Dr Ian Mitchell D.Phil.

School of Psychology
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Ian Mitchell is interested in the neurobiological basis of offending behaviour and some psychiatric conditions. He is also the author of the book 'Broken Brains'.


B.Sc. (University of Sheffield)
D.Phil. (University of Sussex)


Dr. Ian Mitchell conducted extensive postdoctoral work in the Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Manchester before taking up the post of Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Birmingham.


Dr. Mitchell’s main teaching responsibilities include delivering modules on basic neurobiology, neuroanatomy and neurodevelopmental disorders to undergraduate psychologists.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr. Mitchell is currently supervising 2 PhD. students who are working on:

  • personality factors which drive sexual offending
  • factors affecting prefrontal dysfunction in relation to offending


Dr. Mitchell’ research interests are focused on how social behaviour is controlled by discrete brain circuits involving the basal ganglia, prefrontal cortex and limbic system, and the consequences of dysfunction in these circuits with respect to antisocial behaviour. This work covers the study of sex offences and psychopathic traits in mediating out-group derogation. 

Ongoing projects include:

  • Studies on the relationship between social phobia and fear of contamination in sex offenders,
  • Oxytocin function in both sex offenders and psychopaths,
  • The influence of alcohol consumption on judgements of disgust and contamination in relation to ethnicity,
  • Performance on economic decision making games in relation to in groups and out groups,
  • The relationship between heart rate variability, anxiety and aggression.


Recent Refereed Journal Articles

Price, S.A., Beech, A.R., Mitchell, I., & Humphreys, G.W. (in press) Measuring Deviant Sexual Interest Using the Emotional Stroop Task. Criminal Justice and Behavior. 

Gillespie SM, Mitchell IJ, Johnson I, Dawson E, Beech AR (2013) Exaggerated Intergroup Bias in Economical Decision Making Games: Differential Effects of Primary and Secondary Psychopathic Traits. PLoS ONE 8(8): e69565.

Eddy CM, , Beck SR, Mitchell IJ, Praamstra P, Pall HS  (in press) Theory of mind deficits in Parkinson’s disease: a product of executive dysfunction? Neuropsychology

Mitchell, I.J., Smid, W., Troelstra, J., Wever, E., Ziegler, T.E., Beech, A.R. (2013) Psychopathic characteristics are related to high basal urinary oxytocin levels in male forensic patients. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology: 24: 3, 309-318.

Gillespie S, Mitchell IJ, Fisher D, Beech AR (2012) Treating disturbed emotional regulation in sexual offenders: The potential applications of mindful self-regulation and controlled breathing techniques. Aggression and Violent Behavior 17: 4, 333-343.

Mitchell IJ, Beech A. (2011) Towards an attachment related neurobiological model of offending. Clinical Psychology Review 31: 872-882.

Mitchell IJ, Keylock H, Campbell N. Beech A, Kogan, D. (2012) Do Child molesters show abnormal disgust and fear of contamination reactions? Psychiatry, Psychology and Law 19: 2,282-294.

Mitchell IJ, Beck SR, Boyal A, Edwards VR (2011) Theory of Mind Deficits Following Acute Alcohol Intoxication. European Addiction Research 17:164-168.

Eddy CM, Mitchell IJ, Beck SR, Rickard HR, Cavanna AE, (2010) Impaired Comprehension of Non-literal Language in Tourette Syndrome, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology 23: 178-184.

Eddy CM, Mitchell IJ, Beck SR, Rickard HR, Cavanna AE, (2010) Altered Attribution of Intention in Tourette's Syndrome," Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 22: 348-351.

Book for first year undergraduates and lay readership

Broken Brains front coverhttp://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/broken-brains-ian-mitchell/?K=9781137366832