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Staff spotlight: Dr Joe Barnby

Staff spotlight: Dr Joe Barnby

  • Date20 June 2022

Dr Joe Barnby joined the department a few months ago. Read on to find out about his research interests and extracurricular activities.


What made you choose Psychology at Royal Holloway? Royal Holloway has a combination of world-leading research and teaching – I wanted to build my network around these internationally recognised scientists and pass on rigorous, cutting-edge teaching to the next generation. I saw that my specialism would fit well in the department and enable me to contribute to the global reputation of the institution. Probably more importantly, the staff are warm, friendly, deeply knowledgeable and passionate about their work, meaning I look forward to come into the lab.

Can you tell us a little about the research you will carry out at RHUL? My specialism is social computation and psychosis. Specifically, I use computational models, psychopharmacology, and imaging to build and test theories of how we construct brain maps of our sense of self and our beliefs about others, and how this may go awry in those who experience hallucinations and delusions. My teaching will focus on clinical psychology, cognitive neuroscience, as well as more general topics such as social cognition, and computational approaches, statistics, and coding (R/Python). I can supervise both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

What do you think is the best part about teaching? Supporting the next generation of scientists in shaping the future of the field is a genuine honour and a privilege. As the field of psychology and neuroscience rapidly changing, with open science, decentralised published, and international, remote collaborations becoming the norm, being able to equip students for the evolving nature of science feels deeply rewarding. Importantly, discussing current trends in psychology and neuroscience with students is always a two-way street – we learn from each other, which makes each lecture an exciting opportunity to expand our thinking.

What do you do outside of work? I used to be a music producer so I try and keep that up as much as I can! I run an immersive art company in the UK and Australia that turns brain data into music and cymatic visuals ( My friends and family are great, so also I make sure I travel a lot with them.

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