Portrait of Dr Brianna Beck

Dr Brianna Beck

Lecturer in Psychology
Director of Placements
Member of the Ethics team


Dr Brianna Beck is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Kent. Her research interests include pain and somatosensory perception, body representation and the sense of agency.

Key publications

  • Amemiya, T., Beck, B., Walsh, V., Gomi, H., & Haggard, P. (2017). Visual area V5/hMT+ contributes to perception of tactile motion direction: a TMS study. Scientific Reports, 7, 40937.
  • Beck, B., Di Costa, S., & Haggard, P. (2017). Having control over the external world increases the implicit sense of agency. Cognition, 162, 54-60.
  • Borhani, K., Beck, B., & Haggard, P. (2017). Choosing, doing, and controlling: implicit sense of agency over somatosensory events. Psychological Science, 28(7), 882-893.
  • Beck, B., Ladavas, E., & Haggard, P. (2016). Viewing the body modulates both pain sensations and pain responses. Experimental Brain Research, 234(7), 1795-1805.

Research interests

Brianna's primary research interest is somatosensory perception (i.e. touch, temperature and, in particular, pain perception). Specifically, she is interested in how those senses interact with cognitive and affective processes such as learning, motivation, and our sense of control over our actions and their outcomes. Brianna is also interested in how somatosensory processing contributes to bodily awareness and to our mental representations of our own bodies. She uses behavioural, psychophysical, electrophysiological (EEG) and brain stimulation (TMS) methods to investigate questions such as...

  • How do experiences of pain influence our sense of agency (i.e. our sense of having control over our actions and, through them, over the world around us)?
  • How does persistent pain affect our ability to learn about rewards and our motivation to seek them?
  • How are nociceptive signals (i.e. the sensory signals that normally give rise to pain) integrated within multisensory spatial representations of the body in the brain?

Brianna welcomes prospective doctoral students to contact her if they are interested in these questions or other related topics on pain and somatosensory perception.


Grants and Awards

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