Welcome to the website of the Cognitive Neuroecology Lab, a neuroscience research group based at the FMRIB Centre of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom and at the Donders Institute in Nijmegen, the Netherlands
We aim to understand what it is that makes brains the way they are. Primates, and especially humans, have exceptionally large brains for their body size. Between primates, brains differ in size and in their internal organization. Why is this? Each brain is an adaptation to the particular environment its owner lives in. Differences between brains are the result of deviations from ancestral brains that arose to deal with challenges in the environment.
To study these questions we use two complementary approaches. First, we study how the human brain is organised and works using a range of non-invasive brain imaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Second, we use magnetic resonance imaging to compare the organizion of different brains. We scan the brains from deceased animals to study the size, location, and connections of different brain regions and compare these between species. More detailed information can be found on our research interests page.
The results of our research can be found on our publications page, but we also provide a number of resources for the research community such as brain atlases, brain scans, and a analysis toolbox for comparative MRI data. We also aim to communicate our results to the general public. If you have any questions about our research or are interested in joining the lab, please contact us.
Current funding includes generous contributions from the BBSRC, NWO, the European Commission, and the Donders Centre for Cognition.