Dr Patricia Lockwood awarded Frith Prize by the Experimental Psychology Society

Dr Patricia Lockwood

Dr Patricia Lockwood, Junior Research Fellow in Psychology at Christ Church, has been awarded the Frith Prize by the Experimental Psychology Society, for her PhD thesis.

The Frith Prize is an Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) Early Career Award established in 2011 by a gift from Chris and Uta Frith, with the purpose of recognising experimental psychologists at the start of their career who have produced an exceptional body of work in their PhD thesis. In recommending the awarding of the prize, the Committee consider a nomination comprising of a supporting letter from the primary supervisor, the abstract of the thesis, the nominee’s CV including a description of any conference presentations and publications arising directly from the thesis work, one draft or published manuscript based on the thesis work, and a supporting statement from the External Examiner. The winner of the Frith Prize is awarded £500, and is invited to deliver a Lecture at any of the Society’s meetings.

Dr Lockwood’s thesis was focussed on the behavioural and neurobiological foundations of vicarious processing, which is how we understand the thoughts and feelings of other people. Her Prize Lecture will be talking about the work from her thesis, as well as how she has pursued this work more recently at Oxford to understand how people make decisions about other people, how their own actions impact on others, and the neurobiological correlates that underpin these processes.

On being awarded the prize, Dr Lockwood said, “I have been inspired by the work of Uta and Chris Frith (who generously donated to create the Prize) from early on in my career. It is therefore a real honour to receive this prize”.

In addition to her role as a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, Dr Lockwood is also a Medical Research Council Fellow, and a MRC funded postdoctoral fellow in the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology and the Department of Economics in the University of Zurich. 

Her research interests centre around cognitive neuroscience, prosocial behaviour, empathy, decision-making, and learning. Dr Lockwood investigates the psychological and neural mechanisms that underpin how we interact with other people, using a range of methods including behavioural paradigms, functional magnetic resonance imaging, brain stimulation, computational modelling, self-report and patient studies. Her current work focuses on how we make decisions for ourselves and other people, and how individual differences in social cognition, such as empathy, determine our ability to do this. She also examines social cognition in patients with Parkinson’s Disease and brain injury, as well as across the lifespan.