Professor of Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology, UCL 

Director, Postgraduate Studies, Anna Freud Centre

Co-Director, Developmental Risk & Resilience Unit

Co-Director, UK Trauma Council

Director, UKRI Adolescent Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme

Teaching Experience

Prof. McCrory oversees all of the UCL postgraduate programmes at the Anna Freud Centre. Since 2006 he led the creation of one of the UK’s leading educational portfolios in child and adolescent mental health, helping to train a new generation of researchers and clinicians. For many years he was also Director of the MRes in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology with Yale which he established. Professor McCrory continues to contribute teaching across several programmes, particularly focusing on the impact of childhood adversity, mental health vulnerability and advances in neuroscience research.

Research Experience

Professor McCrory is best known for his work on childhood adversity, maltreatment and the brain. He is interested in why mental health problems develop, and has investigated how childhood trauma can impact brain structure and function in ways that may lead to an increased risk of later psychiatric disorder. He has argued in his theory of Latent Vulnerability that alterations in brain structure and function, associated with childhood maltreatment, may in part represent adaptation to early dangerous or unpredictable environments that can create increased mental health risk in the longer term. His research has documented altered functioning in an array of neurocognitive systems, including the threat, reward and autobiographical memory systems. He has recently argued for the importance of viewing the brain as a social organ, suggesting that mental health vulnerability following childhood maltreatment can in part be understood as a socially mediated process.

Clinical Experience

Prof. McCrory is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, having trained at King’s College London. He has expertise in working with children who have experienced severe forms of trauma presenting with complex comorbid presentations. He has had a particular interest in working with children and young people with conduct problems and post-traumatic stress disorder.


Prof. McCrory has published over 120 peer reviewed papers in the fields of child and adolescent mental health and cognitive neuroscience.

See: for an up to date list.

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set optional analytics to help us improve it. We won’t set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We’d like to set non-essential cookies, such as Google Analytics, to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our Cookies page. If you are 16 or under, please ask a parent or carer for consent before accepting.