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Psychobiology Section

Psychobiologists research how psychological factors like cognition, mood and appraisal combine with biological events like stress physiology, changes in brain function, and pharmacological effects, to shape the human experience.


The Psychobiology Section of the BPS provides a forum for the discussion and professional issues for people with interests in biological aspects of psychology.

Members of the BPS Psychobiology Section comprise psychologists across the health service, industry, colleges and universities.

Their interests cover many areas of biological psychology and related topics.

Current members are conducting research in such exciting fields of psychobiology as:

  • the impact of psychological stress on health and well-being,
  • the relationships between nutrition, brain function and behaviour
  • the benefits of swearing for pain tolerance
  • the effects of mindfulness on cortisol levels
  • the therapeutic benefits of expressive writing
  • the psychology of music
  • the interactions between tinnitus and stress hormones

The section's activities include our annual scientific meeting, a two-day event usually held in September; and one or more specialist events (e.g. workshops) throughout the year.

Psychobiology Section


Psychobiology Section



Early Career Research Award

About the award

This award is given in acknowledgement of exceptional research contributions in the field of Psychobiology by an early-career scholar.

The determination of the award hinges on the submission of a single published paper, where the nominee has taken a leading role in the research (e.g., as the first author).

Postgraduate Award

Previous award winners

  • Olly Robertson – Keele University.
  • Claire Kelly – Lancaster University
    The ability to continually apply self-control: the role of both glucose and motivation on self-control performance

Research Award

About the award

The objective of the Psychobiology section within the BPS is to offer financial support for the research endeavours of researchers in psychobiology based in the UK.

Each applicant may receive awards of up to £400, providing valuable assistance for their research projects.

Undergraduate project prize

About the award

The Psychobiology Section Undergraduate Project Prize recognises outstanding research conducted by undergraduate students in the area of Psychobiology.

Eligible projects can use any methodology, but the research must be grounded in psychobiological theory.

The lack of opportunity for students to conduct face to face testing during the pandemic will be taken into account when selecting a winner.

How to apply

You will be asked for the following information:

  • Name
  • Name of Supervisor
  • Institution
  • Student Email Address
  • Title of Project

You will also be asked to upload the following documents as a file attachment. We advise that you save your submission on a document before you start the online form.

  • Letter of support from Supervisor
  • Fully assessed dissertation

The prize winner will receive a bursary to attend the Section’s ASM, and must be available to present their work via an oral presentation at the meeting.

The winner will also be expected to write up their work as a short article for the Section Newsletter.

Applications/nominations are currently closed.

Previous award winners

  • Lovell Jones – Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
    Exploring the effect of ASMR on biomarkers and interpersonal space
  • James Evans – Queen Mary University, London
    The Relationship Between Anxiety and Healthy Ageing: Telomere Shortening   in Anxious Zebrafish
  • Matthew Danvers
    Investigating electrophysiological markers of atypical attention in ten-month olds at high risk for either autism or ADHD
  • Derry Taylor – University of Portsmouth
    Specific rapid facial mimicry in sun bears (Herlarctos malayanus): A broader perspective on emotional behaviours
  • Anika Smith – University of York.
    Does Marmite Increase GABA Concentration?


Chair: Kyla Pennington

Honorary Treasurer: Richard Stephens

Honorary Secretary: Catherine Loveday

Bursary Award Lead: Philip Murphy

Research Integrity Lead: Michael Smith

Social Media Lead: Sarah Allen

Events Lead: James Jackson

EDI Lead: Eimear Lee

Student Representative: Lovell Jones


Membership of the Psychobiology Section is only open to members of the British Psychological Society.

If you are not already a member, you can join the Section at the same time as applying for membership of the society.

Apply to join the society

Benefits of belonging

Benefits of Psychobiology Section Membership

  • Eligibility to apply for a range of awards and bursaries. 
  • Reduced registration fees for the Psychobiology Annual Scientific Meeting. 
  • Regular issues of the Section newsletter.
  • Regular updates via our membership announcement e-mail list. 

Member Announcement Email List

The Psychobiology Section uses its membership announcement email list to inform its members of activities and initiatives that are relevant to their interests and to make requests for engagement on topical issues. 

By becoming a member of the Section you are automatically added to the announcement list.

To receive these emails you will need to:

  1. become a member of the Psychobiology Section
  2. opt into receiving email communication and provide a working email address

These preferences can be updated by logging into your member portal.

If you have any queries, please contact Member Network Services.

To assist us in responding to your query please make sure to include your membership number and quote 'Psychobiology Section announcement email' in the subject line.

Getting involved with Psychobiology Section Committee

The Psychobiology Section relies on a wide range of people getting involved, and the work of the Section is largely achieved through the dedication of unpaid volunteers.

Our volunteers come from a wide range of different backgrounds, whether they be practitioners or academics, or full members or student members, and together form an open and inclusive community.