James Elsey


Research Interests

I am a postdoc in Clinical Psychology, working under the supervision of Prof. Merel Kindt. My research focuses on the translational applications of memory reconsolidation. Specifically, I am assessing whether fear memory reactivation followed by the administration of propranolol can be a means of tackling a range of specific fears and phobias, from spiders to social anxiety. Beyond these clinical applications, my work has considered the ethical implications of memory reconsolidation and other neuroscientific developments (i.e., neuroethics), as well as the optimal means of providing evidence for reconsolidation in human studies.
Outside of my work on memory reconsolidation, I am interested in the promises and pitfalls of novel technological, pharmacological, and psychotherapeutic trends for individuals and society, from consideration of psychedelic drugs to virtual reality technology.


I completed my undergraduate BSc in Psychology at University College London (UCL - First Class Hons). My MSc in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology (Distinction) was a joint program between UCL and Yale University. While at UCL, I worked as a research assistant for both Prof. Essi Viding and Prof. Helene Joffe. Under the supervision of Prof. Marc Potenza at Yale, I investigated the neurobiological impact of childhood trauma using fMRI, and published further work on impulsivity and behavioural addictions. Following my MSc, I stayed in the States for a further year, working as a research associate with Dr. Jennifer Harris at the Yale and then UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, where we assessed how advertisers target children and teens with unhealthy foods.

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