After completing my first degree in philosophy and psychology in 1997 at Oxford University, I moved to Cambridge University in 1998 for my PhD in cognitive neuroscience, at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, under the supervision of Adrian Owen and John Duncan. Following my PhD, I stayed on as a research fellow, until early 2010, when I moved to the Sackler Centre For Consciousness Science, at the University of Sussex. From 2017, I returned to Cambridge, this time to carry out research at the department of at the Department of Psychology in the University of Cambridge.
My research has focused on our most complex thoughts, and how the brain supports such processes. These questions are intimately connected with the science of consciousness, which is the main field I currently study, from various angles.
Throughout my career, I’ve been passionate about communicating science, whether in class to my undergraduate and graduate students, or to the wider public. I have appeared on many radio programmes talking about my ideas (see here for more info). My work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and online sites including Scientific American, New Scientist, Salon, Slate, Wired UK, the BBC and others. I also enjoy giving public talks, and have recently done this at the Royal Institution, the London Science Museum and the Mind Science Foundation in Texas (in their distinguished speaker series).
I have written a popular science book, The Ravenous Brain, about the cutting edge science of consciousness (published by Basic Books in Sep 2012), which received many positive reviews, was chosen as a best book of 2012 in the Wall Street Journal by Sam Kean (author of The Violinist’s Thumb), the Book of the Week at the Times Higher Education magazine, the September main selection at Scientific American Book Club, and the second selection at the Book of the Month Club.
I also contributed eleven sections for 30 Second Brain (published by Icon Books, March 2014).