Dr Kirsten Barnes

A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney

Biographical details

Dr Kirsten Barnes is a Postdoctoral Research Associate investigating the role of expectancy and learning on the experience of pain and nausea.

Kirsten holds a B.Sc. (University of Bristol), M.A. (University of London) and a Ph.D. (University of Cambridge) in Psychology. During this period, she amassed 10 years of research experience via employment as a Research Assistant across multiple grants held by the University of Cambridge (Departments of Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology and Divinity). Kirsten is a named Co-Investigator on two research grants awarded by the John Templeton Foundation investigating the role of hallucination-proneness, anomalous belief and anxiety on the representation of agency.

Kirsten’s doctoral research focused on the effect of schizotypal traits and physiological arousal on cognitive biases when detecting signs of agency in experimental tasks. Given her enduring interest in how our belief systems can alter our processing of sensory data, Kirsten relocated to Australia in 2017 to work with Dr Ben Colagiuri at the University of Sydney investigating the placebo effect.

Research interests

  • Placebo Effects
  • Psychophysiology
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Hallucination-Proneness
  • Individual Differences
  • Self-Other Agency Representation
  • Cognitive Biases
  • Structural Equation Modelling
  • Signal Detection Analysis

Teaching and supervision

Kirsten has previous teaching and supervision experience in the following areas:

University of Cambridge, Natural Sciences Tripos, Part II: Biological and Biomedical Sciences [Brain Mechanisms of Psychopathology: Psychosis]

Supervision of Undergraduate students completing Professor Paul Fletcher’s lecture series on Brain Mechanisms and Psychopathology.

University of Cambridge, Natural Sciences Tripos, Part II: Psychology [Part II Projects]

Supervision of students completing the final year empirical project investigating psychophysiological response (EDA and fEMG) and hallucination-proneness.

University of Cambridge, Politics, Psychology, and Sociology Tripos: Undergraduate Final Year Project Supervision

Supervision of final year undergraduate dissertations.

University of Cambridge, Politics, Psychology, and Sociology Tripos, Part IIA: Int1 Research Project

Supervision of second-year Undergraduate empirical research projects.

University of Cambridge, Politics, Psychology, and Sociology Tripos, Part IIA: Methods Paper

Supervision of Undergraduates completing methods assignments.

University of Cambridge, Natural Sciences Tripos, Part II: Statistics Computer Lab Demonstrator

Statistical demonstrations for Natural Sciences Undergraduate students.

University of Cambridge, Politics, Psychology, and Sociology Tripos, Part IIA: Statistics Assignment

Supervision of Undergraduates completing their chosen statistical analyses.

University of Cambridge, Teaching Assistant: SPSS and Statistics Computer Lab Demonstrator

Statistical demonstrations and supervision for second year Politics, Psychology & Sociology (PPS) Undergraduate students.

Awards and honours

John Templeton Foundation: Research Grant (Co-Investigator)

John Templeton Foundation: Cognition, Religion & Theology Grant Awarded by the University of Oxford (Co-Investigator)

University of Cambridge, Wolfson College Travel Grant.

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