Liverpool Skylilne

School of Psychology

Dr Susannah Walker

Dr Susannah Walker

Telephone: 0151 904 6309

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Biography

After completing her PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews in 2002, Dr Walker spent 6 years as a Research Associate in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Cambridge where she studied the neural and neurochemical basis of executive control behaviours mediated by the prefrontal cortex. Subsequently she spent 3 years working as a research scientist for Unilever R&D in Port Sunlight; here her role involved managing and developing external collaborations with academics in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, as well as leading internal research in human olfaction. She returned to academia, to take up her current position, in November 2011. Her research is focused on how exposure to biologically salient sensory stimuli influences emotional and cognitive behaviour. She is a member of the Somatosensory & Affective Neuroscience group at LJMU and Co-I on a Leverhulme Trust Funded project investigating the role of 5-HT in psychological responses to affective touch.

Degrees

2002, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom, PhD
1999, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom, BSc, Psychology

Academic appointments

Lecturer / Senior Lecturer, Natural Sciences & Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, 2011 - present
Research Associate, Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, 2002 - 2008

Publications

Highlighted publications

Pawling R, Trotter PD, McGlone FP, Walker SC. 2017. A positive touch: C-tactile afferent targeted skin stimulation carries an appetitive motivational value Biological Psychology, 129 :186-194 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Walker SC, Trotter P, Woods A, McGlone F. 2017. Vicarious ratings of social touch reflect the anatomical distribution & velocity tuning of C-tactile afferents: A Hedonic Homunculus? Behavioural Brain Research, 320 :91-96 DOI Author Url Public Url

Journal article

Manzotti A, Cerritelli F, Esteves JE, Lista G, Lombardi E, La Rocca S, Gallace A, McGlone FP, Walker SC. 2019. Dynamic touch reduces physiological arousal in preterm infants: A role for c-tactile afferents? Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 39 :100703-100703 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Bershad AK, Mayo LM, Van Hedger K, McGlone F, Walker SC, de Wit H. 2019. Effects of MDMA on attention to positive social cues and pleasantness of affective touch. Neuropsychopharmacology, 44 :1698-1705 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Gursul D, Goksan S, Hartley C, Mellado GS, Moultrie F, Hoskin A, Adams E, Hathway G, Walker S, McGlone F, Slater R. 2018. Stroking modulates noxious-evoked brain activity in human infants CURRENT BIOLOGY, 28 :R1380-R1381 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Pawling R, Trotter PD, McGlone FP, Walker SC. 2017. A positive touch: C-tactile afferent targeted skin stimulation carries an appetitive motivational value Biological Psychology, 129 :186-194 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Pawling R, Cannon PR, McGlone FP, Walker SC. 2017. C-tactile afferent stimulating touch carries a positive affective value PLoS ONE, 3 DOI Author Url Public Url

Walker SC, Trotter P, Woods A, McGlone F. 2017. Vicarious ratings of social touch reflect the anatomical distribution & velocity tuning of C-tactile afferents: A Hedonic Homunculus? Behavioural Brain Research, 320 :91-96 DOI Author Url Public Url

McGlone F, Cerritelli F, Walker SC, Esteves J. 2017. The role of gentle touch in perinatal osteopathic manual therapy Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 72 :1-9 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Kass-Iliyya L, Leung M, Marshall A, Trotter P, Kobylecki C, Walker S, Gosal D, Jeziorska M, Malik RA, Mcglone F, Silverdale MA. 2016. The perception of affective touch in Parkinson's disease and its relation to small fibre neuropathy European Journal of Neuroscience, 45 :232-237 DOI Author Url Public Url

Trotter PD, McGlone F, McKie S, McFarquhar M, Elliott R, Walker SC, Deakin JF. 2016. Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on central processing of CT-targeted and discriminatory touch in humans. The European journal of neuroscience, 44 :2072-2083 DOI Author Url Public Url

Croy I, Krone F, Walker SC, Hummel T. 2015. Olfactory Processing: Detection of Rapid Changes Chemical Senses, DOI Author Url

van Paasschen J, Walker SC, Phillips N, Downing PE, Tipper SP. 2014. The effect of personal grooming on self-perceived body image. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, DOI

Walker SC, McGlone FP. 2013. The social brain: Neurobiological basis of affiliative behaviours and psychological well-being Neuropeptides, 47 :379-393 DOI

Rygula R, Walker SC, Clarke HF, Robbins TW, Roberts AC. 2010. Differential contributions of the primate ventrolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex to serial reversal learning. J Neurosci, 30 :14552-14559 DOI Author Url

Walker SC, Robbins TW, Roberts AC. 2009. Response disengagement on a spatial self-ordered sequencing task: effects of regionally selective excitotoxic lesions and serotonin depletion within the prefrontal cortex. J Neurosci, 29 :6033-6041 DOI Author Url

Clarke HF, Walker SC, Crofts HS, Dalley JW, Robbins TW, Roberts AC. 2005. Prefrontal serotonin depletion affects reversal learning but not attentional set shifting. J Neurosci, 25 :532-538 DOI Author Url

Walker SC, Trotter PD, Swaney WT, Marshall A, McGlone FP. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides, 64 :27-38 DOI Author Url Public Url

Walker SC, Robbins TW, Roberts AC. Differential contributions of dopamine and serotonin to orbitofrontal cortex function in the marmoset. Cereb Cortex, 19 :889-898 DOI Author Url

Clarke HF, Walker SC, Dalley JW, Robbins TW, Roberts AC. Cognitive inflexibility after prefrontal serotonin depletion is behaviorally and neurochemically specific. Cereb Cortex, 17 :18-27 DOI Author Url

Walker SC, Winn P. An assessment of the contributions of the pedunculopontine tegmental and cuneiform nuclei to anxiety and neophobia. Neuroscience, 150 :273-290

Walker SC, Mikheenko YP, Argyle LD, Robbins TW, Roberts AC. Selective prefrontal serotonin depletion impairs acquisition of a detour-reaching task. Eur J Neurosci, 23 :3119-3123 DOI Author Url

Keating GL, Walker SC, Winn P. An examination of the effects of bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus on responding to sucrose reward. Behav Brain Res., 132 :217-228

Chapters

McGlone F, Walker SC. 2016. Losing Touch: An unrecognised consequence of ageing Wynants M, Nuyttens G. Age - From the anatomy of life to the architecture of living ASP 9789057185076

McGlone F, Walker SC, Ackerley R. 2016. Affective Touch and Human Grooming Behaviours: Feeling Good and Looking Good Affective Touch and the Neurophysiology of CT Afferents Springer 9781493964185 DOI

Conference publication

Walker SC, McGlone FP. Perceived pleasantness of social touch reflects the anatomical distribution and velocity tuning of C-tactile afferents: An affective homunculus Society for Neuroscience 2014 Annual Meeting

Engagement & Impact

Highlighted activities

Research Grants Awarded:

Leverhulme Trust, Investigation of the role of 5HT in psychological responses to affective touch, Prof Francis McGlone, Grant value (£): £235,639, Duration of research project: 2 years 6 months. 2012

Professional activities

Conference presentation:

Skin touch: More than mechanosensation, Montagna Symposium on the Biology of the Skin, Oregon, USA, Oral presentation. 2016

C-tactile afferent stimulating touch carries a positive affective value, Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, Poster presentation. 2015

C-Tactile Afferents: The mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative interaction?, Neuropeptides, University of Aberdeen, Oral presentation. 2015

Teaching qualification:

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 2016

Fellowships:

Early Career Fellowship, Liverpool John Moores. 2015

Early Career Fellowship, Liverpool John Moores University. 2013

Membership of professional bodies:

International Society for the Study of Affective Touch, International Society for the Study of Affective Touch. 2015

Society for Social Neuroscience, Society for Social Neuroscience, http://www.s4sn.org/. 2014

Society for Neuroscience, Society for Neuroscience. 2000

Research Grants Awarded:

BIAL Foundation, Affiliative Touch & Emotion Regulation, Francis McGlone, Grant value (£): 49,500 Euros, Duration of research project: 12 months. 2014

Leverhulme Trust, Investigation of the role of 5HT in psychological responses to affective touch, Prof Francis McGlone, Grant value (£): £235,639, Duration of research project: 2 years 6 months. 2012

Industrial connections:

Unilever R&D Port Sunlight, Consultant on Scalp Health Project. 2013

Media Coverage:

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41451/title/Mapping-the-Emotional-Body/, https://www.sciencenews.org/article/areas-people-be-caressed-match-nerve-fibers, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-2836895/Hand-transplant-recovery-sheds-new-light-touch.html, Abstract Submitted to Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference in Washington DC 2014 was selected to be presented at a press conference - which resulted in media coverage of the work.