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Clinical, Social & Cognitive Neuroscience Personal Statement

Psychology is a great passion of mine. During my undergraduate studies, I was impressed by the P. Ekman’s work of spotting micro expressions in order to improve our social and emotional skills, or by the depth of transitions between behaviours, cognitions and the environment introduced by A. Bandura.

Moreover, A. T. Beck’s Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy inspired me to learn more about the impact of mindfulness on well-being and its potential to improve people’s quality of life. The human brain is a tool, which can ask questions about its own existence, de facto it can study itself, which eventually leads to understanding of us, human beings. These are a few reasons, which awakened my excitement for cognitive psychology.

My passion for the comprehension of the biological basis of the human mind resulted in my studies of brain functioning and phenomena, such as sensory substitution or synaesthesia. Even though synaesthesia is not a disability, people may suffer from stigmatisation.

That is why I decided to try to raise awareness of this condition by writing my bachelor thesis in English in order to spread the word not only in my home country, but also abroad. I was fascinated by the contributions of D. Eagleman and V. S. Ramachandran, which made an impact in the field of neuroscience. Besides my broad involvement in various areas, I excelled in my studies with the honours from the Dean for the overall assessment of the study results.

I have always been keen on studying more than was required. I participated and won the Student Scientific Research Activity prize at my university in the topic of Subliminal Perception (2013) and Synaesthesia (2014), which gave me my first experience with conducting my own research and improved my critical thinking skills.

I have continued my active involvement in extracurricular activities by joining the Slovak Association of Psychology Students and Graduates, and the European Federation of Psychology Students’ Associations (EFPSA), where I held the position of Member Representative of Slovakia and was also the head of the Administration Team of the EFPSA Conference 2015. During my voluntary involvement in both organisations I have enhanced my skills in teamwork, time-management skills and leadership skills.

Moreover, I have learned to keep deadlines organised and work efficiently in high stress situations, through my skill to balance workloads. Most of all, I have enriched my knowledge about the field of psychology abroad and expanded my network of friends and colleagues.

I find travelling an incredible experience of getting in touch with the practice of psychology abroad, hence my involvement in EFPSA. Therefore, I have done an Erasmus study in Belgium (2013-2014) and now I am studying in Portugal. I have not only improved my English language skills, but also sharpened my communication skills and broadened my knowledge. The international environment made me more curious about other cultures and I have a clearer view on cultural differences.

My first professional experience in a research setting was an Erasmus Internship in Prague, Czech Republic (2014), oriented on research about visual search in maps. Throughout the preparation of the experiment, I have gained experience in working with the software PsychoPy and basic skills in the programming language R, which I believe may be of use in the future.

For the purpose of psychohygiene, I play the flute and I had been part of a swing orchestra at my music school. It was an exceptional experience of team work and active listening. Furthermore, I like to search for knowledge in the books. The work of J.R.R. Tolkien is a great inspiration for me to relentlessly follow my goals, which is to pursue the career in the field of neuropsychology.

Becoming a Psychologist requires a special set of qualities and skills, which I believe I possess and will develop throughout my studies. I find the quality of the studies your university offers to be an exclusive opportunity to develop personally and professionally, and I look forward to the challenges this degree has to offer. I hope I have been able to highlight my readiness for this challenge throughout my statement.

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