Dr Magda Chechlacz PhD

Dr Magda Chechlacz

School of Psychology
Assistant Professor in Cognition and Ageing

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Chechlacz is broadly interested in understanding how variability in the neurochemical, structural and functional organisation of the brain affect cognitive functions and relates to individual differences in human behaviour and in susceptibility to cognitive ageing and mental health problems. Her work combines cognitive assessment of attentional functions with spherical deconvolution tractography, resting state connectivity analysis, brain stimulation and genetics.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1811-3946 


  • MSc (Biology)
  • PhD (Biology)
  • PhD (Psychology)


Dr Chechlacz initially trained and carried out a doctorate in cellular and molecular biology (2002). After working as a biologist (Larry L. Hillblom Foundation Fellowship at the University of California, San Diego) she decided on a career change to a more human-oriented science and neuroimaging. In order to gain formal training in cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging, she completed a second doctorate in psychology at the University of Birmingham under the supervision of Glyn Humphreys (2012). From 2013 to 2016, she held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship and EPA Cephalosporin Junior Research Fellowship, Linacre College at the University of Oxford. In 2016 Dr Chechlacz returned to the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham as a Bridge Fellow.

Postgraduate supervision

Potential doctoral as well as postdoctoral researchers interested in working with Dr Chechlacz should email her to discuss potential projects and funding opportunities. Applicants interested in areas as listed below are especially welcome:

  • visual attention
  • neuroimaging genetics
  • age-related structural and functional changes in neural networks
  • individual differences
  • diffusion imaging


Dr Chechlacz’s research is broadly concerned with understanding how variability in the neurochemical, structural and functional organisation of the brain affect cognitive performance, in particularly attentional functions, as well as whether and how these individual differences predict the susceptibility to neurological disorders and the way we age. Her prior research programme funded by the British Academy examined whether variability in the organisation of the visual attention networks is associated with individual differences in attentional functions, whether structural lateralization underlies functional lateralization in the organisation of attention and whether behavioural asymmetries are causally linked to the structural asymmetries in attention networks. Her current work aims to test for associations between common genetic variants in neurotransmitter signalling and resting state connectivity within attention networks as well as examine the links between those functional genetic polymorphisms and individual differences in age-related cognitive decline in attention.


Selected Recent Publications:

  • Cazzoli D, Chechlacz M (2017). A matter of hand: causal links between hand dominance, structural organization of fronto-parietal attention networks, and variability in behavioural responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation. Cortex 86:230-246.
  • Chechlacz M, Humphreys GW, Cazzoli D (2016). Spatial and non-spatial aspects of visual attention: interactive cognitive mechanisms and neural underpinnings. Neuropsychologia 92:1-6.
  • Howard CJ, Bashir N, Chechlacz M, Humphreys GW (2016). Neural Mechanisms of Temporal Resolution of Attention. Cerebral Cortex 26: 2952-2969.
  • ChechlaczM, HumphreysGW, SotiropoulosSN, KennardC, CazzoliD (2015). Structural organization of the corpus callosum predicts attentional shifts following continuous theta burst stimulation.J Neurosci 35:15353-15368.
  • Chechlacz M, Gillebert CR, Vangkilde SA, Petersen A, Humphreys GW (2015). Structural Variability within Frontoparietal Networks and Individual Differences in Attentional Functions: An Approach Using the Theory of Visual Attention. J Neurosci 35:10647-10658.
  • Humphreys GW, Chechlacz M (2015). A Neural Decomposition of Visual Search Using Voxel-based Morphometry. J Cogn Neurosci 27:1854-1869.
  • Chechlacz M, Mantini D, Gillebert CR, Humphreys GW (2015). Asymmetrical white matter networks for attending to global versus local features. Cortex 72:54-64.
  • Sui J, Chechlacz M, Rothstein P, Humphreys GW (2015). Lesion symptom analysis of self-prioritization in explicit face categorization: Effects of damage to the right temporal-occipital region. Cerebral Cortex 25(2):374-383.
  • Chechlacz M, Novick A, Rotshtein P, Bickerton WL, Humphreys GW, Demeyere N. (2014). The Neural Substrates of Drawing: A Voxel-based Morphometry Analysis of Constructional, Hierarchical, and Spatial Representation Deficits. J Cogn Neurosci 26(12): 2701-2715.
  • Chechlacz M, Rotshtein P, Humphreys GW. (2014). Neuronal substrates of Corsi Block span: Lesion symptom mapping analyses in relation to attentional competition and spatial bias. Neuropsychologia, 64: 240-251.
  • Chechlacz M, Rotshtein P, Demeyere N, Bickerton W-L, Humphreys GW (2014). The frequency and severity of extinction in strokes affecting different vascular territories. Neuropsychologia 54:11-17
  • Khalsa S, Mayhew SD, Chechlacz M, Bagary M, Bagshaw AP (2014). The structural connectivity of the DMN: Comparison between deterministic and probabilistic tractography for the investigation of structure-function relationships. Neuroimage 102P1: 118-127.
  • Chechlacz M, Rotshtein P, Hansen PC, Deb S, Riddoch JM, Humphreys GW (2013). The central role of the temporo-parietal junction and the superior longitudinal fasciculus in supporting multi-item competition: evidence from lesion-symptom mapping of extinction. Cortex 49: 487-506.
  • Utz S, Humphreys GW, Chechlacz M (2013). Parietal substrates for dimensional effects in visual search: evidence from lesion-symptom mapping. BRAIN 136: 751-760.
  • Chechlacz M, Terry A, Rotshtein P, Demeyere N, Bickerton W-L, Humphreys GW (2013). Common and distinct neural mechanisms of visual and tactile extinction: A large scale VBM study in sub-acute stroke. NeuroImage: Clinical 2: 291-302.

View all publications in research portal

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities