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

6 papers found

  • Journal article

    Author Correction: Cochlear SGN neurons elevate pain thresholds in response to music (Scientific Reports, (2021), 11, 1, (14547), 10.1038/s41598-021-93969-0)

    Dunbar RIM, Pearce E, Tarr B, Makdani A, Bamford J and Smith S and McGlone F

    Publish date:01/12/2022

  • Journal article

    Affective touch: a communication channel for social exchange

    Fairhurst MT and McGlone F and Croy I

    Publish date:01/02/2022

  • Journal article

    Psychophysiology and motivated emotion: testing the affective touch of C-tactile afferent function

    Walker SC and Marshall A and Pawling R

    Publish date:01/02/2022

  • Journal article

    The role of C-tactile nerve fibers in human social development

    Croy I and Fairhurst MT and McGlone F

    Publish date:01/02/2022

  • Journal article

    A topographical and physiological exploration of C-tactile afferents and their response to menthol and histamine.

    Loken LS, Backlund Wasling H, Olausson H and McGlone F and Wessberg J

    Publish date:12/01/2022

  • Journal article

    Neurological and cognitive alterations induced by MDMA in humans

    Montgomery C and Roberts CA

    Publish date:01/01/2022

Showing 6 papers