Dr. Cathy Montgomery

Dr. Cathy Montgomery
Job Title Reader in Psychopharmacology
Telephone +44 (0)151 904 6295
Email Address @ljmu.ac.uk


Contact Address Room 226 Tom Reilly Building
School of Natural Sciences and Psychology
Liverpool John Moores University
Byrom Street
L3 3AF

Research interests:

Generally, the effects of drugs on cognition, but more specifically:

  1. The effects recreational drug use on different aspects of executive function.
  2. The effects of acute alcohol intoxication on cognitive function (memory, executive function, perceptions of flirting, attentional bias).
  3. The effects of alcohol preload on cue reactivity to non-alcohol drug cues.
  4. The neurophysiological correlates of drug-induced cognitive impairment (using fNIRS, EEG).


View Publications List

Grants Obtained:

Title, Awarding Body and Year Role Amount
PhD Studentship investigating the role of short-term memory processes in magnitude judgements, awarded October 2013 by LJMU CI £60,000
Facilitating healthy ageing: Investigating neuroprotective effects of mindfulness practice, awarded March 2011 by The BIAL foundation. CI €60,000
PhD studentship investigating Electrophysiological indices of cognitive performance in Ecstasy Polydrug Users, awarded January 2011, LJMU. PI £60,000
The effects of alcohol on perceptions of flirting, awarded July 2010 by The Nuffield Foundation. PI £1440
PhD studentship: Facilitating Healthy Ageing, awarded September 2010 by the Institute for Health Research, UK. CI £60,000
The effects of alcohol on retrospective timing judgements, awarded July 2009 by The Nuffield Foundation. CI £1440
The mediating role of core body temperature on cognitive function in ecstasy users, awarded November 2009, LJMU. PI £4000
Functional Significance of Drug-related Executive Deficits, awarded July 2009, LJMU. PI £1840
Visuospatial Associative Learning: Component Processes, awarded July 2008, LJMU. PI £2000
Needs analysis for Cumbria Drug and Alcohol Action Team, awarded January 2006, Cumbria DAAT PI £20,000


Module Leader: The Psychology of Abnormal Behaviour (5103PSYSCI)


  • Level 4:
    Psychology in Application I (4101PSYSCI))
  • Level 5:
    The Psychology of Abnormal Behaviour (5103PSYSCI)
    Psychology in Application II (5104PSYSCI)
  • Level 6:
    Cognitive Neuroscience (6011PSYSCI)
    Substance Use: Theoretical, Psychological and Applied Perspectives (6017PSYSCI)
    Psychology Dissertation (6000PSYSCI)
  • Masters:
    Empirical Project (7000HEAPSY)

Research interests

Dr Montgomery’s PhD research investigated the effects of the recreational drugs ecstasy, cannabis and cocaine on working memory and the fractionated model of executive functioning. Since this time, her research has developed to investigate the effects of drugs on various aspects cognitive function and their neurophysiological, neuroendocrine and neuroelectric effects. Since 2006 Cathy has been Honorary Secretary of the Psychobiology Section of the British Psychological Society which involves conference organisation and delegating for the Chair of the committee.

She is particularly interested in using neuroimaging techniques such as functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy and EEG to investigate brain indices of impaired cognitive function in drug users. Her work in this area has resulted in the supervision of a number of postgraduate research students.


The work of the substance use group attracts media interest. The ecstasy-related research has been reported in the National press in March and April 2005 (Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Independent) and in the Regional press in March 2005 (Belfast Telegraph, Liverpool Daily Post, Scottish Daily Express, Western Morning News, Yorkshire Post). International news agencies have also reported aspects of our work (Reuters, March 2005).

The group was also represented by Dr Montgomery on Channel 4’s much publicised Drugs Live: The ecstasy Trial (September 2012), and we have ongoing relationships with local television (BBC Look North, BBC North West News; 2012, 2013, 2014).

If you work in media and would like to speak to Dr Montgomery, please contact c.n.doran@ljmu.ac.uk.

Professional Qualifications:

  • 2002-2006 PhD: The differential effects of ecstasy-polydrug use on executive and memory processes Liverpool John Moores University.
  • 2005-2006 Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and learning in Higher Education: Distinction. Liverpool John Moores University.
  • 1999-2002 BSc(Hons) Applied Psychology. First class honours division. Liverpool John Moores University.
Current Post:
  • 2011-present Reader in Psychopharmacology, School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Faculty of Science, LJMU,
Previous Posts:
  • 2006-2011 Senior Lecturer in Psychology, School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Faculty of Science, LJMU
  • 2005-2006 Lecturer and Enterprise Champion in Psychology, LJMU.
Professional Memberships:
  • 2005-present Member, British Psychological Society
  • 2005-present Member, Psychobiology Section of the British Psychological Society.
  • 2006-present Honorary Secretary, Psychobiology Section of the British Psychological Society.
  • 2009-present Member, British Association for Psychopharmacology.
  • 2007-present Member, institute for Health Research.
Institutional Responsibilities:
  • 2014-present Member of School Management Team, LJMU, UK.
  • 2013-present Co-Director, Research Centre for Brain and Behaviour, LJMU, UK.
  • 2011-present Organiser of Research Seminar Series, School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, LJMU, UK

Page last modified 02 September 2014.

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