Brain Sciences


Meet the researcher

Every year we ask our new intake of undergraduate psychology students in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences to get into small groups and choose a researcher they want to meet.

Watch the videos and read the text below to find out more about the researchers participating in Meet the Researcher for 2018/19. You can also read which programmes they are available to meet students from.

Mark Cooper

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My research relates to understanding the disease mechanisms of Parkinson's disease. We still don't know the cause of Parkinson's in most patients, however in the brains of all patients there are characteristic protein aggregates and I'm studying how these protein aggregates spread in the brains of patients as the disease progresses.

  • BSc Psychology
  • BSc Psychology and Language Sciences

Anna Cox

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My research investigates the positive and negative impacts of our mobile devices on our ability to get our work done and to successfully manage our work-life balance. 

  • BSc Psychology

Bronwen Evans

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Ever wondered why Glaswegians are hard to understand, why call centres are based in Inverness or why Saturday night TV is dominated by Geordies? My research focuses on variation in speech, addressing how listeners are able to understand speech despite variation, and how and why speakers adapt their own speech when interacting with others.

  • BSc Psychology and Language Sciences

Pasco Fearon

My main interest is in trying to understand the driving forces behind child development, particularly in relation to children’s emotional development. I’m fascinated by the interplay that seems to happen between genetic factors and the social environment – particularly experiences in early caregiving relationships. 

  • BSc Psychology
  • BSc Psychology and Language Sciences

Janet Feigenbaum

My primary research interests are in the development of improved interventions for the treatment of personality disorder. My current research focusses on adaptations of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and Cognitive Behaivoural Therapy for a wider range of presentations and comorbidity with personality disorder.

  • BSc Psychology

Peter Fonagy

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My research work has largely focused on the integration of psychodynamic theoretical and clinical work with empirical research strategies in the areas of early emotional development and psychosocial treatment research, engaging specifically with severe personality pathology. I co-developed mentalization-based treatment, an innovative research-based dynamic therapeutic approach. I am also engaged in a major collaborative programme exploring developmental psychopathology from an attachment-mentalization perspective.

  • BSc Psychology

John Greenwood

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Research in my lab examines visual perception: the way we see the world. We do so using mostly behavioural techniques, known as “psychophysics”. One focus is visual crowding: in your peripheral vision, objects can be highly visible in isolation but become extremely difficult to identify when surrounded by clutter.
  • BSc Psychology

Adam Harris

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I am interested in people’s judgments that feed into decision making. For example, people might decide whether or not to visit the doctor based on their estimate of the likelihood they have a disease. What affects that estimate? How do people incorporate information from different sources in these estimates?
  • BSc Psychology

Lasana Harris

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My research investigates social cognition, that is, our ability to think about the minds of others. I study the boundary conditions of this phenomenon, such as when we extend social cognition to things that do not have minds (anthropomorphism) and when we withhold it from people (dehumanisation). I address legal, economic, and medical decision-making related to this phenomenon, blending philosophy, evolutionary anthropology, developmental, cognitive and social psychology with neuroscience to explore the brain correlates of this most human ability.
  • BSc Psychology

Mark Huckvale

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Infants acquire speech through social interactions with their caregivers. If computers are to use speech as effectively as humans, then they too need to learn how to use speech to communicate though social interactions...

  • BSc Psychology and Language Sciences

Sunjeev Kamboj

Our team uses psychophysiological measurements to look at the role of ‘maladaptive learning and memory’ in addictions and anxiety disorders. Both of these types of disorder involve unhelpful patterns of behaviour which have been learned through, for example, classical conditioning. It turns out that it might be possible to reverse these unhelpful behaviours by retraining people to form more adaptive associations.

  • BSc Psychology

John King

Mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, involve problems in the way memory functions. We use techniques including brain imaging, electrophysiology and virtual reality to investigate memory processes in healthy and unwell people. By understanding how these processes fail, we aim to find new ways to improve mental health.

  • BSc Psychology

James Kirkbride 

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My research is in the field of psychiatric epidemiology. Epidemiology is a discipline which investigates the causes of disease at a population level. I apply epidemiological and statistical methods to large datasets of people with mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, to discover whether there is a link between our environment and our risk of developing mental health disorders.

  • BSc Psychology 

Glyn Lewis

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People who have experienced stressors in their life are more likely to develop depression. These stressors include bullying, earthquakes, deployment to war and bereavement. I am interested why individuals vary so much in how they respond to stressors...

  • BSc Psychology

William Mandy

My work aims to improve the recognition of autism, and to develop new interventions to help autistic people. I have a particular research interest in improving the identification and care of females on the autism spectrum, who are currently at high risk of going unnoticed and unhelped by clinical and educational services.

  • BSc Psychology

Mairead MacSweeney

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I explore how the brain processes language in people who are born profoundly deaf. My research focuses on sign language, speechreading and reading of written English. Exploring the brains of adults who have had very different...

  • BSc Psychology
  • BSc Psychology and Language Sciences

Eamon McCrory

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I co-direct the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit at UCL. Our research focuses on early adversity and behavioural problems in childhood. My research uses brain imaging and psychological approaches to investigate the mechanisms associated with developmental adversity and resilience. 

  • BSc Psychology

Steve Pilling

My research interests include: health services research, including trials of complex interventions such as crisis intervention teams and implementation studies of health service policy initiatives;  psychological treatment, in particular treatments for depression and the competences required to deliver effective interventions for all psychological treatments and disorders; systematic reviews in mental health and their use in clinical guidelines; clinical guideline development and implementation in mental health.

  • BSc Psychology

Rosalind Potts

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What conditions make learning most effective and how can we help people maximise their learning? My research in memory and metacognition applies principles from cognitive psychology to learning situations from traditional classrooms to smartphone apps. 

  • BSc Psychology and Language Sciences

Jenni Rodd

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I study the different cognitive skills that adults use to understand the meanings of spoken and written words. The long-term goal is to understand the specific difficulties faced by individual children and adults who find comprehension more difficult, and then develop targeted interventions that help them improve their comprehension skills.

  • BSc Psychology and Language Sciences

Stuart Rosen

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My research interests are centred in various aspects of auditory perception, with most of my recent work concerned with the problems people face when trying to understand speech in noisy places. I have used a wide variety of experimental techniques (behaviour, pupillometry, EEG, fMRI and fNIRS)in adults and children, both in typical and disordered populations (including people with autism, language disorders and hearing impairment, most notably those who use cochlear implants).

  • BSc Psychology and Language Sciences

Giampietro Schiavo

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The research efforts of the Molecular NeuroPathobiology Laboratory are focused on proving the central hypothesis that the impairment of the selectivity and/or the efficiency of long-range communication in neurons caused by defects in vesicular traffic constitutes a major pathogenic mechanism in neurodegenerative disorders. Our laboratory has played a major role in the field by defining the mechanism responsible for the uptake of neurotrophins, their receptors and virulence factors, such as tetanus toxin, and its coupling with the axonal retrograde transport pathway. Furthermore, we have demonstrated the essential role of cytoplasmic dynein in this process and the functional link between mutations in this molecular motor and pathologies of motor and sensory neurons.
  • BSc Psychology
  • BSc Psychology and Language Sciences

Gabriella Vigliocco

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My research concerns how humans mentally represent and learn knowledge about the world and how they communicate about this. We study these questions looking at children, adults and patients and using methods such as recording reaction times in behavioural experiments and imaging of the neural networks involved.
  • BSc Psychology
  • BSc Psychology and Language Sciences

David Vinson

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My research focuses on the meaning of words but also the additional non-verbal cues like gestures, facial expressions, etc and how we express them and understand them. My research uses a combination of psycholinguistic experiments, computational modelling, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
  • BSc Psychology
  • BSc Psychology and Language Sciences

Amanda William

Pain is not just a physical event, or a sensation: it is also an emotional event – if it were not unpleasant and aversive, it would not be pain. It is defined as both a sensory and emotional experience, without any requirement for a detectable disease or lesion, since much pain is produced by changes in the central and peripheral nervous system.

  • BSc Psychology

Bencie Woll

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I study the communication of deaf people as a model for understanding language, cognition, and the brain. My research includes studies of spoken and signed language acquisition, linguistic and sociolinguistic research on sign languages, functional imaging of signed and spoken language processing by deaf and hearing people, and developmental and acquired sign language impairments.

  • BSc Psychology
  • BSc Psychology and Language Sciences