Graeme Fairchild


  • 10 WEST 2.41

Accepting PhD Students


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Fairchild’s current research is funded by the European Commission, the Medical Research Council, and the Economic and Social Research Council, and in the past he has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, the British Academy, and the charity Kids Company.  The majority of this work has involved using neuropsychological or neuroimaging approaches to understand individual-level factors that contribute to risk for developing antisocial behaviour and aggression, such as facial emotion recognition difficulties and changes in brain structure or function. 

The aim of Dr. Fairchild’s main research project, FemNAT-CD, which is a multi-site study taking place across several European countries, is to understand the causes of sex differences in antisocial behaviour in children and adolescents.  This is an important issue because there are substantial sex differences in the prevalence of severe antisocial behaviour, and antisocial behaviour is extremely costly for the affected individuals, as well as their families, and society in general. 

Another major project that Dr. Fairchild is involved in, the English and Romanian Adoptees’ Brain Imaging Study (ERABIS), seeks to understand the long-term consequences of institutional deprivation on brain development by studying the brains of adoptees who previously experienced varying durations of deprivation in Romanian orphanages.  This study uses advanced structural and functional neuroimaging methods to investigate the impact of early deprivation on brain development, activity, and connectivity.  As many of the adoptees have had positive outcomes, and have appeared to largely recover from their early negative experiences, another important focus of the study is understanding mechanisms of resilience – why is it that some adoptees show enduring mental health difficulties, whereas others appear to have overcome their earlier disadvantages and are adapting well to adult life? 

As well as these research commitments, Dr. Fairchild coordinates and delivers teaching on the Developmental Psychopathology and Biological Psychology modules within the Psychology undergraduate programme. 

Research interests

  • The neurobiological bases of antisocial behaviour and violence in adolescence
  • The development of the brain during childhood and adolescence
  • Sex differences in antisocial behaviour and psychopathology
  • The impact of trauma and adversity on the developing brain and risk for psychopathology
  • Behavioural economic and neuroeconomic approaches to understanding mental disorders

Recent news

'Map' of teenage brain provides strong evidence of link between serious antisocial behaviour and brain development

(This study was also covered in The Telegraph, The Guardian and several other national newspapers).

Willing to supervise PhD

Applications from prospective PhD students would be welcomed in any of the research areas described.

Education/Academic qualification

Psychiatry, Doctor of Philosophy, Newcastle University

Sep 2000Aug 2004

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Research Output

Early childhood deprivation is associated with alterations in adult brain structure despite subsequent environmental enrichment

Mackes, N., Golm, D., Sarkar, S., Kumsta, R., Rutter, M., Fairchild, G., Mehta, M. & Sonuga-Barke, E., 7 Jan 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 117, 1, p. 641-649 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

Atypical Dorsolateral Prefrontal Activity in Female Adolescents With Conduct Disorder During Effortful Emotion Regulation

Raschle, N. M., Fehlbaum, L. V., Menks, W. M., Martinelli, A., Prätzlich, M., Bernhard, A., Ackermann, K., Freitag, C. M., De Brito, S. A., Fairchild, G. & Stadler, C., 1 Nov 2019, In : Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. 4, 11, p. 984-994 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Conduct disorder

Fairchild, G., Hawes, D. J., Frick, P. J., Copeland, W. E., Odgers, C. L., Franke, B., Freitag, C. M. & De Brito, S. A., 27 Jun 2019, In : Nature Reviews Disease Primers. 5, 1, p. 1-25 25 p., 43.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Investigating Sex Differences in Emotion Recognition, Learning, and Regulation among Youths with Conduct Disorder

Kohls, G., Baumann, S., Gundlach, M., Scharke, W., Bernhard, A., Martinelli, A., Ackermann, K., Kersten, L., Prätzlich, M., Oldenhof, H., Jansen, L., van den Boogaard, L., Smaragdi, A., Gonzalez-Madruga, K., Cornwell, H., Rogers, J., Pauli, R., Clanton, R., Baker, R., Bigorra Gualba, A. & 9 others, Herpertz-Dahlmann, B., Fernández-Rivas, A., Popma, A., Stadler, C., De Brito, S., Blair, J., Freitag, C. M., Fairchild, G. & Konrad, K., 23 Apr 2019, In : Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. p. 1-12 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Mind the gap: evidence that child mental health inequalities are increasing in the UK

Fairchild, G., 1 Nov 2019, In : European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 28, 11, p. 1415-1416 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial