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Sian Worthen



    Research activity per year

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    Personal profile


    I have used MEG to study cortical processing for almost 20 years, initially looking at recognition memory during my PhD and now focusing on the neural correlates of pain processing.

    In addition to a number of pain-related projects that I am currently running, in my current role as the Manager of the Magnetoencephalography (MEG) facility, I am responsible for creating, refining and delivering the MEG Approved User (AU) Training Programme, a course which is designed for academic staff at all levels and post-graduate researchers to become competent, independent users of MEG. I provide essential teaching and research advice, guidance and training to projects and programmes within the Wellcome Trust Laboratory for MEG Studies, together with support for related clinical epilepsy service provision.


    Research Interests

    • Investigation of the factors that contribiute to the large individual variability seen in pain perception.
    • Investigating effects of modulation of cortical pain responses through intensity, attention and anticipation.
    • Investigating the involvement of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and personality in pain processes; identifying psychological phenotypes.
    • Correlate real-time ANS measures with cortical activity obtained from the MEG in millisecond time-resolution.
    • Investigation of the effects of afferent nerve stimulation on cortical processing to facilitate understanding of mechanisms of action of central nerve stimulation.


    Teaching Activity

    MEG Lecture and practical 

    • Neuroimaging module of the MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience, 2013 – current.


    Research Supervision: MSc Dissertations:

    • Individual Differences in the attentional modulation of pain (current )
    • Investigating effective methods of measuring subjective experience of pain (graduated 2017).
    • Exploring the link between personality traits and pain threshold (co supervisor) (graduated 2016).
    • An Investigation of Factors that Influence the Perception of Painful Stimuli (graduated 2015).
    • Investigating the variability in cortical responses to the cold-pressor test using MEG (graduated 2009).
    • Investigating the modulating effects of diazepam during a somatic pain and attention paradigm (graduated 2008).


    Research Projects/Collaborations

    Research Supervision: PhD Support

    • Interoceptive sensitivity and responses to interoceptive stimuli in MEG (supporting supervisor – current)
    • Oscillatory dynamics in the perception of pain using MEG (Supported supervision of PhD candidate, Graduated 2011).


    Clinical Experience

    Clinical MEG Service Provision (2017-current)


    Membership of Professional Bodies

    Member of the British Psychological Society (BPS)

    Contact Details

    Tel: +44 (0)121 204 4169
    Room: SW610B

    Education/Academic qualification



    Award Date: 15 Jul 2005

    BSc, University of York


    Award Date: 14 Jul 1999

    External positions

    Postdoctoral Research Associate, Queen Mary University of London

    Jan 2007Nov 2008

    Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Manchester

    Jan 2006Dec 2006

    Postdoctoral Research Assocaite, University of Manchester

    Jan 2005Dec 2005

    Postdoctoral Research Associate

    Jan 2004Dec 2004


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