Dr Martin Tovee
Reader in Visual Cognition

  • Email: martin.tovee@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8616
  • Address: Institute of Neuroscience
    The Henry Wellcome Building
    Framlington Place
    Newcastle University
    Newcastle Upon Tyne
    NE2 4HH

Research Interests

My research focuses on the problem of body image dysfunction in Eating Disordered patients. People with Eating Disorders usually exhibit strong concerns about their weight and tend to overestimate their body size. This body image dysfunction is a key diagnostic feature in both Anorexia and Bulimia, and plays an important role in the aetiology and maintenance of these conditions. By understanding both the perceptual and psychological factors in how people assess their bodies, we hope to develop new strategies to improve the treatment of these conditions.  

My research also explores human mate selection and the perception of physical attractiveness in an evolutionary psychology context. One of the most fundamental problems for any organism is mate selection. In evolutionary terms it is important that we are sensitive to the physical cues that honestly signal that one individual is more desirable (i.e. fitter and with a better reproductive potential) than another, and use these cues to choose the partner who is most likely to enhance our chances of successful reproduction. My research has focussed on the visual cues on which these judgements are based, and how environment and context may alter these judgements.

I am a member of the Institute of Neuroscience, an associate member of the Institute of Health and Society and I have an Honorary Research Contract with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust for my clinical research. I am an Editor of PLoS ONE and Evolution, Mind & Behaviour  

Current Postgraduate Supervision

PhD Students

Kara Crossley

Lucinda Gledhill

Sandra Fernandes-Machado

Tracey Thornborrow

Masters Students

Eleni Gkagka

Former Postgraduate Students

Former PhD Students

Fran Cormack, Joanne Emery, Hannah George, Huw Golledge, Alistair Gray, Katie Green, Doug Maisey, Sue Mason, Katy Smith, Nicki Turnill & Matt Walker

Former Masters Students

Alexandra Houston, Jessica Long, Renske Herrema, Danielle McCutcheon, Josephine Mo, Camilla Munton, Nagamani Pathakota, Andrew Ply, Katy Smith & Xueija Zhang


Undergraduate Teaching 

Psychology Teaching

PSY2002: Visual Perception

PSY3013: Eating Disorders

PSY3016: Sex and Human Nature

PSY3096-PSY3097: Research Projects

Biomedical Sciences Teaching

BMS3020: Chronic Diseases

Postgraduate Teaching

Research Supervision on the MRes in Evolution & Human Behaviour and the MSc in Health Psychology