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 and societal sectors 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, 1997) at Imperial College, and behavioural neuroscience (PhD, 2002) at Cambridge with Professors Barry Everitt and Trevor Robbins.

I then visited the lab of Professor Patrick Haggard at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL (2003). Next I moved to the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London for further postdoctoral training (2004).

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 to work as a science journalist at Nature.

I have been leading CINN since 2018. I was named Professor of Neuroscience in 2020.

Previous Positions

Council Member, European Brain and Behaviour Society (EBBS)


British Science Association Media Fellow

Nature News, supported by the BBSRC2015 (you can read about this experience here)

Associate Professor in Cognitive Neurobiology

School of Psychology and Clinical Language SciencesUniversity of Reading2014-2020

Visiting Faculty

Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University2010

Research Associate

Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London2009-2018

Assistant Professor in Developmental Psychopathology

School of Psychology and Clinical Language SciencesUniversity of Reading2009-2014

Postdoctoral Research Assistant and Honorary Lecturer

Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London2005-2009

Visiting Research Associate

Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL2004-2005

Research Assistant

Department 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 Biology

Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London1994-1997
image credit: "La Coiffure", Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (The National Gallery, London)