AQ: Australian Quarterly

Student Edition

HOMETOWN: Adelaide

CURRENTLY LIVING: Oxford

RESEARCH: Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience

“The first project for my PhD explored how we make decisions when we are missing information, and how this uncertainty influences our choices.”

Where in the world are you and what are you doing?

I am in Oxford, UK. Right now, I am sitting in my bed with my laptop propped on a pillow, as my room is too small for a desk. I have Spotify cranking and some hot rooibos beside me. More generally though, I am in the last few months of my PhD in Clinical Neuroscience. I am trying to begin data collection for my second experiment, complete the analysis for my first, and to write up my thesis.

I also work on It Gets Brighter, a mental health charity to support young people struggling with mental health issues.

Can you sum up your research in a sentence?

…No.

My research is in “cognitive and computational neuroscience”. My current lab is generally interested in understanding how our brain performs cognitive functions such as learning, using and updating ‘models of the world’. To explore the mechanisms for this in the brain, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to record brain activity while people perform tasks. We then can model their brain activity and behaviour, and use general linear models or machine learning approaches to

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References
1 Jeff Nesbit, “Google’s True Origin Partly Lies in CIA and NSA Research Grants for Mass Surveillance,” Quartz (blog), December 8, 2017, https://qz.com/1145669/googles-true-origin-partly-lies-in-cia-and-nsa-research-grants-for-mass-surveillance/ 2 Sh