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Dr Sophie Hodgetts

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Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for BSc Clinical Psychology

I am a Lecturer in Psychology and I have an active research interest in the field of Cognitive Neuroscience.

I completed my BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology and my MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Durham. I stayed on at Durham for my PhD studies which I completed in 2016. The title of my PhD thesis was "The neuromodulatory properties of gonadal steroid hormones with regard to individual differences in cognition and brain organisation". In 2015, alongside writing up my thesis, I worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University. I worked on a range of clinically-oriented projects, focusing on depression in elderly populations and bipolar disorder in adolescents.

I joined the School of Psychology, Sunderland, in December 2016. My main research interest is the role of gonadal steroid hormones (ie sex hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone) in functional brain organisation and cognition. For example, my thesis focused on the influence of oestrogen (particularly oestradiol) and progesterone on cerebral lateralisation, functional connectivity, and cognition in naturally cycling women. I am also interested in how these biological factors interact with various psychosocial factors (such as social stereotypes and individual differences) in order to exert their effects on the brain and cognition. I am interested in a range of cognitive processes, particularly those related to executive functioning, memory (especially false memories) and meta-cognition.

Teaching and supervision

Undergraduate courses:
  • PSY125 Psychology in the Media (Module Leader)
  • PSY141 Introduction to Mental Health (Module Leader)
  • PSY340 Mental Health and Illness (Module Leader)
  • PSY332 Empirical Project (Project Supervisor)
  • PSY380 From Research to Reality (Lecturer and Seminar Tutor)

  • Postgraduate Taught courses:
  • PSYM61 Experimental Design and Analysis (Lecturer and Workshop Tutor)
  • PSYM66 Everyday Motivations and Biases (Lecturer and Workshop Tutor)

Research interests for potential research students

I am happy to discuss the supervision of projects investigating sex/gender differences in the brain and behaviour, menstrual cycles and hormonal effects on the brain and behaviour, and menstrual cycle/hormonal effects on mental health (e.g., premenstrual dysphoric disorder and premenstrual exacerbation).


My main research interests are based in biological psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. I am particularly interested in how biological factors (such as hormones) can affect the organisation and activity of our brains, and in turn, how this can influence our behaviour. I also have an interest in how these factors can interact with social influences, within a psychobiosocial approach to understanding behaviour and cognition. I am keen for my research to have clinically-relevant applications, and as such, I often focus my studies on non-clinical models of psychiatric disorder (eg schizotypy/psychosis-proneness, mood induction).

More recently, alongside my colleagues in Newcastle, I have been involved in clinical research with the Adolescent Bipolar Service of the Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. This research has investigated the potential for Family Focused Therapy to be used as a treatment option for early-onset bipolar disorder. In addition, we have also begun to investigate the use of smartphone-based technology for longitudinal and self-monitoring of bipolar symptoms.


Number of items: 11.


Pearson, Amy and Hodgetts, Sophie (2020) Can Cerebral Lateralisation Explain Heterogeneity in Language and Increased Non-right Handedness in Autism? A literature review. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 105 (103738). ISSN 0891-4222

Hodgetts, Sophie and Hausmann, Markus (2020) Antipsychotic effects of sex hormones and atypical hemispheric asymmetries. Cortex, 127. ISSN 0010-9452

Bennet, Francis, Hodgetts, Sophie, Close, Andrew, Frye, Mark, Grunze, Heinz, Keck, Paul, Kupka, Ralph, McElroy, Susan, Nolen, Willem, Post, Robert, Scharer, Lars, Suppes, Trisha and Sharma, Aditya (2019) Predictors of Psychosocial Outcome of Bipolar Disorder: data from the Stanley Foundation Bipolar Network. International Journal of Bipolar Disorders. ISSN 2194-7511

Weis, Susanne, Hodgetts, Sophie and Hausmann, Markus (2019) Sex differences and menstrual cycle effects in cognitive and sensory resting state networks. Brain and Cognition, 131. pp. 66-73. ISSN 0278-2626

Hodgetts, Sophie, Weis, Susanne and Hausmann, Markus (2017) Estradiol-related variations in top-down and bottom-up processes of cerebral lateralisation. Neuropsychology, 31 (3). pp. 319-327. ISSN 0894-4105

Hodgetts, Sophie, Gallagher, Peter, Stow, Daniel, Ferrier, Nicol and O'Brien, John (2016) The impact and measurement of social dysfunction in latelife depression: an evaluation of current methods with a focus on wearable technology. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 32 (3). pp. 247-255. ISSN 0885-6230

Hausmann, Markus, Hodgetts, Sophie and Eerola, Tuomas (2016) Music-induced changes in functional cerebral asymmetries. Brain and Cognition, 104. pp. 58-71. ISSN 0278-2626

Hodgetts, Sophie, Hausmann, Markus and Weis, Susanne (2015) High estradiol levels improve false memory rates and meta-memory in highly schizotypal women. Psychiatry Research, 229 (3). pp. 708-714. ISSN 0165-1781

Hodgetts, Sophie, Weis, Susanne and Hausmann, Markus (2015) Sex hormones affect language lateralisation but not cognitive control in normally cycling women. Hormones and Behavior, 74. pp. 194-200. ISSN 0018-506X

Book Section

Hodgetts, Sophie and Hausmann, Markus (2022) Sex/Gender Differences in the Human Brain. In: Encyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience, 2nd edition (Second Edition). Elsevier.

Hodgetts, Sophie and Hausmann, Markus (2020) Sex/Gender Differences in the Human Brain. In: Reference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology. Elsevier Reference Collection in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology . Elsevier.

This list was generated on Tue Jul 5 09:37:44 2022 BST.
  • Sex hormone effects on the brain
  • Sex hormone effects on cognition
  • Sex differences in the brain
  • Sex differences in cognition
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Brain organisation
  • Mental health

Last updated 11 April 2022