Accessibility statement

Nick Barraclough
Senior Lecturer



  • University of Edinburgh
    BSc in Biological Sciences (Neuroscience)
  • University of Nottingham
    PhD in Neurophysiology


  • University of St Andrews, Postdoc, Department of Psychology, 2002 - 2005
  • University of St Andrews, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, 2005 – 2006
  • University of Hull, Lecturer, Department of Psychology, 2006 - 2011
  • University of York, Lecturer, Department of Psychology, 2011 -2016
  • University of York, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology,
    2016 –

Departmental roles

  • Deputy Chair of the Board of Examiners

University roles

  • Natural Sciences Neuroscience pathway leader
  • Natural Sciences Psychology subject facilitator



Knowledge of how we evaluate the actions of other individuals is central to understanding how we interact successfully with different people within our complex social world. My research investigates how we see and interpret the actions of other people. I am interested in the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying the visual processing of actions and how these systems interact with the mirror neuron and mentalising systems, allowing us to perceive, understand and make predictions about the actions and behaviour of other people.

We use a range of different techniques including psychophysics, immersive virtual reality, neuroimaging, computational modelling and compare results with single-unit data from non-human primates.


Current research questions include:

  1. What are the key action features that guide our decision making?
  2. How is action perception influenced by Autism?
  3. How do we predict what action someone is about to do?
  4. When and why do large groups of people synchronise their behaviours?

Research group(s)

Vision and Face Perception group


  • AHRC (2014-2018) “Care for the future” Large Research Grant AH/M004457/1, £1,800,000
  • Reckitt Benckiser (2012) “Role of visual and olfactory context in action perception” £40,000
  • Wellcome Trust (2012) "Investigating how visual fields change size with visual context"
  • ESRC (2011-2014) “Investigating biases in the perception of human behaviour using immersive virtual reality” £238,000


  • Stephan de la Rosa (Max Planck institute of Biological Cybernetics) Action perception
  • Steven Tipper (University of York) Action perception
  • Tjeerd Jellema (University of Hull) Action and face perception
  • Hauke Egermann (University of York) Audience face perception
  • Lisa Peschel (University of York) Audience face perception

Available PhD research projects

I am happy to supervise students who are interested in the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying action perception and social perception more generally.


Selected publications

  • D. Kayser, H. Egermann, N.E. Barraclough (2021) Audience facial expressions detected by automated face analysis software reflect emotions in music. Behavior research methods, 1-15
  • Yukiko Kikuchi, Jennifer Ip, Gaetan Lagier, James C. Mossom, Sukhbinder Kumar, Christopher I. Petkov, Nick E. Barraclough, Quoc C. Vuong (2019) Interactions between Conscious and Subconscious Signals: Selective Attention under Feature-Based Competition Increases Neural Selectivity during Brain Adaptation. Journal of Neuroscience. Vol 29(28), pp 5506-5516
  • Cole, E.J., Barraclough, N.E., Andrews, T.J. (2019) Reduced connectivity between mentalizing and mirror systems in autism spectrum condition. Neuropsychologia.  Vol. 122 pp. 88-97
  • Cole, E.J., Barraclough, N.E. (2018) Timing of mirror system activation when inferring the intentions of others. Brain Research.  Vol. 1700 pp. 109-117 10.1016/j.brainres.2018.07.015
  • Cole, E.J., Barraclough, N.E., & Enticott, P. G. (2018). Investigating mirror system (MS) activity in adults with ASD when inferring others' intentions using both TMS and EEG. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Vol 48(7), pp 2350-2367
  • Fademrecht, L., Nieuwenhuis, J., Bulthoff, I., Barraclough, N., & de la Rosa, S. (2017). Action Recognition in a Crowded Environment. Iperception, 8(6),
  • Cole, E.J., Slocombe, K.E., Barraclough, N.E. (2017) Abilities to explicitly and implicitly infer intentions from action in adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Vol 48(5) pp 1712-1726
  • Barraclough, N.E. Page, S.A., Keefe, B.D. (2016) Visual adaptation enhances action sound discrimination. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics. Vol 79:320.
  • Keefe, B.D., Wincenciak, J., Jellema, T., Ward, J.W., Barraclough, N.E. (2016) Action adaptation during natural unfolding social scenes influences action recognition and inferences made about actor beliefs. Journal of Vision. Vol. 16(9):9 pp 1-20 doi:10.1167/16.9.9
  • Wincenciak, J., Ingham, J., Jellema, T., Barraclough, N.E. (2016) Emotional actions are coded via two mechanisms: with and without identity representation. Frontiers in Psychology. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00693

Full publications list

See Google Scholar Profile or the York Research Database.



  • Perception and Cognition
  • Perception of Actions and Human Behaviour


  • Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience

External activities


  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Experimental Psychology Society
  • Applied Vision Association

Editorial duties

  • ESRC and Carnegie Trust peer review colleges
  • Ad hoc reviewer for various Grant awarding bodies and Journals

Contact details

Dr Nick Barraclough
Senior Lecturer
Department of Psychology
Room PS/B/113

Tel: 01904 323141