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Alexandra Pike
Lecturer in Mental Health



  • Lecturer in Mental Health, University of York (2022-)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University College London (2018-2022)
  • DPhil Psychiatry, University of Oxford (2015-2018)
  • MSc Neuroscience, University of Oxford (2014-2015)
  • BA Psychology and Philosophy, University of Oxford (2011-2014)


I completed my DPhil in Psychiatry at the University of Oxford on eating disorders and compulsivity in 2018, supervised by Professor Phil Cowen and Dr Rebecca Park. Subsequently, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at UCL in the Neuroscience and Mental Health Group at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (mentored by Professor Oliver Robinson), focusing on anxiety disorders but also conducting some work on depression. I have worked on computational modelling methods in psychiatry since 2017, and also have experience in cognitive neuroscience, including MRI and online data collection. I joined the Department of York as a Lecturer in Mental Health in 2022.



I aim to use techniques from computational and cognitive neuroscience to understand how cognition (e.g. learning and decision-making) differs in those who are experiencing mental illness – particularly eating disorders. I am also interested in understanding mental health in terms of clinical psychology constructs and processes, such as catastrophizing and intolerance of uncertainty.


I am currently working on several projects, including a) understanding the relationships between uncertainty, intolerance of uncertainty and eating disorders; and b) understanding how uncertainty may relate to controllability.

Research group(s)

  • Cognition & Mental Health


  • Professor Oliver Robinson
  • Professor Jonathan Roiser
  • Dr Ritwik Niyogi
  • Dr Lei Zhang
  • Dr Toby Wise
  • Dr Paolo Ossola

Available PhD research projects

I would be keen to hear from prospective PhD students or independent research fellows – please email me!



  • Advanced module: The cognitive neuroscience of anxiety and trauma


Selected publications

  • Pike, A. C., Lowther, M., & Robinson, O. J. (2021). The Importance of Common Currency Tasks in Translational Psychiatry. Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports, 8(1), 1–10.
  • Pike, A. C., & Robinson, O. J. (2022). Reinforcement Learning in Patients With Mood and Anxiety Disorders vs Control Individuals: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry.
  • Pike, A. C., Serfaty, J. R., & Robinson, O. J. (2021). The development and psychometric properties of a self-report Catastrophizing Questionnaire. Royal Society Open Science, 8(1), 201362.

Full publications list

See Google scholar and ORCID.

External activities


  • British Association of Psychopharmacology

Editorial duties

  • Guest editor of special issue in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews

Invited talks and conferences

  • Virtual Brain Talk (May 2022)
  • British Association of Psychopharmacology Summer Meeting (July 2021)
  • NVP Winter Meeting on Brain and Cognition (December 2019)
  • Max Planck Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research (2018)


Contact details

Dr Alexandra Pike
Lecturer in Mental Health
Department of Psychology
University of York
Room PS/C/121

Tel: 01904 323578