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Peter Halligan  CBE DSc FBPS CPsychol FMedSci FRSB FLSW

Professor Peter Halligan


Honorary Professor

School of Psychology

Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT
Media commentator


My research involves neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry conditions using evidence from a variety of cognitive neuroscience methods.

Much of my research involves attempts to understand how neuropsychological/psychiatric disturbances can be explained in terms of and inform pre-insult processing systems.

While clinically useful, traditional neurological and psychiatric nosology offer little prospect of explaining the psychological mechanisms without reference to normal psychological systems. My research has involved a broad range of informative acquired and developmental conditions spanning neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry conditions and using evidence from a variety of cognitive neuroscience methods.



























Book sections



  • Halligan, P. and Marshall, J. C. 1997. Cognitive neuropsychology: The good, the bad and the bizarre. Presented at: 5th European Congress of Psychology, Dublin, Ireland, July 1997 Presented at Fuller, R. ed.A Century of Psychology: Progress, Paradigms and Prospects for the New Millennium, Proceedings of the 5th European Congress of Psychology, Dublin, Ireland, July 1997. London: Routledge pp. 271-295.


My initial focus was the assessment and rehabilitation of attentional disorders after acquired brain damage, much of which confirmed that visual neglect was a protean disorder whose symptoms selectively affected different sensory modalities, cognitive processes, spatial domains and coordinate systems.

Seeing the potential of cognitive neuropsychological approaches for understanding psychopathology, subsequent research explored a wider set of psychiatric, psychosocial and pain related symptoms including visual hallucinations, supernumerary phantom limbs, reduplication, somatoparaphrenia, hysterical conversion, phantom limbs and illness deception (malingering).

More recently my research has involved a more focused examination of delusions - a core criterion of psychosis. A better understanding of the what constitutes the nature of belief would be beneficial, given the focus of cognitive neuropsychiatric models on the processes involved in non-clinical belief formation. This currently involves an examination of (1) the basic features of belief; (2) the prevalence of beliefs (including delusion-like beliefs) and anomalous experiences (including hallucination-like experiences) in the non-clinical population; (3) the relationship between beliefs and experiences; and (4) the coherence of delusion-like and other beliefs.

The growing acceptance of consciousness as a legitimate field of enquiry and the availability of functional imaging has rekindled research interest in the use of hypnotic suggestion and with that ability to manipulate subjective experience and to gain insights into healthy and pathological cognitive functioning. Current research comprises studies exploring the cognitive and neural nature of hypnosis itself. A second theme involves using hypnotic suggestion to create clinically informed analogues of established structural and functional neuropsychological disorders. With functional imaging techniques, this type of experimental neuropsychopathology offers a productive means of investigating brain activity involved in many symptom-based disorders and their related phenomenology.


  • 2008 - 2009 Waterloo Foundation; Hadyn Ellis Distinguished Lecture series (£45k)
  • 2006 - 2011 Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), ‘Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience’ (£5.2M Cardiff co-leader in multicentre bid (with net of £2M to Cardiff)
  • 2004 - 2007 (OST, SRIF, HEFCW R&C funds): Lead Applicant (with others) “Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre” (£10M)
  • 2004 - 2009 (UnumProvident) Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research (£1.6M)
  • 2005 - 2007 Welsh Arts Council. 'MindArt Project' (£45,000 with Dylan Jones)
  • 2005 ESRC Social Neuroscience Meeting  (£8k)
  • 2003 - 2006 Psychiatry Research Fund, (with Deeley/Oakley) £28k
  • 2004 Brain; Cortex; Oxford University, Elsevier; McDonnell Pew & MRC 'Festschrift - John C. Marshall”' (£19k)
  • 2002 Rivermead Development Fund : 'Effectiveness of Rehabilitation for Cognitive Deficits Conference' (£60k)
  • 2002 - 2007 MRC Co-applicant Co-operative Group Grant  Renewal (£628K).
  • 1999 - 2001 Cambridge R&D 'Survey of phantom limb phenomena’ (with Robertson and others) (£36k)
  • 1999 - 2000 Dept for Work and Pensions 'Malingering and Illness Deception' Conference  (£20k)
  • 1999 - 2000 MRC Capital Equipment grant (£46k)
  • 1999 Wellcome Trust: International Meeting on Hysteria (£10k)
  • 1999 Mary Kinross Trust International Meeting on Conversion Hysteria (£15k)
  • 1998 - 2000 Jules Thorn Charitable Trust: Kinematic Patterns of Movement Recovery after Stroke:  Applications for Clinical Assessment and Intervention" (£59,000)
  • 1997 - 1998 Wellcome Trust SCI~ART project (with Alexa Wright £13K)
  • 1997 - 2002 MRC Senior Research Fellow Programme Grant (£400k)
  • 1997 McDonnell-Pew, Visiting Fellowship (£1k)
  • 1996 -1998 Stroke Association :Residual Somatosensory Functioning after Stroke" (£87k).
  • 1996 - 1997 Lewis Family Charitable Trust Research Therapy Fellowships (25k)
  • 1995 Stroke Association, Rivermead Rehabilitation Centre, Radcliffe Infirmary, Lewis Family Trust and Guarantors of Brain Second international Neglect Meeting (£10k)
  • 1995 - 1996 Stroke Association: 'Kinematic Analysis of Manual Response in Visuospatial Neglect' (£30k).
  • 1993 - 1996 Stroke Association :Anosognosia after Stroke (£50k)
  • 1993 Wellcome Trust; International Meeting on Spatial Neglect (£2k)
  • 1993 Guarantors of Brain: 'First International Meeting on Spatial Neglect' (£2K)
  • 1991 - 1994 Stroke Association: Remediation of Neglect after Stroke' (£100k)
  • 1990 - 1992 Remedi, McDonnell-Pew, O.H.A., and University Department of Clinical Neurology Equipment Grants (£22k)
  • 1987 - 1990 Stroke Association: Cognitive Aspects of Visual Neglect  in stroke patients (£60k).

Research collaborators

  • Vaughan Bell, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, UK
  • David Oakley, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, UK
  • Quinton Deeley, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, UK
  • Gereon Fink, Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Jülich and University of Cologne
  • Max Coltheart, Amanda Barnier, Rochelle Cox and Robyn Langdon
  • Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, Macquarie University.


Undergraduate education

  • 1979 B.A. Psychology and Philosophy, UCD.

Postgraduate education

  • 1981 M.A (Philosophy)
  • 1982 Higher Diploma in Education (Hons.), UCD
  • 1984 Diploma in Clinical and Experimental Psychology (Hons.), UCD
  • 1989 Ph.D. Neuropsychology, Oxford Brookes University
  • 1999 D.Sc (Published Work), National University of Ireland.

Honours and awards


  • CBE (2023)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (2017-2023)
  • Member of the Science Advisory Council for Wales (2015-17)
  • Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (2019-)
  • 2006 Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences
  • 2005 Psychological Society of Ireland’s Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Psychology
  • 2005 British Psychological Society Presidents’ Award
  • 2004 BMA Medical Book Competition Award ('Malingering and Illness Deception' OUP)
  • 1997 Visiting Professor, University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei
  • 1993 British Psychological Society, Spearman Medal
  • 1992 - 1995 E. P. Abraham Junior Research Fellow, Green College, Oxford.

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Fellow of the Psychological Society of Ireland
  • Member of the Association of British Neurologists (1996 - 2010)
  • Member of the British Neuropsychological Society
  • Member of the Society for Research in Rehabilitation
  • Director of the British Neuropsychiatry Society (2010)
  • Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society
  • Member of International Neuropsychology Symposium (1997 - 2003).

Academic positions

  • 2008 - present, Dean of Strategic Futures
  • 2006 - present, Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • 2004/2006 Project Director / Director CUBRIC
  • 2000 - present, Professor, School of Psychology, Cardiff University
  • 1997/2002 MRC Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford/Cardiff
  • 1989/1997 Research Fellow Clinical Neurology, University of Oxford
  • 1985/1989 Research Psychologist, Clinical Psychology, Oxford.

Editorial duties

  • 1996 Co-Editor and Founder, Cognitive Neuropsychiatry
  • 2004 Associate editor, Neuropsychological Rehabilitation
  • 2005 Associate editor, Applied Neuropsychology
  • 2007 Associate editor, Journal of Neuropsychology
  • 2007 Associate editor, International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • 2011 Associate editor, ISRN Neurology2011- Associate editor, PLoS One
  • 2007 - 2010 Associate editor, Social Neuroscience
  • 1997 - 2002 Associate editor, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.


  • Cognitive neuropsychiatry