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Dr Catmur receives Philip Leverhulme Prize

Dr Caroline Catmur, a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the IoPPN, has been awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize, which recognises the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition, and whose future career is judged to be exceptionally promising.

Dr Catmur says: ‘I’m delighted and honoured to have been awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize. I am particularly grateful to the inspirational mentors and collaborators who have guided and worked with me over the last ten years.'

Professor Richard Brown, Head of the Department of Psychology notes: ‘This is a fantastic achievement and I am delighted for Caroline. It is a true reflection of the excellence of her research to date and a real marker of her potential as a future research leader. This prestigious and valuable award was one of only 30 made nationally in 2015, and only one of five in the field of psychology. Caroline has only recently joined the IoPPN and this award will get her off to a great start, linking her work here in the psychology department with other groups across the faculty’.

The award recognises her work on mirror neurons and social cognition and will support a project, “Mirroring intentions? Establishing the contribution of mirror neurons to action understanding”. This research investigates the brain mechanisms that allow us to interact with other people. Her previous research showed that a few hours of training can reverse the way the brain responds to other people’s actions, illustrating how important it is that the developing brain receives the right kind of social experience. This type of brain response is thought to be crucial to understanding people’s intentions, but this has not actually been tested. The research funded by the Philip Leverhulme Prize will use brain stimulation and brain imaging to test whether these “mirror” brain responses to other people’s actions are really required to understand their intentions.

The Philip Leverhulme Prize scheme makes up to thirty awards of £100,000 a year, across a range of academic disciplines.


Notes to editors

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