I investigate how brains encode information about the world, maintain that information over time, and combine it in ways that allow us to make good decisions. I also study how these cognitive functions are altered in psychiatric and aging populations. To tackle these questions, I ask human participants to perform simple tasks that allow me to measure these functions in a controlled way; I usually measure brain activity from these participants through non-invasive methods (EEG, MEG, fMRI); I sometimes manipulate specific brain systems through pharmacological intervention; and I almost always monitor changes in each individual’s state of arousal by measuring their pupil size. I also use computational models to try to understand how the behaviour that participants produce on my tasks might emerge from the brain activity that I observe.
I conducted my doctoral research at Trinity College Dublin and was then lucky enough to do postdocs in two beautiful places: Leiden in The Netherlands, and Hamburg in Germany. I then returned to Trinity College to complete a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, and have recently taken up an Assistant Professorship in the Department of Psychology at Maynooth University.