Who we are

Head of Department and Foundational Chair in Psychiatry


Hugo at desk

Professor Hugo Critchley pursues a lifelong interest in normal and abnormal human behaviour from the perspective of mind-body interaction.  His work helps define the way in which states of bodily arousal are controlled by the brain and how thoughts, feelings and behaviours are shaped by physiological changes in the body.  Hugo’s team applies this understanding to gain new insights into psychological symptoms and mental health disorders,  including psychosis and anxiety.

Hugo leads active research programmes within BSMS, and as co-director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex; these projects combine patient studies, neuroimaging and autonomic physiology.  He also works clinically as a Consultant Psychiatrist within Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  His specialist clinical service evaluates neurodevelopmental conditions in adults.

Hugo trained in physiology and medicine at the University of Liverpool and gained his DPhil in experimental psychology from the University of Oxford.  He then embarked on his psychiatry training, and has pursued his interest in brain imaging studies for the last 20 years.  He was based at the KCL Institute of Psychiatry in London, before moving to the UCL Institute of Neurology.  In 2006 Hugo left his position as Principal Research Fellow / Senior Clinical Fellow at the Wellcome Department of imaging neuroscience, to join Brighton and Sussex medical school as the Foundation Chair in Psychiatry.  He combines this with his role as Head of Department BSMS Neuroscience.


Core Research Group


Dr Sarah Garfinkel

Dr Charlotte Rae

Dr Jessica Eccles

Dr Cassandra Gould van Praag

Dr Lisa Quadt

Dr Sarah Fielding-Smith

Sophie Betka

James Mulcahy

Dennis Larsson


Christina Lee – Departmental Assistant

Alexei FiskUnit Administrator


BSMS Neuroscience, Medical Physics and Psychiatry Group


Prof Mara Cercignani, Chair in Medical Physics and Director of the Clinical Imaging Sciences Centre

Dr Natasha Sigala, BSMS Neuroscience Teaching Lead and Senior Lecturer

Dr Neil Harrison, BSMS Neuroscience Research Lead and Reader

Dr Alessandro Colasanti, Researcher and Senior Lecturer

Dr Kristy Themelis

Dr Charlotte Clarke

Dr Marco Bozzali

Dr Yoko Nagai




Prof Anil Seth, Co-Director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science

Prof Jamie Ward, Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Sussex School of Psychology

Prof Dora Duka, Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex School of Psychology

Prof Aldo Badiani, Psychology and Addiction Medicine, University of Sussex School of Psychology

Prof Chris Chatwin, Engineering and Design, Industrial Informatics and Signal Processing Research Group, University of Sussex School of Engineering

Dr Rupert Young, Reader in Engineering, University of Sussex School of Engineering

Dr Cristina Ottaviani, Researcher, Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome

Dr Gaby Pfeifer

Dr David Watson

Dr Alice Brooke

Dr Marcus Gray, the University of Queensland

Dr Ludovico Mina 

Dr Alessia Nicotra

Mark Ware, Artist – The Wavelength Project

Prof Chris Mathias, University College London

Prof Ray Dolan, Mary Kinross Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Director for the Wellcome Trust for Neuroimaging at University College London

Prof Peter Taggart, Principal Research Associated, University College London

Prof Henrique Sequeira, Neuroscience, University of Lille

Prof Satoshi Unmeda, Psychology, Keio University, Japan

Dr Michiko Yoshie, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London

Dr Jonathan Smallwood, Reader, Department of Psychology, University of York

Prof Peter J Gianaros, Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Pittsburgh

Prof Luciano Bernardi

Prof Olga Pollatos, Health Psychology, Institute of Psychology and Education, University of Ulm

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