UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

Prof Carolyn Mcgettigan

Prof Carolyn Mcgettigan

Chair in Speech and Hearing Sciences

Speech, Hearing & Phonetic Sciences

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

Joined UCL
24th Sep 2018

Research summary

I'm an experimental psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist researching the perception and production of the human voice.

With funding from the Economic and Social Research Council. The Royal Society, and The Leverhulme Trust, research in my lab has explored the psychology and neuroscience of voice processing. Behavioural and neuroimaging studies have addressed the perception of vocal identity, traits, and emotions, including how these are recognised and learned. Using combined MRI of the vocal tract and the brain, we also study the neural bases of flexible sensorimotor control for speech and voice production.

Teaching summary

I teach on the following modules within the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences:

PALS0029: The Human Voice - Speech, Emotions, Identity
I am the module coordinator and main lecturer on this course, which introduces students to the key concepts and research findings in the psychology and neuroscience of human voice processing.

PALS0024: Research Project (BSc/MSci Psychology and Language Sciences)
Module coordinator


University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2008
University of Cambridge
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) | 2003


I was born and schooled in Derry, Northern Ireland, then completed my undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. My PhD at UCL focused on the perceptual adaptation to distorted speech, and was supervised by Prof Sophie Scott and Prof Stuart Rosen. 

Through postdoctoral appointments on Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship awards held by Sophie Scott, I trained in neuroimaging methods to conduct research on the neural substrates of speech comprehension and production, as well as the perception of laughter.

In 2012, I took up a lectureship in the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London, where I set up the Vocal Communication Laboratory. I returned to UCL in 2018 as a Professor in the Department of Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences. I currently serve as an Editor at NeuroImage and on the Board of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language.