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Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Placed joint 1st in the UK for our world leading (4*) environment and ranked in the top 10 in the UK for Research Power.

In psychology, we seek to address fundamental questions about human behaviour. This work underpins both basic scientific discovery and translation into novel interventions to benefit society, health and wellbeing. Core research and impact themes include:

  • The psychobiological and environmental determinants of eating and addictive behaviours
  • The development and evaluation of interventions to tackle obesity and addiction in children and adults
  • The neuropsychological bases of human brain function
  • Language acquisition and development in typical and atypical populations
  • Decision making in high risk environments, including critical and major incidents
  • Interventions to prevent violence and sexual reoffending.

In psychiatry, our work examines the determinants of mental health in children, adolescents and adults including behavioural, genomic and environmental determinants of health outcomes. We have also recently launched the Wellcome Trust-funded longitudinal Children Growing up in Liverpool birth cohort project to study mental health and health outcomes across the Liverpool Region and the MRC-funded Wirral Child Health Programme.

We maintain world-leading international research programmes focussed on mental health interventions in low- and middle-income countries and broader humanitarian contexts. These include working with refugees and asylum seekers through the EU H2020-funded RE-DEFINE project and the ENHANCE project, involving the development and evaluation of the WHO-adopted Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based ‘Thinking Health Programme’ for lay therapists in South Asia.

We have a long tradition of world-leading research in neuroscience – including the pioneering work on neurophysiology by 1932 Nobel Prize winner Sir Charles Sherrington. Today our work addresses fundamental issues in basic and clinical neuroscience, including molecular, cellular and genomic bases of central nervous system function, neurodegeneration, neuropharmacology, epilepsy, neuropathy, neuro-inflammation and brain infection. Substantial recent awards in these areas include core support for the UK based Cochrane Collaborative Review Groups exploring Epilepsy and  Parkinson's disease and the MRC Covid-Clinical Neuroscience Study. Our work in these fields benefits from close clinical-academic collaboration with key regional NHS Trusts such asthe Walton Centre and Alder Hey Children’s NHS Trust.

Our multi-methods expertise spans ‘Omics’ approaches, animal models, cell signalling, neuropharmacology, neuroimaging, and randomised controlled trials.

Back to: Research Excellence Framework 2021