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Catherine Preston
Lecturer (Assistant Professor)



Catherine completed a BSc in Psychology with Neuroscience at the University of Leicester  in 2004 and then a Ph.D in Psychology at the University of Nottingham in 2008. After her Ph.D, Catherine stayed as a postdoc at the University of Nottingham until 2010 when she took a position as temporary lecturer at Nottingham Trent University. In 2011 Catherine then moved to the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm where she won two fellowships, the Wenner Gren foreign researcher fellowship and Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship before starting her lectureship at the University of York in 2015.


  • Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of York, UK (2015 - present)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (2011 - 2015)
  • Temporary Lecturer, Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, UK (2010 - 2011)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, UK (2008 - 2010)
  • Ph.D Psychology, School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, UK (2004 - 2008)
  • BSc Psychology with Neuroscience, School of Psychology, University of Leicester, UK (2001 - 2004)



My research interests focus on self-awareness and body perception in relation to underlying neural mechanisms and mental health and well-being. My current research projects investigate (1) in how perinatal bodily changes influence maternal and infant health and well-being (2) how body perception can influence emotion in relation to disordered eating and (3) how body perception influences the experience of chronic pain. The methods I use include neuroimaging, behavioural experiments and psychometric techniques.


Catherine’s research has received funding from the Dunhill Medical Trust, Wenner Gren Foundations, Marie Curie Actions, the British Academy and Hjärnfonden. 

Catherine was a member of the team that won first prize in the 2012 Neural Correlate  Society’s Illusion of The Year contest, with the disappearing hand trick.


Selected publications

Carey, M., & Preston, C. (2019). Investigating the Components of Body Image Disturbance Within Eating Disorders. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, 635.

Kirk, E., & Preston, C. (2019). Development and validation of the Body Understanding Measure for Pregnancy Scale (BUMPS) and its role in antenatal attachment. Psychological Assessment, 31(9), 1092–1106.
Preston, C., & Ehrsson, H. H. (2016). Illusory obesity triggers body dissatisfaction responses in the insula and anterior cingulate cortex. Cerebral Cortex. 26 (12), 4450-4460
Preston, C., & Newport, R. (2011). Analgesic effects of multisensory illusions in osteoarthritis. Rheumatology, 50(12), 2314–2315.
Preston, C., Jenkinson, P. M., & Newport, R. (2010). Anosognosia for hemiplegia as a global deficit in motor awareness: Evidence from the non-paralysed limb. Neuropsychologia, 48(12), 3443-3450.

Full publication list (google scholar)



External activities


  • British Neuropsychological Society
  • Experimental Psychology Society

Editorial duties

  • Editor, Scientific Reports

Contact details

Dr Catherine Preston
Lecturer (Assistant Professor)
Department of Psychology
Room PS/B221

Tel: 01904 32 2910