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Niamh Kennedy


Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Academic Background

PhD Queens University Belfast 2006-2010

BSc (Hons) Psychology Queens University Belfast 2002-2005


Chartered Member of British Psychological Society (BPS)

Fellow of Higher Education Teaching Academy

 Society of Neuroscience (SFN)



I completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology at Queens University Belfast, during which time my particular area of interest was recovery after Brain injury. After I finished my undergraduate degree, I completed two summer research internships at Harvard University and Boston University. 
The studies I was involved in were focused around learning and memory in individuals with Brain injury. After completing my internships I started a PhD in 2006 at Queens University Belfast, and following my PhD I took up a lectureship in Stroke recovery here at the University of East Anglia.


Key Research Interests

My research interests are primarily in the neurophysiology of recovery of motor control post stroke and brain injury. My PhD concentrated on the exploitation of neuroplasticity through rehabilitation or non-invasive methods of stimulation techniques, to enhance the recovery of function in the upper limbs. Other areas I am interested in are, Neuroplasticity, Movement control, Non- invasive methods of stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), Paired associated stimulation (PAS), Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). I am additionally interested in neuropsychology and the psychosocial aspects of recovery.

PhD supervision - Current student: Kathryn Collins: The neuromuscular correlates and predictors of recovery of upper limb motor function following Stroke

Fiona Ellis: Using virtual reality technology in Stroke rehabilitation

Areas of interest - Non-invasive methods of Cortical Stimulation (tDCS, TMS,PAS), Upper limb motor recovery after stroke

Grants/Funding - Wolfson Equipment Grant

Selected Publications


  • Buick, A, Kennedy,N.C & Carson R.G (2016) Characteristics of Corticospinal Projections to the Intrinsic Hand Muscles in Skilled Harpists. Neuroscience Letters

  • Pomeroy, V. M., Ward, N. S., Johansen-Berg, H., van Vliet, P., Burridge, J., Hunter, S. M., Lemon, R. N., Rothwell, J., Weir, C. J., Wing, A., Walker, A. A., Kennedy, N., Barton, G., Greenwood, R. J. & McConnachie, A. (2014 ) FAST INdiCATE Trial protocol. Clinical efficacy of functional strength training for upper limb motor recovery early after stroke: Neural correlates and prognostic indicators : In : International journal of stroke : official journal of the International Stroke Society. 9, 2, p. 240-245

  • R.G. Carson, B.D Nelson, Alison R Buick, T.J, Carroll.; N.C Kennedy& R, Mac Cann. (2013) Characterising changes in the excitability of corticospinal projections to proximal muscles of the upper limb. Brain Stimulation
  • Carson, R. G. & Kennedy, N. C. (2013) Modulation of human corticospinal excitability by paired associative stimulation In : Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 7, p. 823

Kennedy, Niamh and Carson, Richard (2010) Changes in Corticospinal Excitability Induced by Simultaneous Isometric Contractions and Paired Associative Stimulation. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 91 (10). e53-e53. ISSN 00039993

Carson, RG, Kennedy, NC, Linden, MA and Britton, L (2008) Muscle-specific variations in use-dependent crossed-facilitation of corticospinal pathways mediated by transcranial direct current (DC) stimulation. Neuroscience Letters, 441. pp. 153-157.

Kennedy, NC and Carson, RG (2008) The effect of simultaneous contractions of ipsilateral muscles on changes in corticospinal excitability induced by paired associative stimulation. Neuroscience Letters, 445. pp. 7-11.

Crothers, IR, Linden, MA and Kennedy, N (2007) Attitudes of children towards peers with acquired brain injury (ABI). Brain Injury, 21 (1). pp. 47-52.

Conference or Workshop Item

Kennedy, Niamh C and Carson, Richard G (2010) The effect of simultaneous contractions of ipsilateral forearm muscles on changes in corticospinal excitability induced by associative pairing of cortical and afferent stimulation (PAS): intra-cortical mechanisms. In: Society for Neuroscience, November 2010.

Key Responsibilities

Deputy Lead Athena SWAN/ Equality and Diversity in School of Helath Sciences

Early Career Representative on Research Advancement Committee,

Module coordinator of Pre-Reg MSc OT/PT Research,

Module coordinator of Introduction to Research Methods

Research Group or Lab Membership

Professor Valerie Pomeroy, Dr Celia Clarke,Dr Simon Horton, Kath Mares, Nicola Hancock.

Areas of Expertise

Stroke rehabilitation, types of Brain stimulation including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS),Neuroplasticity

Teaching Interests


Neuroanatomy, Stroke and Motor speech disorders-SLT, Human Sciences: Neurophysiology, psychology- BSc OT and PT

Postgraduate, pre-registration

Neurophysiology, Psychology, Research methods and dissertation

Post registration

MSc Stroke, Introduction to Research Methods

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being