I completed a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at Birkbeck, University of London. My PhD, also at Birkbeck, focused on self-other processes in social cognition under the supervision of Prof. Geoff Bird.

Following a postdoc position at Aarhus University/ University of Sussex, I was awarded the prestigious ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellowship, which I completed at the Psychology department, University of Cambridge.


I joined Liverpool Hope in September 2021 as a Lecturer in Psychology.


My research interests lie at the intercept of social psychology and cognitive neuroscience. My work aims to address questions such as, to what extent self and other representations overlap or should be distinguished during social interactions? What role do individual differences play when self-other processes go awry? To address these questions, my research combines behavioural and cognitive neuroscience methods. My goal is to gain a deeper understanding of key processes underlying social interactions both in typical and atypical populations such as autism and mirror-sensory synaesthesia.


Selected Publications:


  • Santiesteban, I., Gibbard, C., Drucks, H., Clayton, N., Banissy, M. J., & Bird, G. (2021). Individuals with autism share others’ emotions: evidence from the continuous affective rating and empathic responses (CARER) task. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders51(2), 391-404. 
  • Bowling, N. C., Botan, V., Santiesteban, I., Ward, J., & Banissy, M. J. (2019). Atypical bodily self-awareness in vicarious pain responders. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B374(1787), 20180361.
  • Santiesteban, I., Kaur, S., Bird, G., Catmur, C. (2017). Attentional processes, not implicit mentalizing, mediate performance in a perspective-taking task: Evidence from stimulation of the temporoparietal junction. NeuroImage, 155, 305 – 311.
  • Catmur, C., Santiesteban, I., Conway, J. R., Heyes, C., Bird, G., (2016).  Avatars and Arrows in the Brain. NeuroImage, 132, 8-10 doi:  10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.02.021.
  • Santiesteban, I., Banissy, M. J., Catmur, C., & Bird, G. (2015). Functional lateralisation of temporoparietal junction – imitation inhibition, visual perspective taking and theory of mind. European Journal of Neuroscience42(8), 2527-33.
  • Santiesteban, I., Bird, G., Tew, O., Cioffi, C., Banissy, M. J., Mirror-touch synaesthesia: difficulties inhibiting the other. (2015) Cortex, 71, 116-121.
  • Santiesteban, I., Shah, P., White, S., Bird, G, Heyes, C. (2015). Mentalizing or submentalizing in a communication task? Evidence from autism and a camera control. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review22, 844-849doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0716-0.
  • Hogeveen, J., Obhi S., Banissy, M. J. Santiesteban, I., Press, C., Catmur, C., Bird, G., (2015). Task-dependent and distinct roles of the temporoparietal junction and inferior frontal cortex in the control of imitation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 10 (7), 1003-1009.
  • Santiesteban, I., Catmur, C., Coughlan Hopkins, S., Bird, G., & Heyes, C. Avatars and arrows: implicit mentalizing or domain-general processing? (2014) Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 40(3), 929-937.
  • Santiesteban, I., Banissy, M.J., Catmur, C., & Bird, G. (2012). Enhancing social ability by stimulating right temporoparietal junction. Current Biology, 22(23), 2274-2277.
  • Santiesteban, I., White, S., Cook, J., Gilbert, S., Heyes, C., & Bird, G. (2012) Training social cognition: from imitation to theory of mind. Cognition, 122, 228-235.