Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Research Group

A multidisciplinary and collaborative team

Understanding the mechanisms underlying cognitive and emotional behaviour and the disruption of these processes by drugs, ageing, atypical development or disease.

The Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Research Group comprises academics, post-docs and postgraduates with research backgrounds in cognitive psychology, psychophysiology, psychopharmacology and neuroscience.


This video shows a microneurography experiment with Francis McGlone; the electrodes are recording from within the lateral cutaneous nerve of the forearm while the participant is awake, comfortable and fully responsive. The activity of a single hair unit can be seen and heard in response to the brush strokes delivered by a Robotic Tactile Stimulator (RTS). The group has the only active microneurography lab in the UK. They use this unique technique to investigate the peripheral nerve activity behind social touch and pain and its relationship to conscious perceptual experience.


We share a common interest in understanding the mechanisms underlying cognitive and emotional behaviour and the disruption of these processes by drugs, ageing, atypical development or disease. Our experimental approach combines neuroimaging, electrophysiology (EEG and microneurography), pharmacological and physiological techniques with behavioural testing procedures, thus encompassing multiple levels of analysis.


We collaborate with researchers across LJMU from pharmacy, computing, sports science and public health on multidisciplinary projects with an applied focus. In addition, we have strong collaborative links, both nationally and internationally, with other universities, charities and industrial partners.

Our research is funded by:

  • The European Union
  • The Leverhulme Trust
  • Medical Research Council
  • Pain Relief Foundation
  • BIAL Foundation
  • Mersey Care NHS Trust
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Unilever

Teaching and learning

All staff in the group contribute to teaching modules on the BSc (Hons) Applied Psychology programme (cognitive neuroscience, appetitive behaviour, social cognition and substance use modules) and some to the BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour or Health Psychology (MSc) programme.


Our research is conducted within modern laboratories housed within the Tom Reilly Building.  We have a specialist laboratory equipped for somatosensory psychophysics with a Medoc Pathway Pain & Thermal Sensory Evaluation System. We are also one of the first laboratories in the UK to have a microneurography capability. Our psychophysiology laboratories house a Faraday Cage, along with 128, 64 and 32 channel EEG systems. In addition, we have fNIRS, EMG, ECG capabilities.

Group members have a long-term association with the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre, University of Nottingham (which houses an ultra-high-field 7T fMRI) as well as the Magnetic Resonance and Image Analysis Research Centre (MARIARC) at the University of Liverpool.

Find out more about our facilities


Meet the researchers within this group:

PhD students

Meet the PhD students within this research area.


Search for a research paper

20 papers found

  • Journal article

    Assessment of threat and negativity bias in virtual reality

    Baker C and Pawling R and Fairclough S

    Publish date:01/12/2020

  • Journal article

    Personal informatics and negative emotions during commuter driving:Effects of data visualization on cardiovascular reactivity & mood

    Fairclough S and Dobbins C

    Publish date:01/12/2020

  • Journal article

    Age-related prefrontal cortex activation in associative memory: an fNIRS pilot study.

    Talamonti D, Montgomery C and Clark DPA and Bruno D

    Publish date:15/11/2020

  • Journal article

    The Role of the Prefrontal Cortex and Functional Connectivity during Maritime Operations: An fNIRS study

    Fan S, Blanco Davis E, Zhang J, Bury A, Warren J, Yang Z, Yan X and Wang J and Fairclough S

    Publish date:04/11/2020

  • Journal article

    A nociresponsive specific area of human somatosensory cortex within BA3a: BA3c?

    Panchuelo RMS, Eldeghaidy S, Marshall A, McGlone F and Francis ST and Favorov O

    Publish date:01/11/2020

  • Editorial/letter to the editor

    Editorial: High Performance Cognition: Information-Processing in Complex Skills, Expert Performance, and Flow

    Cowley BU, Dehais F, Fairclough S, Karran AJ and Palomäki J and Lappi O

    Publish date:06/10/2020