Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
(023) 8059 1375

Dr Valerie Catherine Brandt MPhil, Diploma, PhD (Dr.rer.nat.)


Dr Valerie Catherine Brandt's photo

Dr Valerie Brandt is a lecturer in Psychology at the University of Southampton.


Can tics and Tourette’s syndrome be viewed as a sensory disorder (tics are driven by premonitory urges) rather than a motor disorder?

Why do tics persist only in a small number of children who are diagnosed with a tic disorder and what can we learn from this?

During my Diploma studies in Hamburg, Germany, I completed an MPhil at the University of Cambridge in 2010 and then returned to Hamburg to finish my Diploma degree. I received my PhD (with honours – summa cum laude) from the University zu Luebeck (Germany) in 2015, working with Prof. Alexander Muenchau to apply and test psychological information processing theories in relation with Tourette’s syndrome. I have also started part-time clinical training in 2014.

Research interests


I am mainly interested in tics and Tourette’s syndrome. Tics are simple, sudden and repetitive movements or vocalisations and are common in children.

My research covers various aspects of Tics. I am interested in basic processes, for instance, how motor learning and imitation processes are affected by having tics or how attention to different aspects of tics can temporarily alter symptom severity in patients.

Another fascinating aspect of Tourette’s syndrome is the finding that tics are not entirely involuntary phenomena. Patients often describe that they tic in response to an increasing urge to tic. I am interested in studying these premonitory urges in more detail (including neural aspects, using TMS, EEG or fMRI) in patients with tics but also in related disorders, e.g. obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Lastly, I am interested in understanding how current (behavioural) therapeutic methods work and in developing new therapeutic methods for tics.

Research Projects


Finding correlates of premonitory urges in Tourette patients (using fMRI, pupil width)

The effects of attention modulation on tic and urge severity

Habitual and synaptic learning processes in patients with tics 

Comparing different forms of behavioural inhibition and control in children with tics (using psychological behavioural paradigms)





Research group

Centre for Innovation in Mental Health (CiMH)

Member of the Athena Swan Self-Assessment team for Psychology
Member of the Outreach team, responsible for Linkedin
Chair of the CIMH meetings
Editorial board member for “Scientific Reports”
Member of the Ethic Committee Reviewers group
Deputy director of undergraduate student support

Sort via:TypeorYear


Book Chapters

  • Brandt, V., & Münchau, A. (2017). Tics and Tourette Syndrome. In C. Falup-Pecurariu, J. Ferreira, P. Martinez-Martin, & K. R. Chaudhuri (Eds.), Movement Disorders Curricula (1 ed., pp. 291-302). Springer Vienna. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-7091-1628-9
  • Brandt, V., & Münchau, A. (2015). Tics. In H. Reichmann (Ed.), Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Movement Disorders (1 ed., pp. 223-260). (Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Neurological Disease). Springer International. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-09537-0


I am the module lead for Current Issues in Clinical Psychology (PSYC3002)

I also teach on the following modules: Current Topics in Developmental Psychopathology (PSYC28077), tutoring (PSYC1005)

Research project support for MSc Foundations of Clinical Psychology students

Dr Valerie Catherine Brandt
Building 44 Highfield Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 44/4059

Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings