Personal profile


Valerie completed her doctoral studies at the School of Psychology, the University of Auckland, New Zealand in 2014. There, she did work on the cognitive neuroscience of episodic memory and future event imagination. After her PhD, she completed a postdoctoral project at Aarhus University, Denmark, where she investigated the intersection between religious ritual and episodic memory. She then joined the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford, where she worked on religion, memory, and group processes as part of the Ritual, Community, and Conflict project. Valerie joined the Brain, Belief, and Behaviour group at CABS, Coventry University, as Research Associate at the beginning of 2016. 

Research Interests

Belief; Cognitive science of religion; Imagination; Episodic memory; Creativity; Unbelief

Vision Statement

My primary interests are in the cognitive underpinnings of imagination and the psychology of belief, which I examine using methods from experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. My research takes place in the overlap between beliefs, imagination, memory, and creativity. My other interest is in unbelief, or so-called ‘secular’ beliefs: the beliefs that non-religious individuals hold, and their functions. 


  • BF Psychology
  • imagination
  • memory
  • belief
  • creativity
  • unbelief
  • religion

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Imagination Medicine & Life Sciences
Ceremonial Behavior Medicine & Life Sciences
Episodic Memory Medicine & Life Sciences
Arousal Medicine & Life Sciences
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Medicine & Life Sciences
Supernatural Arts & Humanities
Least-Squares Analysis Medicine & Life Sciences
Individuality Medicine & Life Sciences

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Research Output 2016 2018

2 Citations

An fMRI investigation of the relationship between future imagination and cognitive flexibility

Roberts, R. P., Wiebels, K., Sumner, R. L., van Mulukom, V., Grady, C. L., Schacter, D. L. & Addis, D. R. 27 Jan 2017 In : Neuropsychologia. 95, p. 156-172 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Least-Squares Analysis
Peer Review
Ceremonial Behavior
Episodic Memory
Sense of Coherence

Supernatural Belief Is Not Modulated by Intuitive Thinking Style or Cognitive Inhibition.

Farias, M., van Mulukom, V., Kahane, G., Kreplin, U., Joyce, A., Soares, P., Oviedo, L., Hernu, M., Rokita, K., Savulescu, J. & Möttönen, R. 8 Nov 2017 In : Scientific Reports. 7, 15100

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Hypothesis test
4 Citations

The degree of disparateness of event details modulates future simulation construction, plausibility, and recall

van Mulukom, V., Schacter, D. L., Corballis, M. C. & Addis, D. R. 1 Feb 2016 In : Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 69, 2, p. 234-242 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle