Our work uses state-of-the-art methods including: psychophysics, eye tracking, electrophysiology (EEG), functional and structural brain imaging, computational modeling, Virtual Reality (VR), brain stimulation (e.g. TMS) and neuropsychological studies of patients with acquired cognitive, sensory and motor impairments (e.g. strokes) and neuro-degenerative illnesses (e.g. Parkinson’s disease).
The pain research team investigates brain mechanisms by which the conscious experience of pain (both experimental and clinical) is generated and how brain states influence pain-related behaviour.
Our aim is to identify brain mechanisms and biomarkers that can both predict outcomes from clinical interventions (for example, spinal cord stimulation or cognitive-behavioural treatments) and aid in the development of new treatments. Our strategy is to translate theory and evidence from cognitive neuroscience and pain psychology into the development of new clinical methods for improving the long-term prognosis of patients with chronic pain. We have expertise in the use of human experimental pain models and the application of electrophysiology and neuroimaging to analyse brain structure and pain processing.
We study the neurobiological and psychological foundations of low-level and high-level vision and attention systems in the human brain, using a wide range of techniques (psychophysics, eye tracking, EEG, f/MRI, brain stimulation (e.g., TMS), neuropsychological studies with patients (e.g. Glaucoma, Parkinsons, stroke patients) and other visual deficiencies. The aim it so translate basic vision research into non-invasive behavioural interventions. We also work with machine vision and robotics collaborators on the development of biologically-inspired robotics and machine vision applications.
For more information please visit the personal webpages of Charles Leek, Sophie Wuerger, Alexis Makin, Giulia Rampone, Laurence Tidbury, Carole Bode, Philippe Chassey, Daniel Roberts and Reshanne Reeder.
Multisensory Research, Virtual and Augmented Reality
All animals, even the simplest ones, have multiple sensory systems to experience their bodies and surroundings. Information from all the senses is combined by the brain to get faster, more precise and more accurate perceptual estimates.
We investigate the computational principles of multisensory integration by combining behavioural methods (psychophysics, reaction times, motion and eye-tracking, etc.), computational modelling (Bayesian Ideal Observer models, biological cybernetics and neural models) and physiological measures (MEG, fMRI, EEG). Our multisensorial research in conjunction with the state-of-the-art VR system at the Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC) and Digital Innovation Facilities (DIF) has direct applications for learning, rehabilitation and novel interactive technologies.
Neurobiology of Language, Speech and Memory
Our goal is to establish how the human brain is able to perceive, understand and remember our complex real-world experiences, with a particular focus on naturalistic language experiences, both spoken and signed language, and its interactions with memory.
Our research makes use of multiple methodologies, including functional and structural MRI (fMRI, DTI), EEG, computational modelling and TMS to provide convergent evidence on the neural basis of language and memory in healthy and patient populations, and to translate these findings from cognitive neuroscience to clinical settings.
We also investigate how language and memory functions break down in individuals with brain damage to obtain unique insights, informative for cognitive neuroscience models of language and memory.
Our research lies at the intercept of social psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Our work aims to address questions such as:
1) To what extent self and other representations overlap or should be distinguished during social interactions?
2) What role do individual differences play when self-other processes go awry?
We use a combination of behavioural and cognitive neuroscience methods to address this question. The goal is to gain a deeper understanding of key processes underlying social interactions both in typical and atypical populations such as autism and mirror-sensory synaesthesia (individuals who experience vicarious touch or pain in their bodies when observing others being touched or in pain).
A key focus or our current work is in autism spectrum disorder. This research uses a mixed method approach and relates to issues around late diagnosis, autism in females, masking, mental health and wellbeing of autistic children and adults.
I would welcome enquiries from potential PhD students interested in these areas of research. I am also happy to host visiting students and researchers in our lab.
For more information please visit the personal webpage of Idalmis Santiesteban.
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