  • Zhang, Y., Wilcockson, T.D.W., Kwang I.K., Crawford, T.J. Gellersen, H. & Sawyer, P., (2016). Monitoring Dementia with Automatic Eye Movements Analysis. In Czarnowski et al. (eds.) Proceedings of Intelligent Decision Technologies 2016, Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies 57,
  • Albery, I.P., Wilcockson, T.D.W., Frings, D., Moss, A., Gabriele, C., & Spada, M. (2016). Examining the relationship between selective attentional bias for food- and body-related stimuli and purging behaviour in bulimia nervosa. Appetite. 107, 208-212
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W (2017). Using eye trackers as indicators of diagnostic markers: Implications from HCI devices. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies. (pp. 308-315). Springer, Cham.
  • Frings, D., Albery, I.P., Moss, A., Eskisan, G., Wilcockson, T.D.W., & Marchant, A. (2017). Environmental context influences visual attention to responsible drinking messages. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 53(1), 46-51.
  • Mardanbegi, D, Killick, R, Xia, B, Wilcockson, T.D.W, Gellersen, H, & Sawyer, P. (2017). Effect of aging on post-saccadic oscillations. Vision Research , 143, 1-8.
  • Ellis, D.A., Kaye, L.K., Wilcockson, T.D.W., & Ryding, F.C. (2018). Digital Traces of behaviour within addiction: Response to Griffiths (2017). International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 1-6.
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W., Ellis, D.A., & Shaw, H. (2018). Determining typical smartphone usage: What data is needed? Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 21(6),
  • Smith-Spark, J.H., Katz, H.B., Wilcockson, T.D.W. & Marchant, A., (2018). Optimal approaches to the quality control checking of product labels. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics.
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W., Pothos, E.M., & Parrott, A.C. (2018). Substance usage intention does not affect attentional bias: implications from Ecstasy/MDMA users and alcohol drinkers. Addictive Behaviors.
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W., Mardanbegi, D, Sawyer, P., Gellersen, H, Xia, B, & Crawford, T.C, (2018). Oculomotor and inhibitory control in dyslexia. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience.
  • Qureshi, A, Monk, R, Pennington, C, Heim, D, Wilcockson, T. (in press). Alcohol-related attentional bias in a gaze contingency task: Comparing appetitive and non-appetitive cues. Addictive Behaviors
  • Wilcockson, T.D.W., McElhatton, C.M., & Fawcett, A.J. (in press). Why does likelihood of substance abuse vary for dyslexics as a result of socioeconomic background? International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction