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

MC

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

 

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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

 

 

 

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The Birmingham Epilepsy Research Network

Cognitive Motor Neuroscience Lab

We are interested in all aspects of how people control and coordinate movement, and how these systems become imbalanced in disease. We are particularly interested in how different forms of stimulation can interact with the brain in order to regulate motor behaviour and decision making processes. This affords a mechanism through which to unveil the functional networks underlying motor control, while at the same time offering a therapeutic perspective with the potential to alleviate certain neurological symptoms.

PI Lead
Dr John-Stuart Brittain

 

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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


mazaherilab

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

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

 

 

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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

ebrg

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

 

 

 


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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


galealab

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
Dr Andrew Bagshaw (CHBH Co-Director)


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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

 

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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


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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


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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
Prof Andrew Bagshaw (CHBH Co-Director)



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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



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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


martinwilsonlab

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 (CHBH Co-Director)



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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



ksegalab

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



PRISM Lab

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

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

 

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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

 

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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


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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.


system neuro journal club