Richard Bethlehem

University position


Richard Bethlehem is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Psychiatry and Department of Psychology


Autism Research Centre and Brain Mapping Unit

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Research Themes

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience

Systems and Computational Neuroscience


I am director of neuroimaging at the Autism Research Centre and will be joining the department of psychology as an assistant professor of neuroinfomatics in 2023. My work focuses on understanding lifespan changes in brain development and ageing from big data neuroimaging. In addition, my group develops tools to integrate large scale neuroimaging data with genetics and transcriptomics in an effort to better understand the biological mechanisms driving brain maturation.

I collaborate closely with the BCG and Gandal labs at UPENN, the MICA lab at the MNI and the Cognitive Neurogenetics group at the MPI.

Research Focus



big data



machine learning

Clinical conditions


Cognitive impairment



Behavioural analysis

Electroencephalography (EEG)

Electrophysiological recording techniques


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Neuropsychological testing

Randomised control trials



Simon Baron-Cohen

Edward Bullmore

Pietro Lio


Aaron Alexander-Bloch Web:

Boris Bernhardt Web:

Associated News Items

Key publications

Bethlehem, R.A.I.*, Seidlitz, J.*, White, S.R.*, et al. (2022). (2022), “Brain charts for the human lifespan. ” Nature

Gau, R.*, Noble, S.*, Heuer, K.*, Bottenhorn, K.L.*, Bilgin, I.P.*, Yang, Y-F*, Huntenburg, J.M.*, Bethlehem, R.A.I.* et al. (2021). (2021), “Brainhack: developing a culture of open, inclusive, community-driven neuroscience. ” Neuron

Bethlehem, R.A.I.*, Paquola, C.*, Seidlitz, J., Ronan, L.B., Bernhardt, B., Cam-CAN Consortium & Tsvetanov, K. (2020), “Dispersion of functional gradients across the adult lifespan.” NeuroImage

Romero-Garcia, R., Warrier, V., Bullmore, E.T., Baron-Cohen, S. & Bethlehem, R.A.I. (2018), “Synaptic and transcriptionally downregulated genes are associated with cortical thickness differences in children with autism.” Molecular Psychiatry



Heany, S.J., Bethlehem, R.A.I., Van Honk, J., Bos, P.A., Stein, D.J., Terburg, D. (2018), “Testosterone Decouples the Orbitofrontal Cortex from Subcortical Inescapable Threat Reactivity. ” Psychoneuroendocrinology

Lombardo, M.V., Auyeung, B., Pramparo, T., Quartier, A., Courraud, J., Holt, R.J., Waldman, J., Ruigrok, A.N.V., Mooney, N., Bethlehem, R.A.I., Lai, M-C., Kundu, P., Bullmore, E.T., Mandel, J-L., Piton, A. & Baron-Cohen, S. (2018), “Sex-specific impact of prenatal androgens on social brain default mode subsystems.” Molecular Psychiatry

Mak, E., Bethlehem, R.A.I., Rittman, T., Romero-Garcia, R., Cervenka, S., Gabel, S., Surendranathan, A., Bevan-Jones, W.R., Passamonti, L., Vázquez Rodríguez, P., Arnold, R., Hong, Y.T., Fryer T.D., Aigbirhio, F., Rowe, J.B & O’Brien, J.T. (2018), “In vivo mapping of tau deposition on atrophy in alzheimers disease” Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Diagnosis Biomarkers and Assessments


Bethlehem R. A. I., Romero-Garcia R., Mak E., Bullmore E.T., Baron-Cohen S. (2017), “Structural Covariance Networks in Children with Autism or ADHD ” Cerebral Cortex Volume 27, Issue 8, 1, Pages 4267–4276,

Bethlehem R.A.I., Lombardo M.V., Lai M-C., Auyeung B., Crockford S.K., Deakin J., Soubramanian S., Sule A., Kundu P., Voon V., and Baron-Cohen S. (2017), “Intranasal oxytocin enhances intrinsic corticostriatal functional connectivity in women” Translational Psychiatry e1099


Auyeung B, Lombardo MV, Heinrichs M, Chakrabarti B, Sule A, Deakin JB, Bethlehem RA, Dickens L, Mooney N, Sipple JA, Thiemann P, Baron-Cohen S (2015), “Oxytocin increases eye contact during a real-time, naturalistic social interaction in males with and without autism.” Transl Psychiatry 5:e507 Details


Bethlehem RA, Baron-Cohen S, van Honk J, Auyeung B, Bos PA (2014), “The oxytocin paradox.” Front Behav Neurosci 8:48 Details

Bethlehem RA, Dumoulin SO, Dalmaijer ES, Smit M, Berendschot TT, Nijboer TC, Van der Stigchel S (2014), “Decreased fixation stability of the preferred retinal location in juvenile macular degeneration.” PLoS One 9(6):e100171 Details

Van der Stigchel S, Bethlehem RA (2014), “The contribution of foveal activation to the oculomotor gap effect.” Neurosci Lett 583C:126-129 Details


Bethlehem RA, van Honk J, Auyeung B, Baron-Cohen S (2013), “Oxytocin, brain physiology, and functional connectivity: a review of intranasal oxytocin fMRI studies.” Psychoneuroendocrinology 38(7):962-74 Details

Van der Stigchel S, Bethlehem RA, Klein BP, Berendschot TT, Nijboer TC, Dumoulin SO (2013), “Macular degeneration affects eye movement behavior during visual search.” Front Psychol 4:579 Details


Van der Stigchel S, de Vries JP, Bethlehem R, Theeuwes J (2011), “A global effect of capture saccades.” Exp Brain Res 210(1):57-65 Details