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.

Visit Matthew's personal website


  • 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 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.

Other activities

  • Co-founder (with Jarrod Millman) of the neuroimaging in Python project (NIPY: http://nipy.org)
  • Lead author and maintainer of Nibabel (https://nipy.org/nibabel) and Nipy (http://nipy.org/nipy) software projects for functional brain imaging; contributor to Dipy project (http://nipy.org/dipy) for diffusion imaging analysis.
  • Lead author and maintainer of Marsbar region of interest analysis toolbox for brain imaging data (http://marsbar.sourceforge.net).
  • Code contributor to many scientific Python packages, particularly numpy, scipy and matplotlib.

For a full listing see https://github.com/matthew-brett


Garyfallidis, Eleftherios, Matthew Brett, Bago Amirbekian, Ariel Rokem, Stéfan van der Walt, Maxime Descoteaux, and Ian Nimmo-Smith (2014). “Dipy, a library for the analysis of diffusion MRI data”. In: Frontiers in Neuroinformatics 8.8. doi: 10.3389/fninf.2014.00008.

Garyfallidis, Eleftherios, Matthew Brett, Marta M. Correia, Guy B. Williams, and Ian Nimmo-Smith (2012). “QuickBundles, a method for tractography simplification”. In: Frontiers in Neuroscience 6, p. 175.

Poline, Jean-Baptiste and Matthew Brett (2012). “The general linear model and fMRI: Does love last forever?” In: NeuroImage 62.2, pp. 871–880. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.01.133.

Rodriguez Rodriguez, Valia, Russell Thompson, Mark Stokes, Matthew Brett, Indira Alvarez, Mitchell Valdes-Sosa, and John Duncan (2012). “Absence of face-specific cortical activity in the complete absence of awareness: Converging evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging and event-related potentials”. In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 24.2, pp. 396–415.

Schwarzbauer, Christian, Toralf Mildner, Wolfgang Heinke, Matthew Brett, and Ralf Deichmann (2010). “Dual echo EPI–the method of choice for fMRI in the presence of magnetic field inhomogeneities?” eng. In: Neuroimage 49.1, pp. 316–326. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.08.032.

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.