Fiona McNab’s PhD involved studies of language processing using MEG at the Open University and Aston University. She then completed a short postdoc at Exeter University, investigating semantic processing with behavioural testing and fMRI. In 2005 she moved to Sweden for a second postdoc at the Karolinksa Institute in Stockholm. During this period she investigated working memory and attention, providing empirical support for a role for the basal ganglia in the control of access to working memory and identification of changes in the dopamine system related to working memory training. At The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL, with a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship, she designed the working memory game in the large-scale smartphone study; “The Great Brain Experiment”, leading to studies of different types of distraction in younger adults as well as in healthy ageing. In 2013 she moved to Birmingham University, where she conducted fMRI and behavioural studies of attention and working memory, and behavioural studies of the effects of competition on working memory.
Fiona currently holds a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship and an ESRC Seminar Series grant on “Cognitive intervention across the lifespan”.
Using fMRI and behavioural studies I am investigating what limits working memory, how different types of distractors are successfully ignored and how working memory changes with healthy aging, as well as in certain patient groups.
In collaboration with Joseph Galea (University of Birmingham), I am investigating the association between working memory and motor control.