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The University of Southampton
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Professor Matthew Garner BSc, PhD

Professor of Psychology & Affective Neuroscience, Head of Psychology

Professor Matthew Garner's photo

Professor Matthew Garner is Professor of Psychology & Affective Neuroscience within Psychology at the University of Southampton.

BSc Psychology & Cognitive Science - University of Sheffield (2000)

PhD Experimental Psychopathology - University of Southampton (2004)

Research Fellow/Teaching Fellow: School of Psychology & Division of Clinical Neurosciences, School of Medicine, University of Southampton (04-06)

Lecturer in Psychology & Medicine, University of Southampton (2006-2012)

Senior Lecturer in Psychology & Medicine, University of Southampton (2012 - 2014)

Associate Professor in Psychology & Medicine, University of Southampton (2014 - 2017)

Professor in Psychology & Medicine, University of Southampton (2017 - )

Research interests

My research focuses on cognitive and neural mechanisms involved in emotion processing and emotional disorders with emphasis on the anxiety disorders. This work integrates methods from a range of perspectives including experimental cognitive psychology (e.g. computerized behavioural tasks, eye-tracking methods), psychophysiology (e.g. fear-potentiated eye-blink startle), cognitive neuroscience (event related brain potentials, functional imaging) and psychopharmacology (pharmacological challenge).

Current research uses these methods to evaluate integrated neurocognitive models of anxiety with particular reference to i) developing translational experimental models of anxiety for the evaluation of novel pharmacological and psychological treatments (e.g. CO2 challenge), ii) characterizing cognitive bias/dysfunction in anxiety; iii) fear-potentiated startle (eye-blink) and autonomic arousal; iv) application of signal detection theory to clarify biases in emotional face processing above and below conscious awareness; v) pharmacological (e.g. serotonergic/noradrenergic/alcohol) modulation of cognition and emotion processing; vi) effects of third-wave CBT interventions (e.g. mindfulness) on cognition and emotion processing; vii) computerised cognitive bias modification interventions for mood and anxiety disorders; viii) clarifying neuropsychological mechanisms that promote comorbid sleep disturbance, alcohol use, depression and pain in anxiety. This research is conducted in clinical, sub-clinical/at-risk and healthy populations.

PhD Research Students

2013-2017 ESRC Hepsomali P Pupillometric measures of emotion processing

2013-2016 DSTL Tew O Threat, expectancy and visual search

2013-2016 DSTL Muhl-Richardson A Enhancing performance in complex visual tasks

2012-2016 Soton Hedger N Autonomic arousal outside visual awareness

2011-2014 ESRC Pinkney V Effects of CO2 on neurocognitive function

2011-2014 Soton Miler J Modulating prefrontal cortex in anxiety

2010-2014 Soton Meron D Transcranial direct current stimulation in anxiety

Awared 2014 ESRC Baker L Insomnia, anxiety and neuropsychological function

Award 2013 MRC Ainsworth B Emotion regulation and attention control in anxiety

Award 2011 Soton Chronaki G Emotion processing in ADHD.

Award 2011 ESRC Gray K Emotion processing outside visual awareness


Garner M (P.I.), Hou R, Baldwin DS. Targeting acid sensing ion channels in anxiety - a first experimental study in humans. Medical Research Council (2016-2017). £168,000

Garner M (P.I.), Baldwin DS, Lynch T, Munafo MR. Towards a translational experimental model of anxiety for pharmacological and psychological treatment development. Medical Research Council, (Sept 2012-Sept 2014). £273,000

Baldwin DS, Garner M. Pregabalin as an augmentation treatment in generalized anxiety disorder: effectiveness, tolerability and effects on neurocognitive function. Pfizer, (2012- 2014). £95,000

Lee, G, Garner M. Anxiety, threat processing and pain in fibromyalgia – an integrative neuropsychological approach. Isle of Wight NHS Trust Research and Development Grant (2012-2013). £4,000

Garner M (P.I.), Baldwin DS. Effects of 7.5% carbon dioxide inhalation on neurocognitive function – an experimental model of generalized anxiety disorder for treatment development. Vice Chancellor’s Award, University of Southampton, (2011-2014). £42,000

Garner M (P.I), Baldwin DS, Chadwick P. Emotion regulation and attention control in anxiety: the effect of mindfulness training. Medical Research Council/Economic and Social Research Council, (2009-2012). £68,000

Baldwin DS, Garner M, Mogg K, Bradley BP. Cognitive bias in generalized social anxiety disorder. Lundbeck - industry (2009-2011). £50,000

Garner M. Debt, financial worries and anxiety: Psychological and autonomic characteristics. Lansons – industry (2008-2009). £6,500

Garner M, Mogg, K, Bradley BP. Cognitive bias in social anxiety. Economic and Social Research Council (2000-2003). £30,000

Research group

Experimental Psychopathology Laboratory (EPL)

Affiliate research group

Centre for Innovation in Mental Health (CiMH)

Research project(s)

Emotion recognition in preschool children with externalising problems

Emotional face processing without awareness

Exploring whether emotional face stimuli are processed in more efficient ways than other visual stimuli

Head of Psychology

External Examiner:
Institute of Psychiatry - Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology (2009 – present)
University of Edinburgh – Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology (2011 - present)

Editorial Board: Cognition and Emotion (2011 – present)

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Book Chapters


My academic work is split across labs and programmes in Psychology (Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences) and Psychiatry & Pharmacology (Faculty of Medicine).

I supervise Ph.D. students, Masters Degree students, D.Clin and D.Ed.Psyc trainees, and undergraduate research project students on the BSc Psychology and Bachelor of Medicine programmes.

PSYC3002 Current Issues in Clinical Psychology (BSc Psychology)

Cognitive Neuroscience of Anxiety (Bachelor of Medicine - Psychiatry rotation)

BMedSci research supervision & intercalated BSc supervision (Bachelor of Medicine)

Professor Matthew Garner
Building 44 Highfield Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 44/4111

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