Division of Psychology Communication and Human Neuroscience

Organisation profile

Organisation profile

We are a multi-disciplinary team studying the perceptual, cognitive, social and neural bases of human behaviour, development and health across the lifespan.

We make basic research discoveries and translate these discoveries into real-world applications that improve the quality of life for individuals of all ages and from all parts of society.

Our Division has a leading national and international reputation in the education and training of psychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, neuroimagers, audiologists and healthcare scientists, speech and language therapists, and Teachers of the Deaf.



Our undergraduate courses are enhanced by teaching from nationally and internationally-leading psychologists and neuroscientists. At postgraduate level, we provide expertise to a range of taught courses.

Learn more on our psychology study pages.

Speech and language therapy

The BSc Speech and Language Therapy course blends scientific study and clinical enquiry with practical, hands-on experience to train students in the essential skills required for this rewarding profession.

We also offer CPD units for qualified speech and language therapists who want to gain specialist knowledge in their chosen clinical area.

Learn more on our speech and language therapy study pages.

Audiology and deaf education

ManCAD has the most extensive portfolio of audiology and deaf education training programmes in the UK.

Our teaching portfolio covers undergraduate, pre-registration and post-registration postgraduate taught programmes. We also run continuing professional development courses and post-registration Doctor of Clinical Science (Audiology) programmes.

Learn more on our audiology and deaf education study pages.


Our research focuses on the following areas:

Experimental psychology

We primarily use behavioural experimental methods to study psychological processes, focusing on human perception and cognition across the lifespan. We work with many non-academic partners to translate our findings into education, industry, and policy change.

Our major research areas include:

We benefit from state-of the-art virtual reality, electroencephalography, eye-tracking, motion-tracking and experimental psychology labs.

Developmental psychology

In our Child Study Centre, we aim to answer the question of what makes us uniquely human.

Some of the most important uniquely human skills are our ability to communicate through language and our ability to cooperate to collectively solve problems. We run studies with children to understand the development of universal and culture-specific human skills.

We also run observational comparative studies with different species (great apes, ravens) to understand the evolution of some human skills.

The ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD) uses multi-method approaches to study how children learn to communicate with language, how the developing brain supports this process, and how it is affected by cross-linguistic, socio-cultural and individual variation.

Speech and language

We aim to improve understanding of speech and language recovery after stroke, focussing on the communication disorders of aphasia and dysarthria. 

Stroke survivors are at the heart of all our clinical research, working closely with us from project inception and development, to implementation and evaluation.

Our research evaluates both better measurement of recovery, and optimising treatment for stroke survivors, those with brain injury and other neurological conditions. We also research social language and communication profiles in people with autism and deaf children.

Sensory science

We study a range of sensory systems (particularly hearing and vision).

The Manchester Centre for Audiology and Deafness (ManCAD) is a world leader in research underpinning improved services in healthcare and education for those with a hearing loss or who are deaf.

The Hearing Health theme within the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre provides a clear pathway from research discoveries to benefit for people with hearing loss.

Our research investigates critical aspects of visual processing supporting everyday activity and how these are affected in different populations, such as people with autism, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease.

We also contribute significantly to the Manchester Vision Network, a cross-university group of researchers and clinicians focussing on vision and visual health. 

Cognitive and clinical neuroscience

We explore the fundamental principles by which neural systems develop and operate in both healthy and diseased brains.

Our work draws on particular strengths in computational modelling, neuroimaging and neurostimulation.  

We translate our neuroscience discovery into clinical impact with a focus on stroke, dementia and Parkinson's disease, as supported by the Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre.


We develop novel imaging measurements using fMRI, MRI, EEG and PET. These include measurements of brain physiology, network connectivity, and microstructural properties linked to neurodegeneration and other causes of neural damage.

We use these measurements to inform theoretical models of human cognition and to probe mechanisms of brain development and dysfunction. We form a core part of Manchester Neuroimaging.

Head of Division

Professor Anna Theakston

Our researchers

View list of researchers within the Division


Charlene Tawzer, PA to Head of Division
tel: +44 (0)161 275 8488
email: b.charlene.tawzer@manchester.ac.uk

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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