Professor David Linden

Professor David Linden

Professor of Translational Neuroscience

School of Psychology

+44(0)29 2087 6785
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ

Research summary

1) Biomarkers for mental and neurodegenerative disorders
Mental disorders are defined at the level of phenotypes/ clinical presentation but relatively little is known about the underlying biological mechanisms. At the same time, there is a huge interest in biomarkers of mental disorders such as schizophrenia to improve diagnosis and treatment monitoring. We aim to identify such biomarkers by combining the tools of cognitive neuroscience (behavioural paradigms, functional imaging, non-invasive electrophysiology) with molecular genetics, for example using the genetic variants identified in genome-wide association studies. This research programme is embedded in the activities of the University’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI). In the area of neurodegenerative disorders we work on the neural systems changes associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease and on early preclinical/ predictive biomarkers. We collaborate closely with the gene discovery and bioinformatics groups at the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics in exploring the neural correlates of polygenic risk.

2) Genetic variants conferring risk for neurodevelopmental disorders
As part of the DEFINE Wellcome Trust Strategic Award we are establishing a  cohort of carriers of copy number variants (CNV) that confer risk for  schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders. This work, which involves  close collaboration with the ECHO study (  and several international consortia, has led to detailed psychological and  cognitive characterisation of the phenotypes associated with several CNV loci. We are also building up an imaging cohort of CNV carriers, using MRI and MEG.

3) Clinical applications of functional imaging
We develop protocols for the clinical application of real-time fMRI. Through this method patients can be trained in the self-regulation of brain networks, which may help overcome dysfunctional or impaired physiological processes. We are piloting this technique in affective disorders, movement disorders and  addiction. For further details on the Cardiff-coordinated European consortium BRAINTRAIN see:

Teaching summary

Biological Psychiatry
Clinical applications of functional imaging

Undergraduate education

Medicine, Classics, Philosophy

Postgraduate education

History of Medicine/Classics (D.Phil., University of Oxford,  2000)
Neuroscience ( University of Frankfurt, 1999)
Philosophy (Dr.phil. University of Osnabrueck, 1992)


Cardiff University since 2011: Professor of Translational Neuroscience (joint appointment between Dept. of Psychological Medicine & Neurology and School of Psychology) and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist (special interest: Neuropsychiatry)

Bangor University 2004-2010

Honours and awards

Awards/external committees

Member of Young Academy, Berlin, Germany, 2003-2008


























Health and Care Research Wales, MRC, Wellcome Trust, European Commission

Research group

Neurofeedback/ Brain-Computer Interface Research Group
Dr  Leena Subramanian
David Mehler

Genetic Imaging/ Behavioural Genetics Research Group
(in collaboration with the National Centre for Mental Health,  Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute and DEFINE Wellcome Trust  Strategic Award)
Dr Thomas Lancaster
Jacqueline Smith
Ana Silva

Research collaborators

Within Cardiff University:

Prof Krish Singh
, Prof Derek Jones, Dr John Evans, Dr Gavin Perry, Dr Stavros Dimitriadis, Dr Mark Drakesmith

Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neuroscience: Prof Mike Owen, Prof Julie Williams, Prof Mike O’Donovan, Prof Peter Holmans, Dr Andrew Pocklington, Prof Stan Zammit, Prof Anne Rosser, Prof Jeremy Hall, Dr Stefanie Linden, Dr Xavier Caseras

Computer Science:
Prof Roger Whitaker, Prof Stuart Allen

Other UK Universities:
Bangor University: Prof Miles Cox, Dr Christoph Klein
Kings College London: Dr Jennifer Lau
Oxford University: Dr Kathrin Cohen-Kadosh
Aberdeen University: Dr Margaret Jackson
Swansea University: Dr Stephen Johnston
City University London: Dr Corinna Haenschel
University of East London: Prof Duncan Turner
Durham University: Dr Niklas Ihssen

Maastricht University, Cologne University, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt, University of Coimbra, Twente University, University of Tuebingen,  University of Tel Aviv, Max Planck Society

Postgraduate research interests

Genetic imaging
Behavioural pharmacology
Cognitive neuroscience

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application here.

Current students

Jilu Mole
David Mehler
Clara Humpston
Ana Isabel Silva

Clinical Fellows (co-supervision)

Dr Joanne Doherty
Dr Duncan McLauchlan
Dr Judith Harrison