I study the neurobiological and psychological mechanisms of adaptive behaviour and learning, including how they develop, and what role they play in psychopathology.
I use human brain and body imaging (functional and structural MRI and MRS), psychophysiology, cross-species methods, behavioural analysis, and mathematical modelling.
With collaborators from multiple disciplines we take a molecules-to-mind approach to human cognition and behaviour.
We value open research practices, slow science, interdisciplinarity, and personal development.
I studied biology (BSc) at Imperial College London, and behavioural neuroscience (PhD) at Cambridge with Professors Barry Everitt and Trevor Robbins.
I then spent some time at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL in the lab of Professor Patrick Haggard, before moving to the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London for further postdoctoral training.
At the IoPPN I worked in developmental cognitive neuroscience with Professors Katya Rubia and Eric Taylor at the Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, and I trained in neuroimaging with Professors Mick Brammer and Gareth Barker, at the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences.
I moved to Reading in 2009 as a lecturer in Developmental Psychopathology. Sponsored by the Royal Society, I left briefly to train in computational modeling at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute with Professor Yael Niv in 2010.
In 2014 I was named a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
In 2015 I was awarded a Media Fellowship by the British Science Association, funded by the BBSRC. This enabled me to briefly leave Reading again and work as a science journalist at Nature.
I have been leading CINN since 2018. I was named Professor of Neuroscience in 2020.
Current Position and Affiliations
Professor of Neuroscience, University of Reading
Director, Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Director, Reading Functional Imaging Facility
Fellow, Higher Education Academy
Member, Reading Emotions, Centre for Cognition Research, The Theseans
Council Member, European Brain and Behaviour Society (EBBS)2018-2021
British Science Association Media FellowNature News, supported by the BBSRC2015 (you can read about this experience here)
Associate Professor in Cognitive NeurobiologySchool of Psychology and Clinical Language SciencesUniversity of Reading2014-2020
Visiting FacultyPrinceton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University2010
Research AssociateInstitute of Psychiatry, King's College London2009-2018
Assistant Professor in Developmental PsychopathologySchool of Psychology and Clinical Language SciencesUniversity of Reading2009-2014
Postdoctoral Research Assistant and Honorary LecturerInstitute of Psychiatry, King's College London2005-2009
Visiting Research AssociateInstitute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL2004-2005
Research AssistantDepartment of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge2001-2002
Philosophy Doctorate in Experimental Psychology (Behavioural Neuroscience)Prefrontal corticostriatal systems underlying executive attentionDepartment of Experimental Psychology (Peterhouse), University of Cambridge1997-2001
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in BiologyDepartment of Life Sciences, Imperial College London1994-1997