Austyn Tempesta

Austyn Tempesta

Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am conducting doctoral research into cortical hyper-excitability and visual stress, which causes migraine and seizures in people and is highly prevalent in comorbid clinical populations. The research focuses on combining Neuroscience, Psychology, and Literacy research to investigate and ameliorate issues in the visual system caused by visual stress due to stripped patterns and other novel stimuli in the environment. I am using EEG, Bold response, and eventually will use TMS methods to understand the underlying Neuro-physiological basis for visual stress and cortical excitability. I hope this will shed light on possible treatment paths for these types of pathologies.


  • BS, Psychology; University of Central Florida, 2012
  • MA, Cognitive Psychology, Reading Specialization; Columbia University in the City of New York, Teachers College, 2013
  • MSed, Reading, Writing and Literacy with a certificate in Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience; University of Pennsylvania, 2014


I studied Psychology Bachelors of Science at the University of Central Florida while working as a Lab Manager and Undergraduate Research Associate, conducting research on different learning frameworks in the Learning and Physiology Psychology research group led by Dr Jay Brophy at UCF. 

While also an undergraduate I undertook research on cooperative vs competitive frameworks in I/O psychology in the Department of Psychology Institute of Simulation and Training at the R.E.T.R.O. Lab. I then undertook an MA in Cognitive Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University where I worked in 14 schools in New York on different reading problems with students with autism and dyslexia.

During the summer of 2013, I worked on a project at UCF called ‘TeachLive Research Project’. The project which won the 2013 NTSA Governor’s Award for Excellence in Modeling and Stimulation is a mixed-reality teaching environment supporting teacher practice in classroom management, pedagogy, and content. I then attended the University of Pennsylvania as a M.S. ED. student studying embodied cognition and meaning construction in a local magnet music school where I was co-teaching English and this research was presented at the 36th Annual Ethnography Research Conference in Philadelphia. During this time, I also worked on cancer research at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania within the department of Neurosurgery conducting research on Glioblastoma Grade 4. This involved a meta-analysis looking at the change in prognosis of patients in the last 100 years with gross-tumor removal and adjuvant Chemo and Radio-Therapy. Between my Masters and current PhD studies, I worked as a Teaching assistant and Global Scholar for Prescouter Global.

Doctoral research

PhD title
Visual dysfunction and reading in special populations
Professor Howard Bowman


Other activities

I am very interested in science, gifted, and disability education and I am currently working on developing ways to make science education more accessible to people in the UK and US. I want to improving teaching pedagogy in higher education classrooms in the UK and US. I am interested in how politics and social rights also exacerbate this relationship.


Salvador Dali: The Case of Surrealism & War, Http://

Glioblastoma: 100-years of Continuous Increased Survival: Factors that Result in Improved Prognosis. Manuscript to be submitted, Authors: Steven Brem, Mark Attaih, Austyn Tempesta, Sherman Stein