School of Psychology

Perception and Action


How we act and understand the actions of others

The Perception and Action group studies the mechanisms that allow people to plan and control their actions and interpret and understand the actions of others.

Methods include fMRI, DTI TMS, tDCS, MEG, EEG and the use of robotic and virtual reality interfaces. Their research focuses on goal-directed hand action, but also covers unintentional motor acts, automatic mimicry, perception of the body and the space immediately surrounding the body. Investigations cover the lifespan from fours years of age to old age, encompassing congenital, developmental, degenerative and stroke-related brain abnormalities.

Recent projects and publications 

Recently funded projects include studies of neural plasticity in the motor system (BBSRC), of self-perception (ESRC) and of social cognition (ESRC funded).




Katherine Dyke
Katherine Dyke
Assistant Professor

My research interests include using multi-modal approaches to better understand how non-invasive brain stimulation works. 

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I am particularly interested in understanding how approaches such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can alter brain activity, and how approaches like this can be optimised as therapeutic interventions. My work also involves using brain imaging approaches to explore how things like exercise, motor learning and menstrual cycles influence brain chemistry. Techniques I use include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), median nerve stimulation (MNS); transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).

Stephen Jackson
Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience

A central theme of my research programme has been to understand the psychological and brain mechanisms through which sensory information is used to plan and control human action. 

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My current research is focused on using multimodal brain imaging and brain stimulation techniques to investigate human sensorimotor function in health and disorder. My research utilises state-of-the-art MR imaging, MR spectroscopy, magnetoencephalography and various non-invasive brain stimulation techniques to investigate the pathophysiology of common brain health conditions affecting children and young people. A key focus is aimed at developing novel therapeutic approaches for tic disorders based on the use of wearable technology incorporating non-invasive brain stimulation.

Martin Schuermann
Associate Professor and Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience

My areas of research interest include crossmodal interaction and multisensory processing; neurobiological basis of social perception (human mirror-neuron system); and neurophysiology at systems level.

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Deborah Serrien
Associate Professor

My research focuses on the cognitive neuroscience of decision making and action across the lifespan from infancy to ageing.

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The main research themes areas are: hemispheric lateralisation of cognitive functions and human movement control (with emphasis on coordination tasks) under normal and disordered conditions. Use is made of behavioural as well as functional imaging techniques in order to better understand brain-behaviour relationships and mechanisms of neuroplasticity.

Domenica Veniero
Assistant Professor

My research interests focus on two main areas. The first is the role of brain oscillations in both long-range cortical communication and local brain activity, with a specific interest in top down control of visuo-spatial attention, visual processing and motor cortex excitability. The second is the effect of brain stimulation (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation - TMS) on cortical excitability and behavioural performance.

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Postdoctoral Scientists

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  • Kat Gialopsou
  • Mairi Houlgreave

PhD students

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Show Alumni

  • Duncan Astle
  • Leonardo Bonilha
  • Beverley J. Brown
  • Ross Cunnington
  • Amelia Draper
  • Carl P.T. Jackson
  • SoYoung Kim
  • Elizabeth Liddle
  • Joanna Loayza
  • Barbara Morera Maiquez
  • Kirsten McKenzie
  • Sven Mueller
  • Seho Nam
  • Roger Newport
  • Amy Parkinson
  • Sally Pears
  • Sophia Pépés
  • Anna Plodowski
  • Chris Rorden
  • Suzanne Ryan
  • Hilmar P. Sigurdsson
  • Daniel T. Smith
  • Rachel Swainson




School of Psychology

University Park
The University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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