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Eloise Stark

MA (Oxon), MBPsS

DPhil Student

I am currently in the final stages of my DPhil in Psychiatry, while working part-time as an Assistant Psychologist for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. I will continue within the Department of Psychiatry as a Postdoctoral Researcher, following the submission of my doctoral thesis. 

My doctoral research concerns the neural mechanisms underlying face perception with a focus on the salience of infant faces. This work will form part of a larger project to elucidate the functional neuroanatomy of the human parental brain, and to understand psychiatric disorders, such as postpartum depression. I have also published on topics including post-traumatic stress, happiness and eudaimonia, music, autism, and cuteness.

I have growing clinical and research interest in autism, particularly phenotypic expression, autism and mental health, adapting psychological therapies for autistic individuals, and how autistic cognition affects brain dynamics. I am also interested in clinical complexity, third wave therapeutic approaches such as compassion-focused therapy and ACT, and transdiagnostic treatment targets such as intolerance of uncertainty.

I am funded by a Medical Research Council Studentship, and supervised by Professor Morten Kringelbach and Professor Alan Stein within the section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Centre for Eudaimonia and Human Flourishing. I am a graduate scholar at Green Templeton College, Oxford. 

In 2013, I completed my undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. Before commencing my DPhil I worked as a Graduate Research Assistant within the Hedonia: TrygFonden Research Group here at the Department of Psychiatry in Oxford. Specifically I worked with the Scars of War Foundation, using neuroscience to determine how trauma affects the brain. 


On Cuteness: Unlocking the Parental Brain and Beyond 

Kringelbach, M. L., Stark, E. A. et al., (2016) Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20 (7), 545-558.

Are We Designed to Be Happy? The Neuroscience of Making Sense of Pleasure

Stark, E., Berridge, K. C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2020). The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behavior.

Neurobiology of Human Parenting

Stark, E. A., Stein, A., Young, K. S., Parsons, C. E., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2019). In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.) Handbook of Parenting (Third Edition). Volume 2: The Biology and Ecology of Parenting. London: Routledge, pp. 250-284. 

Understanding the human parental brain: A critical role of the orbitofrontal cortex

Parsons, C. E., Stark, E. A., et al. (2013). Social Neuroscience, 8 (6), 525-543. 

Autism in Women

Stark, E. A. (2018) The Psychologist

Is slowness the essence of knowledge? 

Stark, E. A. (2017) The Psychologist, 30, 38-41.

Rebuilding lives in the Recovery College

Stark, E. (2020). The Psychologist, 33, 44-46. 

Effective psychological treatment for PTSD changes the dynamics of specific large-scale brain networks

Charquero-Ballester, M., Kleim, B., Vidaurre, D., Ruff, C., Stark, E., McManners H., Bar-Haim, Y., Williams, S. C. R., Woolrich, M., Kringelbach, M. L., & Ehlers, A. (Preprint at biorxiv). 

The dynamics of the improvising brain: a study of musical creativity using jazz improvisation

Da Mota, P. A., Fernandes, H. M., Stark, E., Cabral, J., Heggli, O. A., Sousa, N., Kringelbach, M. L., & Vuust, P. (Preprint at biorxiv).