We investigate the neural function and dysfunction at scales from molecular mechanisms through to the behaviour of whole organisms.

Our research focuses on three areas:

  • Sensory and motor neuroscience
  • Neuroscience in the lifespan
  • Cognitive neuroscience 

Research programmes and collaborations between our investigators draw on expertise across departments and different areas of neuroscience.

Research snapshots


Theme Leader: Professor Tony Morland, Department of Psychology

Professor Morland uses functional brain imaging techniques to investigate the organisation of the visual areas of the human brain in health and disease. He is particularly interested in the way that eye disease impacts on the structural, functional and neurochemical characteristics of the brain.

MemberExpertiseSelected publications
Professor Tony Morland (Theme Leader)

fMRI; Visual Neuroscience; psychophysics; evoked potentials and field; transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Morland AB. Organization of the Central Visual Pathways Following Field Defects Arising from Congenital, Inherited, and Acquired Eye Disease. Annu Rev Vis Sci. (2015) 1:329-350.

Vernon RJ, Gouws AD, Lawrence SJ, Wade AR, Morland AB. Multivariate Patterns in the Human Object-Processing Pathway Reveal a Shift from Retinotopic to Shape Curvature Representations in Lateral Occipital Areas, LO-1 and LO-2. (2016) Journal of Neurosci. 36:5763-74.

Dr Daniel Baker Visual neuroscience; Binocular vision; Computational modelling; Amblyopia; Autism.

Smith, AK, Wade, ARP, Penkman, KEH & Baker, DH 2017, 'Dietary modulation of cortical excitation and inhibition', Journal of Psychopharmacology, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 632-637.

Vilidaite, G, Norcia, AM, West, RJH, Elliott, CJH, Pei, F, Wade, ARP & Baker, DH 2018, 'Autism sensory dysfunction in an evolutionarily conserved system', Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 285, no. 1893, 20182255.

Dr Heidi Baseler Vision; Neuroimaging; Neuroprotection; Blindness; Deafness.

Prins, D, Plank, T, Baseler, HA, Gouws, AD, Beer, A, Morland, AB, Greenlee, MW & Cornelissen, FW 2016, 'Surface-Based Analyses of Anatomical Properties of the Visual Cortex in Macular Degeneration', PLoS ONE, vol. 11, no. 1, e0146684.

Codina, CJ, Pascalis, O, Baseler, HA, Levine AT & Buckley, D 2018 ‘Peripheral reaction time is faster in deaf adults and British Sign Language interpreters than in hearing adults’, Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 8, no. 50.

Dr Scott Cairney Sleep; Memory; Emotion; Mental Health; Polysomnography.

Cairney, SA, Guttesen, A, El Marj, N & Staresina, B 2018, 'Memory consolidation is linked to spindle-mediated information processing during sleep', Current Biology, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 948-954.

Cairney, SA, Durrant, SJ, Power, R & Lewis, PA 2015, 'Complementary Roles of Slow-Wave Sleep and Rapid Eye Movement Sleep in Emotional Memory Consolidation', Cerebral Cortex, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 1565-1575.

Dr Sangeeta Chawla Synaptic-plasticity; Transcription, Circadian; Ca2+ signalling; Oxidative stress.

Nippe, O, Wade, ARP, Elliott, CJH & Chawla, S 2017, 'Circadian rhythms in visual responsiveness in the behaviourally arrhythmic Drosophila clock mutant ClkJrk', Journal of Biological Rhythms, vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 583-592.

Fogg, PCM, O'Neill, JS, Dobrzycki, T, Calvert, S, Lord, EC, McIntosh, RLL, Elliott, CJH, Sweeney, ST, Hastings, MH & Chawla, S 2014, 'Class IIa histone deacetylases are conserved regulators of circadian function', The Journal of biological chemistry, vol. 289, pp. 34341-34348.

Dr Han-Jou Chen Chaperone; neurodegeneration; HSF1; TDP-43; RNA binding proteins.

Smith, BN, Topp, SD, Fallini, C, Shibata, H, Chen, H-J, Troakes, C, King, A, Ticozzi, N, Kenna, KP, Soragia-Gkazi, A, Miller, JW, Sato, A, Dias, DM, Jeon, M, Vance, C, Wong, CH, de Majo, M, Kattuah, W, Mitchell, JC, Scotter, EL, Parkin, NW, Sapp, PC, Nolan, M, Nestor, PJ, Simpson, M, Weale, M, Lek, M, Baas, F, Vianney de Jong, JM, Ten Asbroek, ALMA, Redondo, AG, Esteban-Pérez, J, Tiloca, C, Verde, F, Duga, S, Leigh, N, Pall, H, Morrison, KE, Al-Chalabi, A, Shaw, PJ, Kirby, J, Turner, MR, Talbot, K, Hardiman, O, Glass, JD, De Belleroche, J, Maki, M, Moss, SE, Miller, C, Gellera, C, Ratti, A, Al-Sarraj, S, Brown, RH, Silani, V, Landers, JE & Shaw, CE 2017, 'Mutations in the vesicular trafficking protein annexin A11 are associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis', Science Translational Medicine, vol. 9, no. 388.

Chen, H-J, Mitchell, JC, Novoselov, SS, Miller, JW, Nishimura, A, Scotter, EL, Vance, CA, Cheetham, ME & Shaw, CED 2016, 'The heat shock response plays an important role in TDP-43 clearance: evidence for dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis', Brain, vol. 139, no. 5, pp. 1417-1432.

Professor Simon Duckett

MRI; NMR; Hyperpolarisation; Metabolism; Diagnosis.

Iali, W, Rayner, PJ & Duckett, SB 2018, 'Using Parahydrogen to Hyperpolarize Amines, Amides, Carboxylic Acids, Alcohols, Phosphates and Carbonates', Science Advances, vol. 4, no. 1, eaao6250, pp. 1-7.

Rayner, PJ, Burns, MJ, Olaru, AM, Norcott, P, Fekete, M, Green, GGR, Highton, LAR, Mewis, RE & Duckett, SB 2017, 'Delivering strong 1H nuclear hyperpolarization levels and long magnetic lifetimes through signal amplification by reversible exchange', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 114, no. 16, 2016-20457RR, pp. E3188-E3194.

Dr Chris Elliott Neuroscience; Parkinson’s disease related genes.

Nippe, OM, Wade, AR, Elliott, CJH & Chawla, S 2017, 'Circadian Rhythms in Visual Responsiveness in the Behaviorally Arrhythmic Drosophila Clock Mutant ClkJrk', Journal of Biological Rhythms, vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 583-592.

Cording, A, Shiaelis, N, Petridi, S, Middleton, CA, Wilson, LG & Elliott, CJH 2017, 'Targeted kinase inhibition relieves slowness and tremor in a Drosophila model of LRRK2 Parkinson’s disease', npj Parkinson's Disease, vol. 3, no. 34.

Dr Gareth Evans

Neuronal signalling; Neuronal development; Neuroblastoma; Kinase biochemistry.

Lewis, PA, Bradley, IC, Pizzey, AR, Isaacs, HV & Evans, GJO 2017, 'N1-Src kinase is required for primary neurogenesis in Xenopus tropicalis', Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 37, no. 35, pp. 8477-8584.

Dunning, CJR, Black, HL, Andrews, KL, Davenport, EC, Conboy, M, Chawla, S, Dowle, AA, Ashford, D, Thomas, JR & Evans, GJO 2016, 'Multisite tyrosine phosphorylation of the N-terminus of Mint1/X11α by Src kinase regulates the trafficking of amyloid precursor protein', Journal of Neurochemistry, vol. 137, no. 4, pp. 518-527.

Dr Karla K. Evans  Attention; Perception; Translational Research; Memory; Neuroimaging.

Evans, K, Haygood, T, Cooper, J, Culpan, A-M & Wolfe, J 2016, 'A half second glimpse often lets radiologists identify breast cancer cases even when viewing the mammogram of the opposite breast', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 113, no. 36.

Evans, K & Baddeley, AD 2018, 'Intention, Attention and Long-term Memory for Visual Scenes: It all depends on the scenes', Cognition, vol. 180, pp. 24-37.

Professor Gareth Gaskell  Sleep; Memory consolidation; Polysomnography; Development, Language.

Gaskell, MG, Cairney, SA & Rodd, JM 2019, 'Contextual priming of word meanings is stabilized over sleep', Cognition, vol. 182, no. 1, pp. 109-126.

Smith, FR, Gaskell, MG, Weighall, AR, Warmington, M, Reid, AM & Henderson, LM 2018 ‘Consolidation of vocabulary is associated with sleep in typically developing children, but not in children with dyslexia’, Developmental Science, vol. 21, no. 5, e12639.

Dr Silke Göbel  Developmental cognitive neuroscience; Numeracy development; Functions of the parietal lobe; Dyscalculia, Dyslexia. Göbel, SM, McCrink, K, Fischer, MH & Shaki, S 2018, 'Observation of Directional Storybook Reading Influences Young Children’s Counting Direction', Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, vol. 166, pp. 49-66.

Moll, K, Göbel, SM & Snowling, MJ 2015, 'Basic number processing in children with specific learning disorders: Comorbidity of reading and mathematics disorders', Child neuropsychology, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 399-417.

Dr Darren Goffin Neuroscience; Rett syndrome; Electrophysiology; DNA methylation; MeCP2.

Johnson, BS, Zhao, Y-T, Fasolino, M, Lamonica, JM, Kim, YJ, Georgakilas, G, Wood, KH, Bu, D, Goffin, DL, Cui, Y, Vahedi, G, Kim, TH & Zhou, Z 2017, 'Biotin tagging of MeCP2 in mice reveals contextual insights into the Rett syndrome transcriptome', Nature Medicine, vol. 23, pp.1203-1214.

Goffin, D, Brodkin, ES, Blendy, JA, Siegel, SJ & Zhou, Z 2014, 'Cellular origins of auditory event-related potential deficits in Rett syndrome', Nature neuroscience, vol. 17, pp. 804-806.

 Dr David Halliday Computational Neuroscience, Neural signal processing.

Halliday, DM, Senik, MH, Stevenson, CW & Mason, R 2016, 'Non parametric directionality analysis - extension for removal of a single common predictor and application to time series', Journal of Neuroscience Methods, vol. 268, pp. 87-97.

West, TO, Berthouze, L, Halliday, DM, Litvak, V, Sharott, A, Magill, PJ & Farmer, SF 2018, 'Propagation of Beta/Gamma Rhythms in the Cortico-Basal Ganglia Circuits of the Parkinsonian Rat', Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 119, no. 5, pp. 1608-1628.

Dr Tom Hartley Hippocampus, Dementia, fMRI, Computational modelling, Neural networks.

Chan, D, Gallaher, LM, Moodley, K, Minati, L, Burgess, N & Hartley, T 2016, 'The 4 Mountains Test: a short test of spatial memory with high sensitivity for the diagnosis of pre-dementia Alzheimer’s disease', Journal of Visualized Experiments, no. 116, pp. 1-14.

Hartley, T, Lever, C, Burgess, N & O'Keefe, J 2014, 'Space in the brain: how the hippocampal formation supports spatial cognition', Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society Of London Series B - Biological Sciences, vol. 369, no. 1635, 20120510, pp. 20120510.

Dr Lisa Henderson Development, Language, Disorders, Autism, Sleep.

Henderson, L-M & James, EL 2018, 'Consolidating new words from repetitive versus multiple stories: Prior knowledge matters', Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, vol. 166, pp. 465-484.

James, EL, Gaskell, MG, Weighall, AR & Henderson, L-M 2017, 'Consolidation of vocabulary during sleep: the rich get richer?', Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, vol. 77, pp. 1-13.

Dr Aidan Horner Memory; Dementia; Hippocampus; fMRI; MEG.

Horner, AJ, Bisby, JA, Bush, D, Lin, W-J & Burgess, N 2015, 'Evidence for holistic episodic recollection via hippocampal pattern completion', Nature Communications, vol. 6, 7462, pp. 1-11.

Horner, AJ, Bisby, J, Zotow, E, Bush, D & Burgess, N 2016, 'Grid-like processing of imagined navigation', Current Biology, vol. 26, pp. 842-847.

Dr Mark Hymers MEG; fMRI; Methods; Auditory processing; Clinical.

Hymers, M, Prendergast, G, Can, L, Schulze, A, Young, M, Wastling, SJ, Barker, GJ & Millman, RE 2015, 'Neural mechanisms underlying song and speech perception can be differentiated using an illusory percept', Neuroimage, vol. 108, pp. 225-233.

Partridge, AM, Prendergast, G & Hymers, M 2017, ‘Amplitude Modulation detection ability can be differentially affected using state-dependent Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation’, OSF Preprints. doi:10.31219/osf.io/twfc5.

 Professor Beth Jefferies Semantic; fMRI; MEG; TMS; Memory.

Davey, JM, Thompson, HE, Hallam, GP, Karapanagiotidis, T, Murphy, CE, De Caso, I, Krieger-Redwood, KM, Bernhardt, BC, Smallwood, J & Jefferies, EA 2016, 'Exploring the role of the posterior middle temporal gyrus in semantic cognition: Integration of anterior temporal lobe with executive processes', Neuroimage, vol 137, pp. 165-177.

Vatansever, D, Bzdok, D, Wang, H-T, Mollo, G, Sormaz, M, Murphy, C, Karapanagiotidis, T, Smallwood, J & Jefferies, E 2017, 'Varieties of semantic cognition revealed through simultaneous decomposition of intrinsic brain connectivity and behaviour', Neuroimage, vol. 158, pp. 1-11.

Dr Aneurin Kennerley Magnetic Resonance Imaging; functional MRI; Optical Imaging; Neuroscience; Hyperpolarisation.

Muthana, M, Kennerley, AJ, Hughes, R, Fagnano, E, Richardson, J, Paul, M, Murdoch, C, Wright, F, Payne, C, Lythgoe, MF, Farrow, N, Dobson, J, Conner, J, Wild, JM & Lewis, C 2015, 'Directing cell therapy to anatomic target sites in vivo with magnetic resonance targeting', Nature Communications, vol. 6, 8009.

Bruyns-Haylett, M, Luo, J, Kennerley, AJ, Harris, S, Boorman, LW, Milne, E, Vautrelle, N, Hayashi, Y, Whalley, BJ, Jones, M, Berwick, J, Riera, J & Zheng, Y 2017, 'The neurogenesis of P1 and N1: A concurrent EEG/LFP study', Neuroimage, vol. 146, pp. 575-588.

Dr Adar Pelah  Visual-perception; Sensory-motor; Locomotion; Virtual-reality-biofeedback; Rehabilitation.

Pelah, A, Barbur, J, Thurrell, A & Hock, H 2014, 'The coupling of vision with locomotion in cortical blindness', Vision Research, vol. 110, no. Part B, pp. 286-294.

Kam, KF, Robinson, MP, Gilbert, MA & Pelah, A 2016, 'Modelling Framework and Assistive Device for Peripheral Intravenous Injections', Open Engineering, vol. 6.

Dr Steven Quinn Single-molecule spectroscopy; Alzheimer’s disease; Fluorescence, FRET, Model-membranes.

Quinn, SD, Dalgarno, PA, Cameron, RT, Hedley, GJ, Hacker, C, Lucocq, JM, Baillie, GS, Samuel, IDW & Penedo, JC 2014, 'Real-time probing of β-amyloid self-assembly and inhibition using fluorescence self-quenching between neighbouring dyes', Molecular BioSystems, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 34-44.

Cameron, RT, Quinn, SD, Cairns, LS, MacLeod, R, Samuel, IDW, Smith, BO, Carlos Penedo, J & Baillie, GS 2014, 'The phosphorylation of Hsp20 enhances its association with amyloid-β to increase protection against neuronal cell death', Molecular and cellular neuroscience, vol. 61, no. July 2014, pp. 46-55.

Professor Stephen Smith AI and Machine Learning; Intelligent medical devices; Neurodegenerative conditions; Cell tracking, Characterisation and classification; Analysis and characterisation of Raman spectra.

Smith, SL, Lones, MA, Bedder, M, Alty, JE, Cosgrove, J, Maguire, RJ, Pownall, ME, Ivanoiu, D, Lyle, C, Cording, A & Elliott, CJH 2015, 'Computational approaches for understanding the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease', IET Systems Biology, vol. 9, no. 6, pp. 226-233.

Zhang, Z, Bedder, M, Smith, SL, Walker, D, Shabir, S & Southgate, J 2016, 'Characterization and Classification of Adherent Cells in Monolayer Culture using Automated Tracking and Evolutionary Algorithms', Biosystems, vol. 146, pp. 110-121.

Dr Sean Sweeney

Drosophila genetics; Neuromuscular junction; Frontotemporal Dementia;
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Pathological signalling.

West, RJH, Ugbode, C, Gao, F-B & Sweeney, S 2018, 'The Pro-Apoptotic JNK Scaffold POSH/SH3RF1 Mediates CHMP2BIntron5-Associated Toxicity in Animal Models Frontotemporal Dementia', Human Molecular Genetics, vol. 27, no. 8, pp. 1382–1395.

West, RJH, Lu, Y, Marie, B, Gao, F-B & Sweeney, S 2015, 'Rab8, POSH, and TAK1 regulate synaptic growth in a Drosophila model of frontotemporal dementia', Journal of Cell Biology, vol. 208, no. 7, pp. 931-947.

Professor Zion Tse

Medical Robotics; Medical Devices and Instrumentation; Image-guided Therapy; Mobile Health; MR Imaging

Gregory, TS, Oshinski, J, Schmidt, EJ, Kwong, RY, Stevenson, WG, Tse, ZTH 2015 ‘Continuous Rapid Quantification of Stroke Volume using Magnetohydrodynamic Voltages in 3T MRI: A Feasibility Study’, Circulation Imaging, vol. 8, no.12, pp.1-9.

Chen, Y, Xu, S, Squires, A, Seifabadi, R, Turkbey, IB, Pinto, PA, Choyke, P, Wood, B, Tse, ZTH 2017 ‘MRI-Guided Robotically Assisted Focal Laser Ablation of the Prostate Using Canine Cadavers’, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 65, no.7, pp. 1434-1442.

Professor Christina van der Feltz-Cornelis Psychiatry; Epidemiology; Translational research; Inflammation; Microbiome.

de Heer, EW, Dekker, J, Beekman, ATF, van Marwijk, HWJ, Holwerda, TJ, Bet, PM, Roth, J, Timmerman, L and van der Feltz-Cornelis, CM 2018, 'Comparative Effect of Collaborative Care, Pain Medication, and Duloxetine in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder and Comorbid (Sub)Chronic Pain: Results of an Exploratory Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter Trial (CC:PAINDIP)', Frontiers in psychiatry, vol. 9, 118.

Henningsen, P, Gündel, H, Kop, WJ, Löwe, B, Martin, A, Rief, W, Rosmalen, JGM, Schröder, A, van der Feltz-Cornelis, CM & Van den Bergh, O 2018, 'Persistent physical symptoms as perceptual dysregulation', Psychosomatic medicine, vol. 80, no. 5, pp. 422-432.

Professor Alex Wade Vision, Attention, fMRI, EEG, Neuroimaging.

Afsari, F, Christensen, K, Smith, G, Hentzer, M, Nippe, O, Elliott, C & Wade, A 2014, 'Abnormal visual gain control in a Parkinson's disease model', Human Molecular Genetics, pp. 1-14.

Benjamin, AV, Wailes-Newson, KH, Ma-Wyatt, A, Baker, DH & Wade, ARP 2018, 'The effect of locomotion on early visual contrast processing in humans', Journal of neuroscience, vol. 38, no. 12, pp. 3050-3059.

Professor Miles Whittington Brain dynamics, cellular neuroscience, network behaviour, neurodevelopmental disorders, neuroinflammation.

Whittington, MA 2019, 'Parietal low beta rhythm provides a dynamical substrate for a working memory buffer', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 116, no. 33, pp. 16613-16620.

Hunt, MJ, Kopell, NJ, Traub, RD & Whittington, MA 2017, 'Aberrant Network Activity in Schizophrenia', Trends in neurosciences, vol. 40, no. 6, pp. 371-382.