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Kirralise Hansford
PhD Student



I completed my BSc (Hons) Psychology at the University of Plymouth with a research-based placement year looking at animal psychology at Dartmoor Zoo and the impact of biophilic architecture on the lives of those living with Dementia at CURA Design. After completing my BSc Psychology I worked as a research assistant with Dr Matt Roser and Dr Anna Kharko at the University of Plymouth looking at analgesia in chronic pain patients (specifically Fibromyalgia). Following this, I completed an MSc in Neuroimaging at Cardiff University with a dissertation project looking at subthalamic microstructure in adults at risk of dementia with APOE-e4 using quantitative Magnetisation Transfer (qMT) imaging, supervised by Dr Claudia Metzler-Baddeley. I continued working as a research assistant to Dr Anna Kharko throughout my MSc and investigated the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on pain ratings in Fibromyalgia patients. This work led me to undertaking a PhD in Neuroscience and Neuroimaging at the University of York, looking further into analgesia in chronic pain patients using EEG and visual body illusions. 


  • PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, University of York (UK), 2021-present
  • MSc in Neuroimaging: Methods and Applications, Cardiff University (UK), 2020-2021
  • Research Assistant for Dr Anna Kharko and Dr Matt Roser, University of Plymouth (UK), 2019-2021
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology with Industrial Research Placement, University of Plymouth (UK), 2015-2019

Departmental roles

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant

University roles

  • York Open Research Advocate



Visual Body Illusions for the Treatment of Chronic Pain


 I am investigating the analgesic effects of multisensory body illusions in relation to neural mechanisms and the feasibility of developing accessible illusion-based treatments for chronic pain via a mobile phone application.

Specifically, I aim to establish a neural signature of illusion-based analgesia using EEG, comparing highly immersive illusion induction to an alternative unimodal (visual) method. This unimodal method would be most suitable for a mobile phone application. I also aim to examine potential cumulative effects of experiencing visual illusions on levels of chronic pain to determine feasibility of such methods for long term pain management.

Research group(s)

  • University of York Touch and Pain (TAP) Lab





  • Brain & Behaviour 1
  • Perception & Cognition 2
  • Academic Skills – Writing Support


Selected publications

Kirralise Hansford - Google Scholar

  • Kharko, A. Y., Hansford, K. J., Furlong, P. L., Hall, S. D., & Roser, M. E. (2020). The Anxiety and Pain of Fibromyalgia Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic. medRxiv.
  • Kharko, A. Y., Hansford, K. J., Klein, F. B., Furlong, P. L., & Hall, S. D. (2020). The role of anxiety in the perception of pain: exploring the cumulative & temporal mechanisms of hypercapnic analgesia. bioRxiv.
  • Hansford, K. (2020). Investigating the Effects of Interrupting Gender-Related Schematic Encoding and Memory Recall in an Adult Population, The Plymouth Student Scientist.

External activities


Contact details

Kirralise Hansford
PhD Student
Department of Psychology
University of York
Room PS/B/102