Dr Natalia Lawrence
Associate Professor (in Translational Medicine)


Natalia is a cognitive neuroscientist who has a background in experimental psychology, behavioural neuroscience and clinical research. She combines brain imaging and experimental psychology methods to study reward processing in a range of disorders.


Compulsive behaviour and mood disorders: Why do some people lose control over their behaviour and emotions? Can cognitive training strengthen control over habitual or impulsive behaviour? To find out more about our response inhibition training to reduce overeating (featured in "How to Lose Weight Well") or download our app please go to this website: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/foodt/


Associate Professor in Translational Medicine. I conduct neuro-cognitive research into the mechanisms underlying altered emotional processing in psychological disorders and use this knowledge to help understand and develop psychological interventions. For example, I am currently examining whether response inhibition training can reduce ‘addictive’ behaviour such as over-eating.

Office Hours for Term 1 in 2018/19 are:

  • Wednesdays 13:30-14:30
  • Fridays 13:30-14:30

If you would like to hear about our food response training study that showed weight loss please watch this 5-minute presentation

Broad research specialisms:

Emotional processing and regulation, motivation and reward, obesity, mood disorders, compulsive behaviour, brain imaging.


PhD Psychology


Natalia completed a BSc in Natural Sciences (Psychology and Biology) at the University of Durham, before undertaking a PhD in Psychology (behavioural neuroscience) with Professor Jeffrey Gray at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London, and in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Oxford. In 2000, Natalia was a postdoctoral fellow in neuroimaging of addiction in Professor Elliot Stein’s group at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She returned to the Institute of Psychiatry in 2002 to work as a postdoctoral researcher with Professor Mary Phillips in the Section of Neuroscience and Emotion. Natalia became a lecturer in Neuroimaging of Emotion Processing in Mood and Anxiety Disorders in 2004 and then moved to Cardiff in 2007 to take up a Research Fellowship in the Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. She is now Associate Professor in Translational Medicine, based in the Mood Disorders Centre in Psychology at the University of Exeter.


Research group links

Contact details

Internal tel4672
Tel+44 (0) 1392 724672
AddressWashington Singer Laboratories
University of Exeter
Perry Road
Prince of Wales Road
Office hours

Office Hours for Term 1 in 2018/19 are:

  • Wednesdays 12:30-13:30
  • Fridays 13:30-14:30

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