Steven Tipper



After completing his D.Phil at Oxford University in 1985 he moved to Mount Allison University in Canada.  In 1989 he moved to McMaster University, to the position of Associate Professor.  In 1993 he return to the UK to take the Chair in Cognitive Science at Bangor University, remaining there until 2013 when he joined the York department of Psychology.  He has been visiting professor at the Max Plank Institute in Munich (2001) and Melbourne University (1999). 

Current research investigates the relationship between perception, action and emotion.

  • Bangor University, 1993-2013
  • Visiting Professor, Melbourne University 1999
  • McMaster University (Canada) 1989-1993
  • Mount Allison University (Canada) 1985-1989


  • D.Phil, Oxford University 1984



My research has focussed on a number of issues. Early studies analysed the processes that enable selective action.  That is, how we can act on one object when there are others in the scene evoking competing actions. This work revealed the important role of inhibition mechanisms acting on various forms of representation depending on task demands. More recent studies have investigated the perception of other people’s actions. It appears that when observing another person produce an action our own motor systems are activated as if we are also producing the action. Recent work has investigated the role of attention in these action perception processes, and how they can evoke emotional responses in the observer.


The current project is funded by the ESRC (2013-2016):

  • Visuomotor states of an observer influence person perception: The critical role of emotion.

Research group(s)

Social Interaction, Forensic and Abnormal Psychology


Aside from the current ESRC grant I have received a Programme grant from the Wellcome Trust, 3 BBSRC, 4 ESRC grants , as well as support from the MRC, Leverhulme, NSERC (Canada) and industry (Unilever).


Selected publications

  • Morrison, I., Tipper, S.P., Fenton-Adams, W., & Bach, P. (2013).  “Feeling” other’s painful actions:  The sensorimotor integration of pain and action information.  Human Brain Mapping,
  • Oosterhoff, N.N., Wiggett, A.J., Diedrichsen, J., Tipper, S.P. & Downing, P.E. (2010).  Surface-based information mapping reveals crossmodal vision-action representations in human parietal and occipitotemporal cortex.  Journal of Neurophysiology, 104 (2), 1077-1089.
  • Bach, P. & Tipper, S.P. (2007).  Implicit action encoding influences personal-trait judgments.  Cognition, 102, 151-178.
  • Tipper, S.P., Grison, S., & Kessler, K. (2003). Long-term Inhibition of Return of Attention.  Psychological Science, 14, 19-25.
  • Behrmann, M. & Tipper, S.P.  (1999).  Attention accesses multiple reference frames: Evidence from visual neglect.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 25, 83-101.
  • Houghton, G. & Tipper, S.P. (1994).  A model of inhibitory mechanisms in selective attention.  In D. Dagenback and T. Carr (Eds)  Inhibitory Processes of Attention, Memory and Language.  Academic Press: Florida.  pp 53-112.

Full publications list

For full publication list see.





Cognitive Psychology


Cognitive Psychology

External activities


  • Editor of Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2009-2012
  • Academician of the Academy of the Social Sciences (2006-)
  • Fellow of the British Academy (2007-).


  • Experimental Psychology Society Mid-career award (2009).
  • Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (2009-).
  • British Psychology Society: The president’s Award (2004).


Contact details

Prof. Steven Tipper
Department of Psychology
Room PS/C106

Tel: 01904 323162