Elaine Fox

Elaine Fox

Supernumerary Fellow in Experimental Psychology; Professor of Cognitive and Affective Psychology

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I coordinate and teach a module on Emotion, Personality and Social Behaviour for the MSc in Psychological Research. I also provide ad hoc lectures on the Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Fellowship Scheme for Clinicians (Cognitive and Mental Health Stream). I supervise several DPhil, MSc and undergraduate Part II project students each year.


The overarching aim of my research is to understand why people differ from each other in such profound ways in terms of how we respond to adversity (threat) and how we respond to success (reward). My current research, which is funded by a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator award sits at the interface of cognitive psychology, molecular genetics, and affective neuroscience and aims to deepen our understanding of emotional vulnerability, resilience to adversity, and mental wellbeing. I am particularly interested in how subtle biases in information processing (in attention, interpretation and memory) can influence emotion, especially in relation to anxiety, depression, pain, and addiction risk.

Selected Publications

Heathcote, L.C., Jacobs, K., Eccleston, C., Fox, E., & Lau, J.Y.F. (2017). Biased interpretations of ambiguous bodily threat information in adolescents with chronic pain. Pain., 158(3), 471-478.

Eguchi, A., Walters, D., Peerenboom, N., Dury, H., Fox, E., Stringer, S. (2017). Understanding the neural basis of cognitive bias modification as a clinical treatment for depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 85(3), 200-217.

Heathcote, L.C., Lau, J.Y.F., Mueller, S.C., Eccelston, C., Fox, E., Bosmans, M., & Vervoort, T. (2017). Child attention to pain and pain tolerance are dependent upon anxiety and attention control: An eye-tracking study. European Journal of Pain, 21 (2), 250-263.

Parsons, S., Kruijt, A.W., & Fox, E. (2016). A cognitive model of psychological resilience. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 7 (3), 296-310.

Kruijt, A., Field, A.P., & Fox, E. (2016). Capturing dynamics of biased attention. Are new attention bias variability measures the way forward? PLosONE, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0166600

Fox, E., & Beevers, CG. (2016). Differential sensitivity to the environment: Contribution of cognitive biases and genes to psychological wellbeing. Molecular Psychiatry, 21, 1657-1662, DOI: 10.1038/mp.2016.114.

DeJong, H.,  Fox, E., & Stein, A. (2016). Rumination and postnatal depression: A systematic review and a cognitive model. Behaviour Research & Therapy, 82, 38-49,  DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2016.05.003.

Yiend, J., Mathews, A., Burns, T., Dutton, K., Fernandez-Martin, A., Georgiou, G., Luckie M., Rose, A., Russo, R., & Fox, E. (2015). Mechanisms of selective attention in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Clinical Psychological Science, 3 (5), 758-771.

Fox, E., Dutton, K., Yates, A., Georgiou, G.A., Mouchlianitis, E. (2015). Attentional control and suppressing negative thought intrusions in pathological worry. Clinical Psychological Science, 3, 593-606.

Fox, E, Zougkou, K., Ridgewell, A., & Garner, K. (2011). The serotonin transporter gene alters sensitivity to attention bias modification (ABM): Evidence for a plasticity gene. Biological Psychiatry, 70, (Issue 11), 1049-1054.

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