Alex Lau Zhu

Trainee Clinical Psychologist

I am a trainee on the Oxford Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (2019-2022), funded by the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. I have a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience (funded by the Cambridge, Commonwealth, European and International Trust).

Clinical placements

October 2020 – March 2021: Berkshire CAMHS Anxiety & Depression Pathway

April 2020 – September 2020: Buckinghamshire Older Adult CMHT

October 2019 – March 2020: Buckinghamshire Adult CMHT

Previous appointments

2018-: Visiting Scientist, Imperial College London, Division of Brain Sciences.

2016-2018: Postdoctoral Research Associate, King’s College London, IOPPN

2013-2016: PhD Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Cambridge MRC CBU

2013-2016: Clinical Research Assistant, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS

2012-2013: Graduate Mental Health Worker, Sutton & Merton IAPT, London.

2011-2012: Assistant Psychologist, Traumatic Stress Clinic, London.

2011-2012: Assistant Psychologist, Sickle Cell & Thalassemia Centre, London.

2010-2011: Assistant Psychologist, London Widening Access, London.

2008-2011: BSc (Hons) Psychology, University College London.

Professional Interests

My clinical interests are trauma, emotional disorders, and psychological treatments. I am curious about developmental adaptations (e.g., for young people) and systemic perspectives. More broadly, I am interested in diversity issues within clinical psychology.

My research seeks to apply cognitive science to drive clinical innovations. It is informed by a clinical perspective alongside insights from experimental psychology, developmental psychopathology and cognitive neuroscience. This work has so far focused on:

i) intrusive memories and their cognitive mechanisms;

ii) biases in emotional imagery and autobiographical memory across mental health conditions;

iii) cognition and emotion in atypical development (e.g., autism and childhood maltreatment).


Research publications

For most up-to-date list and copies:


Rackham, L. & Lau-Zhu, A*. (2021). Taxing working memory to modulate mental imagery of the 9/11 terrorist attacks following media exposure during childhood: A pilot study in young adult UK residents. Anxiety, Stress and Coping. In Press.


Vinson, D., Jones, M., Sindu, D., Lau-Zhu, A. *, Santiago, J., & Vigliocco, G. (2021). Iconicity emerges and is maintained in spoken languages. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. In Press.


Di Simplicio, M., Lau-Zhu, A.*, Meluken, I., Taylor, P.J., Kessing, L.A., Vinberg, M., Holmes, E.A., Miscowiak, K. (2019). Emotion mental imagery abnormalities in monozygotic twins with, at high risk of, and without affect disorders: Present in affected twins in remission but absent in high-risk twins. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, 801.


Lau-Zhu, A.*, Henson, R. N., & Holmes, E.A. (2019). Intrusive memories and voluntary memory of a trauma film: Differential effects of a cognitive interference task after encoding. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 148(12), 2154-2180.


Lau-Zhu, A.*, Tye, C., Rijsdijk, F., & McLoughlin, G. (2019). No evidence for associations between ADHD and event-related brain potential markers from a continuous performance task in a population-based sample of adolescent twins. PLoS ONE, 14(10): e0223460.


Lau-Zhu, A.*, Lau, M.P.H., & McLoughlin, G. (2019). Mobile EEG in research on neurodevelopmental disorders: Opportunities and challenges. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 36, 100635.


Iyadurai, L., Visser, R., Lau-Zhu, A.*, Porcheret, K., Horsch, A., Holmes, E.A., James, E.A. (2019). Intrusive memories of trauma: A target for research bridging cognitive science and its clinical application. Clinical Psychology Review, 69, 67-82.


Lau-Zhu, A.*, Fritz, A., & McLoughlin, G. (2019). Overlaps and distinctions between attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder in young adulthood: A systematic review and guiding framework for EEG-imaging research. Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, 96, 93-115.


Lau-Zhu, A.*, Holmes E.A., & Porcheret, K (2018). Intrusive memories in the laboratory: Methodological developments and future directions. Current Behavioural Neuroscience Reports, 5(1), 61–71.


Visser, R., Lau-Zhu, A.*, Henson, R., & Holmes, E.A (2018). Multiple memory systems, multiple time points: How science can inform treatment to control the expression of unwanted emotional memories. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B, 373, pii: 20170209.


Lau-Zhu, A.*, Holmes, E.A., Butterfield, S. & Holmes, J. (2017). The selective association between Tetris game play and visuospatial working memory: A preliminary investigation. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 31, 438-45.


James, E.L., Lau-Zhu, A.*, Tickle, H., Horsch, A. & Holmes, E.A. (2016). Playing the computer game Tetris prior to viewing traumatic film material and subsequent intrusive memories: Examining proactive interference. Journal of Behavioural Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 53, 25–33.


James, E.L, Lau-Zhu, A.*, Clark, I., Visser, R., Hagernaars, M. & Holmes, E.A. (2016). The trauma film paradigm as an experimental psychopathology model of psychological trauma: Intrusive memories and beyond. Clinical Psychology Review, 47, 106–42.


Di Simplicio, M., Renner, F., Blackwell, S.E., Mitchell H., Stratford, H.J., Watson, P., Myers, N., Nobre, A.C., Lau-Zhu, A.*, & Holmes, E.A. (2016). An investigation of mental imagery in bipolar disorder: Exploring “the mind's eye”. Bipolar Disorders, 18, 669–83.


Kamboj, S., Langhoff, C., Pajak, P., Lau-Zhu, A.*, Chevalier, A., & Watson, S. (2015). Bowel and bladder-control anxiety: A preliminary description of a viscerally-centred phobic syndrome. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 43, 142-57.