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Lynne Barker

Dr Lynne Barker BSc (Hons), PhD, PGCert

Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience, Neurocognitive Theme Lead for the Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology


I have worked at Sheffield Hallam University since 2006 and led the introduction of Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology teaching into the undergraduate curriculum. In 2008 I developed the MSc Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience course, one of the first to offer clinical placements to neuroscience students. My research focuses on technological innovation for NHS users and new diagnostic techniques, biomarkers and interventions in concussion, stroke, traumatic brain injury and movement disorder conditions. I am currently leading a team investigating the microbiome in relation to neuropathological conditions.


I began working at Sheffield Hallam University in 2006 and immediately set about creating neuroscience teaching and research provision. I created the Brain, Behaviour and Cognition Research group that has since expanded into the Cognition and Neuroscience Research Group. I was promoted to Reader in Neuroscience in 2015. I am a member of the departmental Research Lead Team, and also lead the Neurocognitive theme within the Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology. I am a Special Edition editor of Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience and OBM Neurobiology. My methodological expertise centres on retinal imaging, eye-tracking, cognitive and neuropsychological assessment, immersive technological developments for health care evaluation, and pioneering new approaches investigating the gut microbiome in neuropathology and health. I am the Postgraduate Research Tutor for our large departmental PhD community.


Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

College of Social Sciences and Arts

I teach Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at MSc level, supervise several MSc projects and PhD students.


Recent research projects include: 

Developing an innovative computerised cognitive evaluation task to quickly assess cognitive sparing and deficit - funded by MRC and Grow Med Tech in collaboration with The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Rotherham and Doncaster NHS Trust, and HIVE IT

A feasibility study investigating microbiome profile pre- and post-  probiotic/placebo intervention and symptom profile, quality of life and wellbeing in Parkinson's disease patients - In collaboration with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield Medical School and Department of Biosciences and Chemistry - Funded by the Creating Knowledge Implementation Plan.

Retinal Imaging as a diagnostic marker of concussive events and metabolic status in collaboration with Professor Charmaine Childs, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.



Journal articles

Greene, L., Barker, L., Reidy, J., Morton, N., & Atherton, A. (2022). Emotion recognition and eye tracking of static and dynamic facial affect: acomparison of individuals with and without traumatic brain injury. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.

Ghyselinck, J., Verstrepen, L., Moens, F., Van Den Abbeele, P., Bruggeman, A., Said, J., ... Gaisford, S. (2021). Influence of probiotic bacteria on gut microbiota composition and gut wall function in an in-vitro model in patients with Parkinson's disease. International Journal of Pharmaceutics: X, 3, 100087.

Barker, L., & Oledzka, A. (2021). Visuospatial Executive Functions are Improved by Brief Brain Training in Young Rugby Players - Evidence of Far Transfer Test Effects: A Pilot Study. OBM Neurobiology, 5 (2).

Boddy, S.L., Giovannelli, I., Sassani, M., Cooper-Knock, J., Snyder, M.P., Segal, E., ... McDermott, C.J. (2021). The gut microbiome: a key player in the complexity of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). BMC Medicine, 19 (13).

Denniss, R., Barker, L., & Day, C. (2019). Improvement in cognition following double-blind randomized micronutrient interventions in the general population. Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience, 13, 115.

Childs, C., Barker, L.A., Gage, A.M.D., & Loosemore, M. (2018). Investigating possible retinal biomarkers ofhead trauma in Olympic boxers using opticalcoherence tomography. Eye and Brain, 10, 101-110.

Barker, L., & Morton, N. (2018). Editorial: Executive function(s): Conductor, orchestra or symphony? Towards a trans-disciplinary unification of theory and practice across development, in normal and atypical groups. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 12, 85.

Doherty, T., Barker, L.A., Denniss, R., Jalil, A., & Beer, M.D. (2015). The cooking task: making a meal of executive functions. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9.

McGuire, B.E., Morrison, T.G., Barker, L.A., Morton, N., McBrinn, J., Caldwell, S., ... Walsh, J. (2015). Impaired self awareness after traumatic brain injury: inter-rater reliability and factor structure of the dysexecutive questionnairre (DEX) in patients, significant others and clinicians. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8 (352), 1-7.

Taylor, S., Barker, L., Reidy, L., & Mchale, S. (2015). The longitudinal development of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9.

Drabble, J., Bowles, D., & Barker, L.A. (2014). Investigating the role of executive attentional control to self-harm in a non-clinical cohort with borderline personality features. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8 (274).

Barker, L., Morton, N., Romanowski, C.A.J., & Gosden, K. (2013). Complete abolition of reading and writing ability with a third ventricle colloid cyst: implications for surgical intervention and proposed neural substrates of visual recognition and visual imaging ability. BMJ case reports, 2013.

Taylor, S., Barker, L., Reidy, L., & Mchale, S. (2012). The typical developmental trajectory of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood. Developmental Psychology, 49 (7), 1253-1265.

Barker, L. (2012). Defining the parameters of incidental learning on a serial reaction time (SRT) task: Do conscious rules apply? Brain Sciences, 2 (4), 769-789.

Barker, L., Morton, N., Morrison, T., & McGuire, B. (2011). Inter-rater reliability of the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX): comparative data from non-clinician respondents – all raters are not equal. Brain Injury, 25 (10), 997-1004.

Barker, L., Andrade, J., Morton, N., Romanowski, C., & Bowles, D. (2010). Investigating the 'latent' deficit hypothesis : age at time of head injury, executive and implicit functions and behavioral insight. Neuropsychologia, 48 (9), 2550-2563.

Morton, N., & Barker, L. (2010). The contribution of injury severity, executive and implicitfunctions to awareness of defi cits after traumatic braininjury (TBI). Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 16 (06), 1089-1098.

Barker, L., & Andrade, J. (2007). Hidden covariation detection produces faster, not slower, social judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory and Cognition, 32 (3), 636-641.

Barker, L., Andrade, J., Romanowski, C.A.J., Morton, N., & Wasti, A. (2005). Implicit cognition is impaired and dissociable in a head-injured group with executive deficits. Neuropsychologia, 44 (8), 1413-1424.

Barker, L.A., Andrade, J., & Romanowski, C.A.J. (2004). Impaired implicit cognition with intact executive function after extensive bilateral prefrontal pathology: a case study. Neurocase, 10 (3), 233-248.

Conference papers

Barker, L., Childs, C., Gage, A., & Loosemore, M. (2020). Finding the Mind in the Eye: Retinal Imaging as a Biomarker for Concussion. JOURNAL OF HEAD TRAUMA REHABILITATION, 35 (2), E164.

Denniss, R., Barker, L., Day, C., & Richardson, P. (2020). Eating the Rainbow: Micronutrients and Cognitive Change in the General Population and TBI [abstract only]. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 35 (2), E163-E164.

Greene, L., Barker, L., Reidy, J., Morton, N., & Atherton, A. (2018). Exploring fixation patterns and social cognition after traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience, 9, 71.

Greene, L., Barker, L., Reidy, J., & Morton, N. (2018). Investigating visual strategies during the recognition of static and dynamic facial affect in TBI and control cohorts. Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience, 9, 60-61.

Barker, L., Morton, N., Romanowski, C., & Gosden, K. (2012). Remediation of alexia and agraphia using a multi-modal approach: Issues for the Visual Word Form Area. A case study. BRAIN INJURY, 26 (4-5), 331-332.

McFarquhar, M., & Barker, L. (2012). Development of an ecologically valid task of executive function: The Cooking Task. BRAIN INJURY, 26 (4-5), 540-541.


Barker, L., & Morton, N. (Eds.). (2018). Editorial: Executive function(s): Conductor, Orchestra or Symphony? Towards a Trans-Disciplinary Unification of Theory and Practice Across Development, in Normal and Atypical Groups. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Theses / Dissertations

Denniss, R.J. (2021). Micronutrient intervention effects on cognitive outcomes in post-acute traumatic brain injury. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Barker, L., Day, C., & Richardson, P.

Greene, L. (2019). Visual strategies underpinning social cognition in traumaticbrain injury. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Baker, L.

Drabble, J.D. (2016). Mediators and moderators of self-injurious behaviours and borderline personality disorder. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Bowles, D., Barker, L., & Arden, M.

Reynolds, J.P. (2015). The age of onset of cannabis use and executive function. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Mchale, S., Barker, L., & Reidy, L.

Taylor, S. (2014). The development of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Barker, L.

Other activities

Recent Grants:

•        Barker, Morton & Venneri (September 2019). Assessing cognitive function in neurological groups: Pre-clinical development of Cog-LAB and generation of normative database. Grow Med Tech £80,000 Total costs: £ 150,824 

•        Childs, Barker, Choi, Chisholm, Hembrough, Thirkettle, Lazuras, Loosemoore (January, 2019). The retina as a biomarker of neurosensory and metabolic brain change in sports-related concussion: ‘closing the gaps’ in normative data using optical coherence tomography (OCT). Feasibility study. Creating Knowledge Implementation Fund £18,164.00 matched partner contribution £23,860.00: Total £42,024.00

•        Barker, Sanders, Grunewald, Corfe, Dalton & Jordan (2018-19). Investigating effects of probiotic on Parkinson’s Disease movement, symptoms and wellbeing and the gut microbiome: Feasibility study. Creating Knowledge Implementation Fund  £27,044.50 Total costs: £38,104.50 

•        Barker, Venneri, Morton, & HIVE IT (Sheffield, UK), Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Trust, Sheffield Teaching hospitals, The University of Sheffield. (2018-19) Pre-clinical development of CogLAB for cognitive evaluation in neurological groups. MRC Confidence in Concept Total costs: £60,660

•        Andrade, Barker, McHale (2001). Effects of age at injury on brain injury outcome.  PPP Healthcare Foundation. £58, 832 

•        Barker (1999). Wingate Scholarships. Wingate Foundation. £15,000 


1. Awarded Medipex NHS Innovation Awards. Winner, Mental Health and Wellbeing category for the development of new electronic measure of cognitive function for use with neurological patients (2015-16)

2. Nominated for International Brain Injury Association Early Career Award for contribution to brain injury research, rehabilitation, teaching or all three within ten years post-PhD (2012).

3. Nominated for the William James prize for early career contribution to the scientific study of consciousness (2006).
4. Awarded a Wingate Scholarship for individuals of proven excellence to engage in pioneering work that requires financial support (1999-2000)

Postgraduate supervision

1. Gabriele Pesimena: (2018-2022). How does a virtual reality environment affect the Reflexive attentional shift phenomenon? Sorranzo, A., Barker L.A., Di Nuevo, A.

2. Rebecca Denniss: (2014-2019 Part-Time). Micronutrient dietary supplementation after traumatic brain injury: can functional outcome be improved via dietary intervention? Barker, L. A., Day, C., Richardson, P.

3. Nicola Lonsdale:(2014-2019). Suggestibility following co-witness discussion: Experimental manipulation of memory consolidation and executive function in eyewitness testimony.  Reynolds, D., Coleman, C., Barker, L. A.

4. Leanne Greene:(2014-2019 Part Time). Non-verbal social-cue decoding of static and dynamic social stimuli in head-injured groups and matched controls: Eyetracking and biophysical measures. Barker, L. A., Reidy, J.

5. Dr James Reynolds:(2010-2015). Sheffield Hallam University. Effects of age at cannabis use onset on IQ, executive function and memory ability. (Completion: pass with minor revisions). McHale, S., Barker, L. A., Reidy, L.

6. Dr Jennifer Drabble:(2009-2016 Part Time). Do executive functions moderate self-harm behaviour in Bordeline Personality Disorder. (Completion: pass with minor revisions). Bowles, D., Barker, L. A., Arden, M.

7. Dr Sophie Taylor:(2008-2012). Investigating the normal developmental trajectory of executive functions and social cognition in late adolescence/early adulthood (Completion: pass with minor revisions). Barker, L. A., Reidy, L., McHale, S.


Media coverage of research







Media articles: 
•        Laughter and the brain article: The Conversation

•        Sighing and the brain: BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Sheffield

BBC Radio 4: The Sigh (2016)

BBC Radio Sheffield: Paulette Edwards: The Sigh

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