Usman Afzali, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow & Lecturer (Teaching and Admin), Psychology, University of Canterbury


I am a postdoctoral research fellow and PI of A national longitudinal study of Muslim diversity and flourishing, based at University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

My training has been in cognitive psychology and in neuroscience - primarily focusing on memory suppression, and on using EEG brainwave data to detect criminal knowledge. In addition, I also conduct research in contemplative neuroscience attempting to examine neural signals (EEG) during contemplative practices. Furthermore, I conduct research in human flourishing - trying to unearth predictors of flourishing and wellbeing in religious groups.

I use experimental (behavioural as well as neuroscientific) and observational methods.

Psychology fascinates me a great deal and my lifelong goal is to conduct good science and contribute to open science.

I am experienced in teaching statistics and research methods and my immediate goal is to become a permanent (tenure-track) lecturer in psychology.

Since the end of 2022, I have been using GitHub with RStudio and Quarto to learn, produce, and share code. Occasionally, I use Matlab too.

Fields of Research
  • Human Flourishing
  • Contemplative Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Psychology: memory suppression
  • Forensic Neuroscience
Current Projects
Current Courses


School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing

University of Canterbury

20 Kirkwood Avenue, Upper Riccarton Christchurch, 8041 New Zealand