Academic

Dr Anna Machin is an evolutionary anthropologist whose area of specialist research is the science behind human prosocial behaviour. Having received a first class honours degree in Anthropology and English and an MSc in Human Evolution and Behaviour she went on to study for a PhD under the supervision of Professor Steven Mithen at the University of Reading. Her area of research was the evolution of social and sexual behaviour during the Middle Pleistocene and she completed in 2006.

In 2008 she joined the research group of Professor Robin Dunbar within the Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford where she began her pioneering work into the science of fatherhood and carried out research into the role for beta-endorphin in the maintenance of long term attachment relationships and large groups, the psychology of romantic love and attraction and the cognition of kinship.

She continues as an academic visitor in the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford, the new home of Professor Dunbar’s research group (Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group - SENRG) and continues to carry out work on fathering and, most recently, the genetic underpinnings of human prosocial behaviours with special reference to the bonding neurochemicals.

While grounded in evolutionary theory her work is multi-disciplinary taking in aspects of neuroscience, psychology, social anthropology, genetics and behavioural science.

 

Academic publications

Pearce E, Woldorski R, Machin A, & Dunbar RIM (2017)
Variation in the beta-endorphin, oxytocin, and dopamine receptor genes is associated with different dimensions of human sociality
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 

 

Nummenmaa L, Tuominen L, Dunbar R, Hirvonen J, Manninen S, Helin S, Machin A, Hari R, Jääskeläinen, I  P & Sams M (2016)
Social touch modulates endogenous μ-opioid system activity in humans
NeuroImage 138:242-7

 

Pearce E, Launay J, Machin A J, & Dunbar RIM (2016)
Is group singing special? Health, well-being and social bonds in community-based adult education classes
Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology 26:518-533

 

Machin A J (2016)
The Transition to Fatherhood
NCT Perspectives Issue 30

 

Machin A J, & Dunbar RIM (2016)
Is kinship a schema? Exploring the evolutionary origins of kinship
Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology 2:195-219

 

Machin A J, & Fisher D (2015)
Why does engaging with families in maternal and infant care make such a positive difference?
International Journal for Birth & Parenting Education 3:19-23

 

Machin A J (2015)
Mind the Gap: The Expectation and Reality of Involved Fatherhood
Fathering 13:36-59

 

Dunbar RIM & Machin A J (2014)
Sex Differences in Relationship Breakdown and Reconciliation
Journal of Evolutionary Psychology

 

Machin A J, & Dunbar RIM (2014)
The brain opioid theory of social attachment: a review of the evidence in RIM Dunbar C, Gamble & JAJ Gowlett (eds)
Lucy to Language: Benchmark Papers Oxford University Press, Oxford pp 181-213

 

Carney J, Dunbar R, Machin A, Dávid-Barrett, T & Mauro Silva J, (2014)
Social Psychology and the Comic-Book Superhero: A Darwinian Approach
Philosophy & Literature 38:A195-A215

 

Machin A J, & Dunbar RIM (2013)
Sex and Gender as Factors in Romantic Partnerships and Best Friendships
Journal of Relationships Research 4:e8

 

Machin A J & Dunbar RIM (2011)
The brain opioid theory of social attachment: a review of the evidence
Behaviour 148: 985-1025

 

Machin A J (2010)
Human Fatherhood: A multidisciplinary perspective
Social Psychological Review. 12:1-23

 

Machin A J  (2009)
The Role of the Individual Agent in Acheulean Handaxe Variability: A Multifactorial Model
Journal of Social Archaeology 9:35-58

 

Machin A J (2008)
Why handaxes just aren’t that sexy: A response to Kohn & Mithen (1999)
Antiquity 82:761-769

 

Machin A J, Hosfield R T, & Mithen S J (2007)
Why are some handaxes symmetrical? Testing the influence of handaxe morphology on effectiveness
Journal of Archaeological Science 34:883-893

 

Machin A J, Hosfield R T  & Mithen S J(2005)
Testing the functional utility of handaxe symmetry: fallow deer butchery with replica handaxes
Lithics 26: 23-37

 

Recent conferences and invited talks

 

Machin A J
Having it all? PND and parenting for both fathers and mothers Invited workshop at College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists
(COSRT) Conference 5th June 2016

 

Machin A J
We’re addicted to love: The neurobiology of human relationships
Invited talk at 2015 Human Sciences Symposium, Magdalen College, Oxford 21st February 2015

 

Machin A J
Mind the Gap: The expectation and reality of involved fatherhood
Oral presentation at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference (Birmingham, 7th-9th May 2014)

 

Machin A J
Is kinship a schema? Measuring the cognitive load of kinship and friendship
Oral presentation at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference (Birmingham, 7th-9th May 2014)

 

Machin A J, & Dunbar RIM
Is kinship a schema? Measuring the cognitive load of kinship and friendship
Oral presentation at the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association Annual Conference (Bristol 6th-9th April 2014)

 

Machin A J & Dunbar RIM
The role for β-endoprhin in the maintenance of long-term human relationships
Poster presentation at the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association Annual Conference (Bristol 6th-9th April 2014)

 

Machin A J & Dunbar RIM
Is kinship a schema? Measuring the cognitive load of kinship and friendship
Invited talk Department of Psychology Departmental Seminar (University of Northampton 26th March 2014)

 

Tuominen L, Hirvonen J, Sams M, Jaaskelainen I, Machin A, Hari R, Dunbar R & Nummenmaa L
Social touch activates endogenous µ-opioid system in Humans: A PET study
Oral presentation given at Neuroscience 2013 (Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience) (San Diago 9th-13th November 2013)

 

Machin A J
Team Woman v Island Man : Exploring the role, value and maintenance of our closest relationships from a male and female perspective
Oral Presentation given at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference (Harrogate, 9th-11th April 2013)

 

Machin A J & Dunbar RIM
Is kinship a schema? Measuring the cognitive load of kinship and friendship
Poster presentation given at the British Neuroscience Association Festival, Barbican (London, 7th-10th April 2013)

 

 

'Anna’s work gets to the very heart of what it is to be human'

Get in touch!

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www.felicitybryan.org.uk

01865 513816

 

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