Labs, Groups and Networks

chbhbuildingThe Centre for Human Brain Health is home to a number of PI-led labs, research groups and journal clubs, together encompassing world-leading expertise in a breadth of research areas.

All CHBH-affiliated labs, groups and networks can be found below, in alphabetical order. 

Ageing and Cognomics Lab

Our research combines cognitive testing with advanced MRI methods and genomics with the aim to provide a mechanistic model of age-related cognitive decline and insights into heterogeneity of ageing trajectories.

PI Lead
Dr Magda Chechlacz


Autism, Social Cognition and Bodily Movement

Our research team studies social cognition and bodily movement (and links between the two) in autistic and non-autistic adults.

PI Lead
Dr Jennifer Cook



Birmingham Language Learning and Bilingualism Lab

The lab's main focus is language learning and bilingualism, the current research focus being the interplay of language learning and language processing with general cognitive functions. The lab also works on language learning in children, predominantely word learning (such as verbs and compound nouns). 
With regards to bilingualism research, the lab has previously studied vocabulary development in bilingual children, and more recently, how bili
ngualism interacts with cognitive control.

PI Lead
Dr Andrea Krott





The Birmingham Epilepsy Research Network

Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab

The aim of lab's research is to investigate what insight electrophysiological activity measured at the scalp using  EEG and MEG, can provide on how the brain processes information from the outside world.  The lab is also interested in why certain individuals are more vulnerable than others to developing neurodegenerative disorders.

PI Lead
Dr Ali Mazaheri


Cognitive Neuroscience of
​Atypical Attention Lab

Attention control and specifically distractor suppression is a fundamental process that is called upon in a variety of scenarios. In fact, different scenarios might also depend on our inherent ‘inability’ to suppress distractors (imagine crossing the road while focusing on your phone…). However, our ability to efficiently suppress irrelevant information is affected by a number of factors such as brain trauma (or brain health more generaly), expression of specific traits such as Autism or Psychosis tendencies or in neurodevelopmental disorder (e.g., ADHD). The work in the lab utilises a variety of methodologies including brain stimulation (TMS/ tDCS) and brain imaging (fMRI) together with behavioural investigations

PI Lead
Dr Carmel Mevorach



mevorach lab

Computational Neuroimaging Lab

Welcome to the Computational Neuroimaging Lab (CNL) at the University of Birmingham. CNL is part of the Computational Life Sciences research theme of the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham. The lab was founded in Sep 2021 and is lead by Dr Felipe Orihuela-Espina.

At CNL we develop models and analysis tools to understand the neural system. This involves multidisciplinary research from computing (mainly), mathematics and statistics, and a bit of physics and neuroscience. We focus on mathematical and computational questions such as manifold modelling and causality that have implications for both segregational and integrational neuroscientific questions. We have a key research area on functional optical neuroimaging modalities such as fNIRS and DCS.

PI Lead
Dr Felipe Orihuela-Espina


Felipe's image


Cruse Lab

We aim to improve clinical practice following severe brain injury through the application of methods from cognitive electrophysiology. By identifying residual neural and cognitive mechanisms, we will be able to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and prognostication, and gain a more accurate understanding of how the brain supports consciousness and cognition.

PI Lead
Dr Damian Cruse




Eating Behaviour Research Group

Research within the Eating Behaviour Research Group (EBRG) combines expertise in Psychology, Human Nutrition, Neuroscience and Experimental Medicine.
Research in the EBRG includes investigations examining:

  • The role of cognitions such as learning, memory and attention in eating behaviour and the biological mechanisms that underpin these processes
  • Social influences on eating behaviour
  • Eating behaviours and practices in children and adults with ADHD
  • Eating behaviours and practices in children and adults with gastrointestinal disorders

PI Lead
Professor Suzanne Higgs


Fernández-Espejo Lab

Our main goal is to understand how the brain supports consciousness and what goes wrong for patients to become entirely unaware after severe brain injury. We use techniques such as MRI (structural and functional), tDCS, and behavioural approaches in both healthy volunteers and patients with a disorder of consciousness to test hypothesis about the role of different brain structures in the clinical deficits they present. Our research is directly translated into the development of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers to be used in clinical settings, as well as the development of novel treatment approaches.

PI Lead
Dr Davinia Fernández-Espejo




def lab

Galea Lab

We are broadly interested in motor control and learning. We use behavioural, non-invasive stimulation, brain imaging, genetics and pharmacology techniques to better understand how our brain controls and learns movements in health and disease.  At present, we are investigating how reward/punishment-based feedback influences our actions and can be used to alter the speed at which our motor system learns or retains new movements.  

PI Lead
Dr Joseph Galea


The Hand Lab

The Hand Laboratory conducts neuroscience research on how humans perceive, move and use their hands. At the moment, we work on three main research topics: 1) The control of rapid reaching and grasping movements; 2) The perception of touch on the hands; 3) How we make rapid decisions about which hand to move. We use many methods to study these topics, but we focus on brain stimulation (transcranial magnetic stimulation, TMS), electromyography (EMG), motion tracking & psychophysics. We work with both typically developing children and adults, and with people experiencing movement difficulties.

PI Lead
Dr Nick Holmes


handlab picture

Medical Imaging and Image Interpretation Group

The Medical Imaging and Image Interpretation Group is focused on finding novel, non-invasive methods of acquiring image data and extracting information from this data. Some of the recent work has been focused on developing novel techniques that allow us to use the features and properties of an optical image to infer quantitative information about the structure and composition of the tissue being imaged. 

PI Lead
Professor Ela Claridge

The Midlands Medical Imaging Network

The Midlands Medical Imaging Network (MMIN) aims to bring together inter-disciplinary expertise from across the Midlands region in the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of medical imaging data in health and pathology (MRI, MEG, bioinformatics and computational methods). 

MMIN Chair
Professor Andrew Bagshaw

mmin mi logo

Midlands Sleep Group (MSG)

The University of Birmingham (UoB), University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHT) and other Midlands organisations collectively have developed an impressive expertise in the field of sleep in terms of research and the clinical services.
We formed a group of clinicians, academics and practitioners who have a broad interest in sleep and sleep research in 2017. The Group is inclusive of any academic/clinical staff who have an interest in promoting and conducting sleep research and/or clinical sleep services in the Birmingham and the wider Midlands area.

PI Lead
Dr Isabel Morales-Muñoz



Motivation and Social Neuroscience Lab

Our group examines the role of fronto-striatal systems in the brain, their computations and the contributions of different brain chemicals underlying healthy and disrupted motivation. Our research dissects the contributions of different prefrontal regions, their computations and pharmacological basis of the processes that underlie 'social motivation'.

PI Lead
Dr Matthew Apps

msn matt apps

Motivated Cognition Lab

Members of the lab investigate the role of motivation and emotion in human cognition, with a particular focus on the role of reinforcement learning in perception and selection. We use a broad spectrum of cognitive neuroscience techniques including behavioural measures like reaction time, task accuracy, and personality assessment; neuroimaging techniques like electroencephalography, event-related potentials, and functional magnetic resonance imaging; and intervention techniques like transcranial electrical stimulation and psychopharmacology.

PI Lead
Dr Clayton Hickey

mgl c hickey

The Multimodal Integration Group

The Multimodal Integration Group (MIG) develops and applies methods from combined data techniques to investigate how the brain is impacted by epilepsy and sleep.

PI Lead
Professor Andrew Bagshaw


Neural Oscillations in Multisensory Communication

The main goal of our research group is to understand neural oscillatory mechanism in speech processing - both auditory and visual - as well as their integration that leads to a unified perception.

PI Lead
Dr Hyojin Park


Neurometabolic Imaging Lab

Our brains are composed of around 100 billion cells, each of which is constantly active undergoing a series of chemical reactions between small molecules known as metabolites. The goal of the neurometabolic imaging lab is to investigate how the quantities of these molecules relate to brain health and function.

PI Lead
Dr Martin Wilson


The Neuronal Oscillations Research Group

The main goal of the Neuronal Oscillations research group is to understand how oscillatory activity shapes the functional architecture of the working brain during cognitive processing. The research tools applied by the group include computational modeling, MEG, EEG combined with fMRI, EEG combined with TMS and intracranial recordings. We are also developing optically pumped magnetometers (OPMs). These tools are applied to investigate and interpret data from humans and animals performing attention and memory tasks.

PI Lead
Professor Ole Jensen


Neuroscience of Language Lab

Dr. Katrien Segaert's research lab focuses on the neurobiology of language processing, with a special focus on how sentence-level processes and interactive communication are supported by the brain. She also studies how the neurobiological infrastructure of language processing changes throughout the lifespan and researches lifestyle factors (such as regular physical exercise) that can mitigate language decline in older age.

PI Lead
Dr Katrien Segaert


Predictive Sensory Motor Lab (PRISM)

We are working on questions of sensory-motor control, motor learning, coordination and motor cognition. The main thrust of our work is to look at the role of predictive processes in the human motor system. This word cloud is from the titles of some of our recent published papers.

PI Lead
Professor Chris Miall


Quantum Gases Group

We are an experimental research group in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham. We are developing a novel technique to access the connectivity in the human brain by using optically pumped magnetometers (OPM), our approach provides new capabilities to understand the brain as a network and to investigate brain connectivity in cognition and disorders.

PI Lead
Dr Giovanni Barontini

quantum gases group

Psychosis Risk Immune Multimodal Early Detection Plus (PRIMED+) Research Group

The PRIMED+ (Psychosis Risk Immune Multimodal Early Detection Plus) research group is particularly interested in how environmental biological measures can help identify individuals who are at increased risk for developing psychosis, and early outcomes after psychosis has occurred. These are findings that can be translated into targeted interventions. The group investigate the association and causal mechanisms between increased innate inflammation and psychosis, developing a clinical model of psychosis and informed immune-related phenotyping.

Our research adopts a multidisciplinary approach, utilising advances in medicine, neuroscience, genetics, biosciences and data-driven analysis to better understand mental illness. This includes cutting-edge quantitative skills in computational modelling, statistical analysis, and data analytics using machine learning and other artificial intelligence-based techniques. The lab is led by Professor Rachel Upthegrove and Dr Jack Rogers and is based at the Institute for Mental Health, University of Birmingham. 

PI Leads
Professor Rachel Upthegrove
Dr Jack Rogers



primed plus research group

Skilled Action and Memory Lab

The ability to acquire a countless number of action sequences and retrieve them from memory accurately in the right context is crucial in daily life, from speech, tool use, typing and handwriting to athletic and musical performance. In each of these domains the nervous system needs to form a robust, but flexible memory of the spatio-temporal sequence involved. Several conditions affecting the pre-planning and organization of movement such as dyspraxia, stuttering and task-dependent dystonia can affect the learning, retrieval and control of skilled action sequences - with profound consequences for the individual in daily life.
The goal of the “Skilled Action & Memory” lab is threefold:

  1. To identify the neural basis of sequence and timing control;
  2. To characterize the functional plasticity related to long-term consolidation and training of skills;
  3. To develop entry-points for interventions that help repair or boost learning and performance in patients and the healthy population.

To address these aims, we use sequence learning paradigms in combination with neuroimaging pattern analysis (fMRI and MEG/EEG) and non-invasive neural stimulation techniques. This work is complemented by collaborations with colleagues who use computational, clinical and animal neurophysiology approaches to tackle related questions together across disciplines.

PI Lead
Dr Katja Kornysheva



Social, Cognitive, Affective & Neuroscience - SCAN Lab

The focus of our research is on understanding the mechanistic interplay between the social, cognitive, affective, and neurocognitive factors implicated in the development and persistence of antisocial and aggressive behaviour.  A second strand of our research is to examine those aspects among youths who have experienced early adversity. A common goal across these two strands of research is to understand how environmental and individual factors interact throughout the lifespan to increase risks for poor outcomes or promote resilience.

PI Lead
Dr Stephane De Brito



Social Decision Neuroscience Lab

We study the cognitive, computational and neural mechanisms of social learning and decision-making. Our lab uses behavioural paradigms, computational modelling, neuroimaging and patient studies to tackle these questions.

PI Lead
Dr Patricia Lockwood

social decisioun neuro

System Neuroscience Journal Club

The journal club is a weekly lunch meeting open to anyone interested in system neuroscience, particularly electrophysiological recordings in animals and humans but also (f)MRI studies and brain stimulation. It's an informal meeting where exciting/interesting/ inspiring/'fresh-from-the-press' published papers will be presented and discussed. Its aim is to keep us up to date with recent happenings and to deepen our knowledge and understanding of recent developments in the field.

PI Lead
Professor Ole Jensen

system neuro journal club

Universitas 21 Autism Research Network

We are the U21 Autism Research Network. The Network was set up with funds from the Universitas 21 Researcher Resilience Fund, bringing together 6 autism research groups from U21 universities. We aim to make a starting point in addressing challenges to collaboration across borders as well as the lack of diversity and inclusion in autism research.

PI Lead
Dr Sophie Sowden


Witek Lab - Music Cognition Research

Rhythm and timing are musical features that can affect how we feel and how we move. For example, a rhythmic pattern with complex cross-rhythmic tendencies can invite dancing, through the sensation of groove. And when synchronising our movements with others – as when dancing together in a club or playing together in band rehearsal – we can feel as if the boundaries between us and the others start to become blurred. At the Witek Lab, we study the cognitive and socio-affective mechanisms that might explain these experiences.

PI Lead
Dr Maria Witek


witek lab