Dr Amanda Wood PhD MPsych

Amanda Wood

School of Psychology

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My research combines computational brain image analysis with neuropsychological techniques to understand the basis and consequences of early life brain injuries. I have a particular interest in translating findings into practice that will support children, and people living with epilepsy. The current work of our interdisciplinary team can be found on the Neuropsychology and Paediatric Imaging Laboratory.


BSc(Hons) The University of Melbourne, Australia
PhD The University of Melbourne, Australia
MPsych (Clinical Neuropsychology), The University of Melbourne, Australia


Adult Neuropsychology Syndromes (3rd year undergraduate module)

Ad hoc teaching in MDS/PG modules within the school

Postgraduate supervision

Current students


  • Hayfaa Al Ansari (co-supervised with Professor Glyn Humphreys), UoB  
  • Paras Joshee, UoB
  • Penelope Hartmann - PhD candidate, Monash University, Australia
  • Marya Moybeen (Coventry University, Co-supervised with Professor Beth Grunfeld)
  • Ruth Pauli (Co-Supervised with Dr Stephane de Brito)
  • Kritsian Suen (co-supervised with Dr Linda Wheeldon), UoB

MSc Students

  • Sijia Kang (MA Psychology)
  • Olivia Mitchell (MSci)
  • Michaela Phipps (MSc Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience)

Soon to join the lab!

  • Ruth Pauli (co-supervised with Dr Stephane de Brito, UoB) – MIBTP doctoral candidate


Other activities

Lab News

We’re delighted to welcome new staff members working on our funded studies. A key part of the lab’s purpose is to train the next generation of scholars to conduct high quality clinical research. We’re lucky to receive a lot of interest in the sort of work we do, which makes building our team all the more fun. The following people have joined the lab recently: 

  • Jennifer Netherton is working with us on our study of brain structure and function in children who take glucocorticoids (either because they have a condition called Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, or asthma). This study is led by our collaborator in MDS, Dr Emma Webb.
  • Parnpreet Virk joined our Epilepsy Research UK pilot study on fMRI paradigms for presurgical mapping of memory in children. Pam is working at Aston University with study PI Professor Seri and Co-I Dr Foley.
  • Kirsty Hall, who previously studied with us as part of her Master’s training. She is now employed to work on our PCUK study, and is responsible for imaging, neuropsychology and cake.

Departmental responsibilities

  • Director of Postgraduate Research 

Professional commitments

  • Scientific Advisory Committee, Epilepsy Research UK
  • Division of Neuropsychology, Professional Standards Unit, British Psychological Society
  • Chair & Founding member, AEDiP (Antiepileptic Drugs in Pregnancy: Maternal and Child Health Advisory Committee)
  • Executive Committee and Scientific Advisory Board, Australian Pregnancy Register for Women with Epilepsy and Allied Disorders, 2009-present 

Recently funded research

Amanda Wood was awarded an ERC Consolidator Fellowship, funded by the European Research Council. Worth €2,226,923, PROBIt is a five-year program of research that draws together Dr Wood’s vision of combining computational modeling, advanced neuroimaging analysis, and clinical neuropsychology to improve the lives of children who have brain insults early in life. It represents an exciting opportunity for the NeuroPIL team, who’ll be joined by six new members in the coming months. 

We are very fortunate to have received funding to support our work from Epilepsy Action, Epilepsy Research UK, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Research Foundation, and Prostate Cancer UK. 

Key studies running in the lab at present:


  • The experience of parenting in women with epilepsy (Epilepsy Action)
  • Developmentally appropriate presurgical mapping of eloquent cortex in children with epilepsy (ERUK)
  • Risk and Resilience Factors Associated with Cognitive Changes Following Androgen Deprivation Therapy in Prostate Cancer Patients (PCUK)
  • NESH-kids (BCHRF)


Latest publication from the lab:

March 2015 – New paper accepted, highlighting impact of prenatal exposure on long-term behavioural development in children. This paper is the first prospective assessment of autism in a cohort of children exposed prenatally to antiepileptic drugs. It will be listed on ResearchGate once online https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Amanda_Wood/publications/ or you can email me for a copy.

Wood, AG., Nadebaum, C., Anderson, V., Reutens, DC. O’Brien, TJ., Vajda, F. (in press). Prospective assessment of autism traits in children exposed to antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy, Epilepsia 

Selected recent publications:

Gonzalez, LM., Embuldeniya, US., Harvey, AS., Wrennall, JA., Testa, R., Anderson, VA., Wood, AG. (2014) Developmental stage affects cognition in children with recently-diagnosed symptomatic focal epilepsy, Epilepsy and Behaviour; 39C:97-104

Wood, AG., Chen, J., Barton, S., Nadebaum, C., Anderson, VA., Reutens, DC., O’Brien, TJ., Vajda, F. (2014) Altered cortical thickness following prenatal sodium valproate exposure, Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology; 1(7), 497-501 doi: 10.1002/acn3.74

Sripada, CS., Phan, KL., Labuschagne, I., Welsh, R., Nathan, PJ., Wood, AG. (2013). Oxytocin enhances resting state connectivity between amygdala and medial frontal cortex. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 16(2):255-60

Nadebaum, C., Anderson, V., Reutens, DC., Vajda, F., Wood, AG. (2012) Childhood Cognitive Impairment Associated with Fetal Antiepileptic Drug Exposure: A Review. Developmental Neuropsychology, 37, 1-29.

Anderson VA. Spencer-Smith, M., Wood, AG (2011) Do children’s brains recover better? Plasticity, reorganisation and neurobehavioral change after early brain insult, Brain, 134, 2197-2221.