Dr Matthew Brett BA MB BChir

Dr Matthew Brett

School of Psychology

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Matthew Brett has worked in neurology, cognitive psychology, and methods of brain imaging analysis. His recent interests have been in new methods of teaching data analysis, drawing on his experience in open source scientific computing and current developments in the data science movement.

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  • BA Experimental Psychology (Cambridge 1987)
  • MB BChir in medicine and surgery (Cambridge 1990)
  • Member of the Royal College of Physicians (London 1994)


Matthew studied medicine at Cambridge, with a third year in experimental psychology. He continued his training at the Royal London Hospital and qualified in 1990. After finishing his general medical training, he specialized in neurology, before starting a research career on higher-order motor disorders in London and Oxford. He developed an interest in teaching and studying methods of brain imaging analysis, and continued his psychology and methods research in the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, where he was a Senior Investigator Scientist. A sabbatical in the University of California, Berkeley exposed him to the developing movements in open scientific software, reproducibility and data science, and he returned to Berkeley in 2008 to work on pursue these interests at the Berkeley Brain Imaging Center.

His current role at the University of Birmingham is to develop new methods of teaching computing and data analysis for undergraduates, as well as teaching and research in brain imaging analysis.


  • Development of new courses on data analysis / data science for undergraduates in the life sciences
  • Teaching brain imaging data analysis for the Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience MSc


Research interests

Methods of brain imaging analysis; reproducibility in brain imaging and psychology.


Grahn, Jessica A and Matthew Brett (2009). “Impairment of beat-based rhythm discrimination in Parkinson’s disease.” eng. In: Cortex 45.1, pp. 54–61. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2008.01.005.

Poldrack, Russell A, Paul C Fletcher, Richard N Henson, Keith J Worsley, Matthew Brett, and Thomas E Nichols (2008). “Guidelines for reporting an fMRI study.” eng. In: Neuroimage 40.2, pp. 409–414. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.11.048.

Brett, Matthew, William Penny, and Stefan Kiebel (2007). “Parametric procedures”. In: Statistical Parametric Mapping: The Analysis of Functional Brain Images. Ed. by Karl Friston, John Ashburner, Stefan Kiebel, Thomas Nichols, and William Penny. Elsevier, pp. 223–231.

Grahn, Jessica A and Matthew Brett (2007). “Rhythm and beat perception in motor areas of the brain.” eng. In: J Cogn Neurosci 19.5, pp. 893–906. doi: 10.1162/jocn.2007.19.5.893.

Millman, K. Jarrod and Matthew Brett (2007). “Analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging in Python”. In: Computing in Science & Engineering, pp. 52–55. issn: 1521-9615.

Spencer, Rebecca M C, Timothy Verstynen, Matthew Brett, and Richard Ivry (2007). “Cerebellar activation during discrete and not continuous timed movements: an fMRI study.” eng. In: Neuroimage 36.2, pp. 378–387. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.03.009.

Aston, John A D, Federico E Turkheimer, and Matthew Brett (2006). “HBM functional imaging analysis contest data analysis in wavelet space.” eng. In: Hum Brain Mapp 27.5, pp. 372–379. doi: 10.1002/hbm.20244.

Saxe, Rebecca, Matthew Brett, and Nancy Kanwisher (2006). “Divide and conquer: a defense of functional localizers.” eng. In: Neuroimage 30.4, pp. 1088–96, 1088–96. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.12.062.

Nichols, Thomas, Matthew Brett, Jesper Andersson, Tor Wager, and Jean-Baptiste Poline (2005). “Valid conjunction inference with the minimum statistic.” eng. In: Neuroimage 25.3, pp. 653–660. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.12.005.

Kellenbach, Marion L, Matthew Brett, and Karalyn Patterson (2003). “Actions speak louder than functions: the importance of manipulability and action in tool representation.” eng. In: J Cogn Neurosci 15.1, pp. 30–46. doi: 10.1162/089892903321107800.

Kherif, Ferath, Jean-Baptiste Poline, Sébastien Mériaux, Habib Benali, Guillaume Flandin, and Matthew Brett (2003). “Group analysis in functional neuroimaging: selecting subjects using similarity measures.” eng. In: Neuroimage 20.4, pp. 2197–2208.

Brett, Matthew, Ingrid S Johnsrude, and Adrian M Owen (2002). “The problem of functional localization in the human brain.” eng. In: Nat Rev Neurosci 3.3, pp. 243–249. doi: 10.1038/nrn756.

Brett, Matthew and Sallie Baxendale (2001). “Motherhood and memory: a review.” eng. In: Psychoneuroendocrinology 26.4, pp. 339–362.

Brett, Matthew, Alexander P Leff, Chris Rorden, and John Ashburner (2001b). “Spatial normalization of brain images with focal lesions using cost function masking.” eng. In: Neuroimage 14.2, pp. 486–500. doi: 10.1006/nimg.2001.0845.

Turkheimer, Federico, Matthew Brett, Dimitris Visvikis, and Vincent J. Cunningham (2001). “Statistical Estimation of PET Images in the Wavelet Domain”. In: Physiological imaging of the brain with PET. Ed. by A. Gjedde. Academic Press, pp. 29–33. isbn: 0122857518.

Rorden, Chris and Matthew Brett (2000). “Stereotaxic display of brain lesions.” eng. In: Behav Neurol 12.4, pp. 191–200.

Turkheimer, Federico E., Matthew Brett, John A D Aston, Alexander P. Leff, P. A. Sargent, Richard J. Wise, Paul M. Grasby, and Vincent J. Cunningham (2000). “Statistical modeling of positron emission tomography images in wavelet space.” eng. In: J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 20.11, pp. 1610–1618. doi: 10.1097/00004647-200011000-00011.

Turkheimer, Federico E., Matthew Brett, D. Visvikis, and Vincent J. Cunningham (1999). “Multiresolution analysis of emission tomography images in the wavelet domain.” eng. In: J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 19.11, pp. 1189–1208. doi: 10.1097/00004647-199911000-00003.