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Chris Colbourn

01642 342953
Job title:
School of Health & Social Care
Health & Social Care research

About Chris Colbourn

Chris Colbourn

Chris Colbourn
Professor, School of Health & Social Care
T: 01642 342953
Research: Health & Social Care research

Chris Colbourn is the Research Director for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme and a Professor of Psychology. He is a Chartered Psychologist who gained his first degree and PhD in Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London. Chris has had considerable experience as a full-time researcher in cognitive psychology for the Medical Research Council Applied Psychology Unit and in neuro-psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London and as a distance educator for the Open University. He has been a lecturer in the Departments of Psychology at the Universities of Leeds and Southampton, as Associate Professor and Course Leader in Psychology at Southampton Institute (now Southampton Solent University) and Professor of Psychology and Head of the Psychology Division with University College Northampton (now the University of Northampton) and a visiting researcher at the Neuro-psychology Department, Wessex Neurological Centre, Southampton General Hospital, before coming to his present post at Teesside in 2004.

Chris has nearly always worked in research teams and consortia who have been funded by such bodies as the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (TLTP3) and the Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning (FDTL4), as well as various smaller charitable fundraising agencies. In addition Chris has previously engaged in a substantial amount of quality assurance and accreditation work for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and the British Psychological Society (BPS), external examining at both undergraduate and post graduate level for many different universities, as well as delivering a substantial portfolio of undergraduate and post graduate teaching and research supervision. At Teesside his focus has been on overseeing and the delivery of the substantial and important research component of the training of clinical psychologists.

A constant theme through all his work has been the intensive employment of information technology in support of research work, and as a prominent feature of his teaching. He has published a wide variety of papers and chapters on driver behaviour, cognitive neuro-psychology, professional and educational uses of information technology and the design of hypermedia systems for education.

Research interests

Current research interests are broadly in 'cognitive technology', particularly the design and use of assistive technology for the 'frail elderly', neuro-psychological and spinal cord injury patients and also in complex human learning and visual perception (particularly in respect to the origins of visual hallucinations).

Current projects

All of the projects listed below are supported by local mental health trusts and involve Clinical Psychology trainees as the researcher:

·  Complex visual hallucinations and attentional performance in eye disease and dementia
·  Anger and fear processing in those with psychogenic seizures compared with epilepsy and healthy controls
·  Investigation of inter/intra-individual differences in information processing times between patients with Multiple Sclerosis and healthy controls
·  Healthcare staff attitudes, attachments and coping styles in palliative care
·  The role of social media in self harm for teenagers who present to mental health services


Graham, G., Dean, J., Mosimann, U.P., Colbourn, C., Dudley, R., Clarke, M., & Collerton, D. (2011) - Specific attentional impairments and complex visual hallucinations in eye disease. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26 (3), 263-267.

Logue, L., Chadwick, R., & Colbourn, C., (2012) - The lived experience of spinal cord injury with assistive technology. Proceedings of the Second Global Congress for Qualitative Health Research, 28-30th June 2012, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy.

Redman, J., Makin, S., Collerton, D., Mosimann, U., Dudley, R., Clarke, M., & Colbourn, C. (2013). - Complex visual hallucinations and attentional performance in eye disease and dementia. A test of the Perception and Attention Deficit model. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 28 (12), 1232-1238. 

View Chris Colbourn's Publications on TeesRep