Dr Elisabeth von dem Hagen


Research group:
029 208 70151
CUBRIC, Maindy Road

Research summary

My research interests involve studying the neural mechanisms behind emotion processing and social cognition more generally. I am particularly interested in how the processing of social signals, like faces and eye gaze, may differ in Autism Spectrum Conditions. To address these questions, I primarily use neuroimaging, using a combination of both structural and functional MRI techniques.

Teaching summary

Abnormal & Clinical Psychology (PS2018)

Selected publications (2014 onwards)


Online publications

Full list of publications


Research topics and related papers

My research is broadly concerned with social information processing, and particularly the brain systems underlying the processing of social signals. I am especially interested in how these systems might differ in people with an Autism Spectrum Condition. One aspect of this research looks specifically at cortical activity in response to social stimuli such as faces and eye gaze using fMRI (e.g. von dem Hagen et al, Cerebral Cortex, 2014). I am also interested more generally in the structure and function of networks subserving social information processing, in the absence of a specific task/stimulus (e.g. von dem Hagen et al, Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci, 2013).
More recently I have become interested in developing novel, more ecologically valid methods to study social information processing. For example, one aspect of this research involves studying eye movements to probe gaze behaviour under different conditions during real social interactions.


2012-2013 - MRC Centenary Award, £52,530

Research collaborators

Wales Autism Research Centre
Michael Ewbank, Philip Pell, Fionnuala Murphy (MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK)
Simon Baron-Cohen (Univ of Cambridge, UK)
Luca Passamonti (Istituto di Bioimmagini e Fisiologia Molecolare, Catanzaro, Italy)

Postgraduate research interests

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application here.

Undergraduate education

BSc in Physics and Physiology, McGill University, Canada

Postgraduate education

MSc in Medical Physics, University of Toronto, Canada
Thesis: High angular resolution diffusion Magnetic Resonance for the determination of fibre structure

PhD in Psychology, Royal Holloway University of London, UK
Thesis: Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the visual system in humans with albinism


2015-Present - Lecturer, Cardiff University
2006-2014 - Investigator Scientist, then Senior Investigator Scientist, MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK
2010-2014 - Guest Lecturer, Dept of Physiology, Development & Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, UK
2007-2014 - Associate Lecturer, Open University, UK 
2006 - Post-doctoral Researcher, Dept of Psychology, University of York, UK