Dr Ian Mitchell is interested in the neurobiological basis of offending behaviour and some psychiatric conditions. He is also the author of the book 'Broken Brains'.
He conducted extensive postdoctoral work in the departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Manchester before taking up the post of Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Birmingham.
His main teaching responsibilities include delivering modules on basic neurobiology, neuroanatomy and neuro-developmental disorders to undergraduate psychologists.
His research interests are focused on how social behaviour is controlled by discrete brain circuits involving the basal ganglia, prefrontal cortex and limbic system, and the consequences of dysfunction in these circuits with respect to antisocial behaviour. This work covers the study of sex offences and psychopathic traits in mediating out-group derogation.
Ongoing projects include:
• Studies on the relationship between social phobia and fear of contamination in sex offenders,
• Oxytocin function in both sex offenders and psychopaths,
• The influence of alcohol consumption on judgements of disgust and contamination in relation to ethnicity,
• Performance on economic decision making games in relation to in groups and out groups,
• The relationship between heart rate variability, anxiety and aggression.