Dr Chris Martin


Department of Psychology

Head of Department

Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience and Psychobiology

+44 114 222 6590

Full contact details

Dr Chris Martin
Department of Psychology
Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences (ICOSS)
219 Portobello
S1 4DP
  • BA (Hons) Psychology (University of Sheffield)
  • PhD Neuroscience (University of Sheffield)
  • PgCert Higher Education (University of Sheffield).
Research interests

The main focus of my research is on the meaning of functional brain imaging signals: what do they tell us about brain activity and how might we best use this information to improve our understanding of normal brain function and neurological diseases?

I use a range of in-vivo techniques in order to uncover the neurophysiological basis of neuroimaging signals and the mechanisms of neurovascular coupling that underlie them. I am also interested in science communication, in particular the communication of brain imaging research findings beyond academic audiences and the impact of this upon public understanding of neuroscience.

Current projects in my lab are focusing on:

  • The roles of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine in modulating neuroimaging signals and neurovascular coupling.
  • The neuronal and neurovascular effects of transcranial direct current stimulation.
  • The impact of system inflammation on neurovascular coupling.

Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


Research group

Research staff

Dr Aisling Spain

Aisling’s research is funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Project Grant and focuses on how alterations in the functioning of the serotonin neurotransmitter system in the brain affect functional brain imaging signals and their relationship to neuronal activity.

Miss Elizabeth Kirkham

Lizzy's research is funded by the British Academy and investigates how neuroscience can improve the effectiveness of behaviour change interventions (with respect to both intervention design and evaluation) with a specific focus on interventions to tackle obesity. 

Postgraduate students

Melissa Maczka

University of Oxford Doctoral Training Centre Student on the Life Sciences Interface Program. Melissa’s project involves developing new mathematical tools to help us understand what functional brain imaging signals tell us about the activity of neurons in the brain.

Jointly supervised by Dr Jonathan Marchini (Statistics, University of Oxford) and Dr Mark Woolrich (Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford).

Gaia Brezzo

Department of Psychology PhD Teaching Fellowship. Gaia is investigating how neurodegenerative brain disease alters the relationship between neuronal activity and blood flow in the brain.

This will improve our understanding of how to best use functional brain imaging tools in clinical populations as well as providing insights into the role of neurovascular mechanisms in disease progression.

Anka Gorgiev

South Eastern European Research Centre PhD Studentship in collaboration with The University of Sheffield and City College (International Faculty of The University of Sheffield), Thessolaniki, Greece.

Anka's PhD in in the area of Neuromarketing and specifically addresses the issue of whether or not emerging technologies and theoretical developments in neuroscience are driving a 'paradigm shift' in marketing.

  • 2015-2019 The University of Sheffield Interdisciplinary PhD Network Award. "Neuroimaging in Cardiovascular Disease (NICAD) Network". C Martin (PI), Department of Psychology / Department of Cardiovascular Science / Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience.
  • 2015-2018 Medical Research Council Research Grant. "Investigating the thermoregulatory role of neurovascular coupling and the anti-epileptogenic and neuroprotective effects of focal cerebral cooling". Berwick J (PI), Harris S, Martin C, Redgrave P, Boorman L, Kennerley A. £558K (FEC), 36 Months. 
  • 2014-2017 Royal Society University Research Fellowship (Renewal) "Dopamine, Brain Imaging Signals, and Neurovascular Coupling." £341K, 36 Months.
  • 2013 British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant “Improving cross-disciplinary research and practice in health psychology: What can neuroscience do for the design of behaviour change interventions to improve health? A systematic review."  J Martin (PI) & C Martin, £9899, 12 Months.
  • 2011-2015 Wellcome Trust Research Grant. “Neuropharmacological modulation of functional brain imaging signals in awake and anaesthetized rats”. Chris Martin (PI), £257K, 36 Months.
  • 2011-2016  MRC & BBSRC. “The neurophysiological basis of negative BOLD signals”. Berwick J (PI), Jones M, Kennerley A, Boorman L, Martin C, Redgrave P, Zheng Y., £655K, 36 Months.
  • 2010 John Fell Fund Award. “Combining optogenetic modulation of neuronal activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging: establishing a new methodological resource for investigating CNS circuits.” Chris Martin (PI), N. Sibson, D. Bannerman, N. Rawlins and T. Sharp, £14K.
  • 2010 John Fell Fund Award. “Early career researcher laboratory start-up support: funding request for equipment to establish functional MRI research in conscious rats”. Chris Martin (PI), £16K.
  • 2010 Doctoral Training Centre Funding for DPhil student (Main Supervisor), jointly supervised with Mark Woolrich (FMRIB) and Jonathan Marchini (Statistics).
  • 2009-2014 Royal Society University Research Fellowship. “Neuropharmacological modulation of functional brain imaging signals.” Chris Martin (PI), £641K, 60 Months.
  • 2009 Young Scientist Travel Award (£2000) from the International Society for Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism to attend and present at the 2009 annual meeting in Chicago.
  • 2005-2008 Medical Research Council Research Grant. “The neural and haemodynamic basis of the fMRI BOLD signal: An awake animal model for functional imaging research.” John Mayhew (PI), Chris Martin (application written by myself based on my PhD research). £240K, 36 Months.
  • 2002 Department of Psychology Bursary (£500) to present research at Society for Neurosciences 2002 Conference (Orlando).
  • 2000 Awarded Medical Research Council Studentship to fund PhD.
Professional activities and memberships

Departmental roles

  • MSc Systems Neuroscience Course Director
  • Director of Postgraduate Research Studies
  • Equality and Diversity Committee Member
  • Research Committee Member
  • Psychology Management Group Member