Dr Patricia Lockwood BSc, PhD

Dr Patricia Lockwood

School of Psychology
Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Patricia Lockwood is a cognitive and social neuroscientist. She is head of the Social Decision Neuroscience Lab. Her work focuses on the neurocognitive foundations of social learning and decision-making across the lifespan and in psychiatric and neurological disorders.


PhD Biomedical Sciences, University College London, Awarded Frith Prize for Exceptional Doctoral Contributions

First Class BSc (Hons) Psychology and Philosophy, University of Bristol. Awarded BPS Award for Undergraduate Psychology and Henri Tajfel Prize for Social Psychology.


Dr. Patricia Lockwood is a Medical Research Council Fellow and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham, where she leads the Social Decision Neuroscience lab. Prior to this she was a Research Fellow and Junior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Bristol. Her lab studies the cognitive, computational and neural mechanisms of social learning and decision-making. They combine an array of methodological techniques including neuroimaging, patient studies and computational modelling with behavioural paradigms inspired by economics and learning theory. Patricia has received a number of awards for her work including the Frith Prize for Exceptional Doctoral Contributions, the APS Rising Star Award and the Society for Social Neuroscience Early Career Award.

Postgraduate supervision

PhD students: Students interested in working with Dr Lockwood  should email her to discuss potential funding opportunities. For further information regarding the PhD application process see the 'how to apply' section of the Psychology PhD programme.

Postdoctoral researchers: Dr Lockwood is also looking for excellent and motivated postdoctoral researchers and can advise and assist with obtaining funding. Please contact her to discuss further.


Social learning, decision-making, motivation, lifespan research, conduct problems, brain imaging, computational modelling, empathy, apathy


Key Publications

Lockwood, P.L., Klein-Flugge, M. C., Abdurahman, A. & Crockett, M. J. (2020). Model-free decision making is prioritized when learning to avoid harming others. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Lockwood, P. L.,  Apps, M. A. J., Chang, S. W. (2020). Is there a ‘social’ brain? Implementations and algorithms. Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

Lockwood, P. L. Wittmann, M. K., Apps, M. A. J., Klein-Flugge, M. C., Crockett, M. J., Humphreys, G. & Rushworth, M. (2018). Neural mechanisms for learning self and other ownershipNature Communications.

Lockwood, P. L., Hamonet, M. Zhang, S. Ratnavel, A. Salmoney, F. U. Husain., M., & Apps, M. A. J. (2017). Prosocial apathy for helping others when effort is required. Nature Human Behaviour.

Lockwood, P. L., Apps, M. A. J., Valton, V., Viding E. & Roiser, J. P. (2016) Neurocomputational mechanisms of prosocial learning and links to empathy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lockwood, P. L., Sebastian, C. McCrory, E., Hyde, Z. Gu, X. DeBrito, S. Viding, E. (2013). Association of callous traits with reduced neural responses to others’ pain in children with conduct problems. Current Biology.


Lockwood, P.L., O’Nell, K. Apps, M.A.J. (2020).Anterior cingulate cortex: A brain system necessary for learning to reward others? PloS Biology.

Lockwood, P. L., & Klein-Flugge, M. C. (2020). Computational modelling of social cognition and behaviour: a reinforcement learning primer. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Lengersdorff, L., Wagner, I. Lockwood, P. L. & Lamm, C. (2020). When implicit prosociality trumps selfishness: the neural valuation system underpins more optimal choices when learning to avoid harm to others than to oneself.  Journal of Neuroscience.

Enock, F., Hewstone, M. Lockwood, P. L.* & Sui, J.* (2020). Overlap in processing of the self and in-groups. Scientific Reports. *Equal senior contribution

Contreras-Huerta, S., Lockwood, P.L., Bird, G., Apps, M.A.J.,& Crockett, M. J. (2020). A transdiagnostic approach for understanding individual differences in prosocial decisions. Emotion.

Manera., V, (+9)…Lockwood P. L. et al. (2019). Recommendations for the non-pharmacological treatment of apathy in brain disorders. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Wittmann, M. K.,* Lockwood, P. L.* &Rushworth, M. (2018). Neural mechanisms of social cognition in primates. Annual Review of Neuroscience. *equal contributions

Crockett, M. J.& Lockwood, P. L. (2018). Extraordinary altruism and transcending the self. Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

Ang, Y-S., Lockwood, P. L., Kienast, A., Plant, O. Drew, D. Slavkova, E. M, Tamm. & Husain, M. (2018). Differential impact of behavioral, social, and emotional apathy on Parkinson's disease. Ann Clin Transl Neurol.

Lockwood, P. L. &Wittmann, M. K.(2018). Ventral anterior cingulate cortex in social decision-making. Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews.

Lockwood, P. L. Ang, Y. S., Husain., M., & Crockett, M. J. (2017). Individual differences in empathy are associated with apathy-motivation. Scientific reports.

Ang, Y-S., Lockwood, P. L. Apps, M. A. J., Muhammed, K. & Husain., M. (2017). Distinct Subtypes of Apathy revealed by the Apathy Motivation Index. PLoS One.

Lockwood, P. L. The anatomy of empathy: typical variability and disorders of social cognition (2016) Behavioural Brain Research.

Lockwood, P. L. & Viding, E. (2016). Conduct disorder and perceiving harm to others. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Faulkner, P., Mancinelli, F., Lockwood, P. L., Matarin, M., Wood, N. W., Dayan, P. & Roiser, J. P. (2016). Peripheral serotonin 1B receptor transcription predicts the effect of acute tryptophan depletion on risky decision-making. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Sebastian, C., DeBrito, S., McCrory, E., Hyde, Z., Lockwood, P. L., Cecil, C. & Viding, E. (2016). Grey matter volumes in children with conduct problems and varying levels of callous-unemotional traits. Journal of Abnormal Psychology,

Lockwood, P. L. Apps, M. A. J., Roiser, J. P., & Viding, E. (2015) Encoding of vicarious reward prediction in anterior cingulate cortex and relationship with trait empathy. The Journal of Neuroscience.

Lockwood, P. L. (2015). Psychopathy: An Overview. The Quarterly, 94, 13-16.

Lockwood, P. L. Seara-Cardoso, A. & Viding, E. (2014). Emotion regulation moderates the association between empathy and prosocial behaviour. PLoS One.

Sebastian, C. McCrory, E. Dadds, M. Cecil. C. Lockwood, P. L. Hyde, Z. DeBrito, S. & Viding, E. (2014). Neural responses to fearful eyes in children with conduct problems and varying levels of callous-unemotional traits. Psychological Medicine.

Lockwood, P. L. Iannetti, GD., & Haggard, P. (2013). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation over human secondary somatosensory cortex modifies perception of pain intensity. Cortex.

Lockwood, P. L. Bird, G. Bridge, M. & Viding E. (2013). Dissecting empathy: high levels of psychopathic and autistic traits are characterized by difficulties in different social information processing domains. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Lockwood, P. L. Millings, A. Hepper, E. & Rowe, A. (2013). If I cry do you care? Individual differences in empathy moderate the facilitation of caregiving words after exposure to crying faces, Journal of Individual Differences.

Apps, M. A. J.  Lockwood, P. L., &Balsters, J. (2013).The role of the midcinglate cortex in monitoring others’ decisions. Frontiers in Decision Neuroscience.

Sebastian, C. McCrory, E. Cecil, C. Lockwood, P. L. DeBrito, S. Fontaine, N., & Viding, E. (2012). Neural responses to affective and cognitive Theory of Mind in children with conduct problems and varying levels of callous-unemotional traits, Archives of General Psychiatry.

Viding, E. Sebastian, C. Dadds, M. Lockwood, P. L. Cecil. C. DeBrito, S., & McCrory E. (2012). Amygdala response to pre-attentive masked fear is associated with callous-unemotional traits in children with conduct problems, American Journal of Psychiatry.

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