Our projects study cognitive/psychiatric disorders and comparative evolutionary neuroscience. We are interested in the relationship between brain structure and function in disease, development and aging - particularly related to language and social cognition.
Our studies of disease examine the neuroanatomy of Autism, Schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease using post-mortem human brain material in the Neuropathology Department in Oxford. These projects focus on columnar structure, lateralisation and adult cortical plasticity. In collaborations with the imaging groups in the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) and the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA) we are developing methods for detecting similar fine scale changes in vivo.
Our neuropsychology work investigates semantic organisation and face processing in neuropsychiatric disorders and anatomical correlates of IQ in adolescence and ageing. We have also used existing brain collections for comparative studies of chimpanzee and human neuroanatomy.
- Rebecca McKavanagh – Graduate student
- David Menassa – Graduate student
- Kirran Bakhshi – Graduate student
Autism - Funded by a 3 year project grant from Autism Speaks current work is investigating the neuroanatomy of the social cognitive brain network in autism.
Alzheimer’s disease – Fine structural change shows regionally selective correlations with cognitive measures. We are developing methods for early detection of different dementias.
Schizophrenia – Age related plasticity is altered in psychosis. This may be the of cause of altered semantic memory organisation in language.
Evolution – Comparisons of chimpanzees and humans reveal differences in the hierarchical organisation of brain regions and cerebral asymmetry.
We run the Cognition & Culture course (currently available as a 3rd year option for the Human Sciences BSc)