Neuroscience at Nottingham

Maddie Groom

Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



I graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2000 with a BSc in Psychology. I spent a year in the School of Psychology at Leeds University on a project investigating animal models of anxiety and drug addiction. I returned to the University of Nottingham, Division of Psychiatry in 2002 to a research post investigating cognitive risk markers for early-onset schizophrenia. I completed a PhD in this topic in 2006, followed by a post-doc position investigating the effects of motivational incentives and stimulant medication on neural markers of response inhibition in ADHD. In 2009 I was appointed to my current post of lecturer in applied developmental cognitive neuroscience, in the Division of Psychiatry & Applied Psychology.

Expertise Summary


developmental psychiatry, ADHD, comorbidity, EEG,cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience

Teaching Summary

I am Course Director of the MSc Mental Health Research:

The course is designed to prepare students for either a clinical or academic career in the allied fields of psychology and mental health. I oversee the running of the course, ensuring high quality teaching and appropriate assessment methods.

I convene the research project module that forms a major part of the MSc as well as supervising individual student projects and contributing individual lectures to other modules.

I am committed to fostering 'active learning' in students by using interactive (rather than solely didactic) teaching methods. To achieve this, I include practical exercises relevant to the material being taught, such as giving students a chance to try out a cognitive test for themselves so that they can reflect more fully on the properties and applications of the test. I also include examples of 'lived experience' from service users and carers where possible, to provide greater context to the scientific material I teach. I seek student feedback frequently to ensure I continue to develop as an educator.

Research Summary

My research aims to understand the neural basis of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum conditions. In particular, I'm interested… read more

Recent Publications

Postgraduate Representative (Division of Psychiatry)

This entails liaising regularly with postgraduate research (PGR) students to identify issues that are relevant to them, as well as handling initial queries and applications, and being the first point of contact for any students who are facing difficulties completing their PhD.


Education Committee (Division of Psychiatry)

This committee makes decisions about the content and structure of material delivered by the Division on the medical degree, masters in mental health and other teaching external to the Division.


Other Networks/Committees

I am also a member of the following networks/committees:

  • European Network of Hyperkinetic Disorders (EuNetHyDis)
  • EEG/ERP Research in ADHD (ERA) international network
  • British Neuropsychological Society
  • Institute of Mental Health, a partnership between the University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Human, Development and Language (HDL) group (University of Nottingham)
  • Mind Brain Behaviour Group (University of Nottingham)


Public Engagement and Dissemination of Research Findings

I take an active role in public engagement and dissemination of research findings including:

  • University of Nottingham community open day, giving a demonstration of cognitive testing and describing my research to members of the public
  • Magazine article for Rethink, a local support group for service users with significant mental health problems and their families
  • Press conferences both for local (East Midlands Today, BBC Radio Nottingham) and international media (Times and Guardian)
  • Oral and poster presentations at NHS research conferences and Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Newsletters to research participants

Current Research

My research aims to understand the neural basis of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum conditions. In particular, I'm interested in why the symptoms and cognitive deficits of these disorders so frequently overlap and what this overlap tells us about shared (and specific) mechanisms of risk for these conditions or symptom dimensions.

To achieve these aims I use cognitive neuroscience methods and techniques including:

  • Behavioural measures of cognitive function
  • Questionnaires and rating scales
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Magneto-encephalography (MEG)

In my research I work closely with other scientists and with psychiatrists and healthcare professionals, integrating the techniques of cognitive neuroscience with the real-world issues faced by psychiatrists when trying to improve diagnosis and treatment in clinical practice.

Current Projects

  • SOcial Cognition in ADHD and Autism 'SOCCA' (funded by the Waterloo Foundation)
  • Attention and Arousal Regulation in ADHD and autism spectrum conditions
  • Assessment of QbTest Utility in ADHD ('AQUA') (funded by NIHR)
  • Motor learning in children with Tourette Syndrome (funded by Action Medical Research)

Future Research

I am developing research to further investigate the links between arousal regulation, attention and social cognition in children and adolescents with ADHD and autism spectrum conditions (ASCs). I am also interested in the influence of intellectual function on these parameters in children with ASCs. This work is in collaboration with Dr Danielle Ropar (School of Psychology, UoN) and two PhD students, Alessio Bellato and Iti Arora. The work is part-funded by the Baily Thomas Foundation (funding awarded to Iti Arora).

I am also investigating the potential utility of a computerized cognitive test for ADHD, QbTest, to determine whether it can be a useful aid to medication management in ADHD.

I am willing to consider PhD proposals in the field of cognitive function and ADHD broadly, particularly in terms of the overlap between ADHD and ASCs.

Neuroscience at Nottingham

The University of Nottingham
Address line two
Nottingham, postcode

telephone: +44 (0) 115 XXX XXXX