Professor Ian Holliday BSc PhD DIC


School of Life and Health Sciences
Aston University
Birmingham B4 7ET

mailto: I.E.Holliday@aston.ac.uk
telephone: +44 (0) 121 204 4064
fax: +44 (0) 121 204 4090

Lecturer on the Psychology Teaching Programme

Research Theme

 Clinical and Systems Neuroscience

Research Centre

Aston Brain Centre 

Ian Holliday

Career History

Graduated in Physics and obtained PhD  from Imperial College, University of London

Current Research Interests

Human psychophysics and brain imaging

My main research work has focussed on human vision, both normal and abnormal, using psychophysical methods, MEG and fMRI. Some research interests are:

  • MEG investigations of pattern processing, aiming to tease apart the contributions from each region of the brain, from the earliest responses to simple features of objects to the complex interactions needed to perceive whole objects and perform complex tasks such as reading.
  • Motion perception has been a long-term interest, and was the area I first worked in as a research student using psychophysical methods. More recently I have used MEG and fMRI to study the brain regions responding to moving patterns and objects.
  • Using computer simulations to find out how the signals measured using MEG result from the combined action of millions of brain cells, and how these link to what we see.
  • The application of MEG to clinical conditions such as migraine, Amblyopia, and epilepsy, and other patient groups.

Teaching Responsibilities


Year 2:

Advanced Statistics

Placement Supervision

Final Year:

Final Year Projects


MSc lectures in neuroimaging

Administrative Role

Member of the Human Sciences Ethical Committee (Psychology.)


Recent Publications 


Wessa, P., Poelmans, S., & Holliday, I. E. (2013). Analysis of constructivist, network-based discourses: concepts, prospects, and illustrations. In Lim, H. L., & Sudweeks, F. (Eds.), Innovative methods and technologies for electronic discourse analysis. (pp. 19-41). (Advances in Human and Social Aspects of Technology Book Series). Hershey (US): IGI global. doi: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4426-7.ch002


Wessa, P., & Holliday, I. E. (2012). Does reviewing lead to better learning and decision making? Answers from a randomized stock market experiment. PLoS ONE, 7(5), [e37719]doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037719 

 Nevado, A., Hadjipapas, A., Kinsey, K., Moratti, S., Barnes, G. R., Holliday, I. E., & Green, G. G. (2012). Estimation of functional connectivity from electromagnetic signals and the amount of empirical data required. Neuroscience letters, 513(1), 57-61doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2012.02.007 


Holliday, I. E., Longe, O. A., Thai, N. J., Hancock, P. J. B., & Tovée, M. J. (2011). BMI not WHR modulates BOLD fMRI responses in a sub-cortical reward network when participants judge the attractiveness of human female bodies. PLoS ONE, 6(11), [e27255]doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027255 

 Perry, G., Adjamian, P., Thai, N. J., Holliday, I. E., Hillebrand, A., & Barnes, G. R. (2011). Retinotopic mapping of the primary visual cortex - a challenge for MEG imaging of the human cortex. European journal of neuroscience, 34(4), 652-661doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2011.07777.x 

 Kinsey, K., Anderson, S. J., Hadjipapas, A., & Holliday, I. E. (2011). The role of oscillatory brain activity in object processing and figure-ground segmentation in human vision. International journal of psychophysiology, 79(3), 392-400doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2010.12.007 

 Wessa, P., De Rycker, A., & Holliday, I. E. (2011). Content-based VLE designs improve learning efficiency in constructivist statistics education. PLoS ONE, 6(10), [e25363]doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025363 

 Wessa, P., Holliday, I., & Reddy, P. (2011). A new learning environment based on reproducible ubiquitous computing: experiences and prospects. Ubiquitous learning, 3, 179-196 


Kinsey, K., Anderson, S. J., Hadjipapas, A., Nevado, A., Hillebrand, A., & Holliday, I. E. (2009). Cortical oscillatory activity associated with the perception of illusory and real visual contours. International journal of psychophysiology, 73(3), 265-272doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2009.04.004 

 Cornelissen, P. L., Kringelbach, M. L., Ellis, A. W., Whitney, C., Holliday, I. E., & Hansen, P. C. (2009). Activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus in the first 200 ms of reading: evidence from magnetoencephalography (MEG). PLoS ONE, 4(4), [e5359]doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005359 

 Hadjipapas, A., Casagrande, E., Nevado, A., Barnes, G. R., Green, G., & Holliday, I. E. (2009). Can we observe collective neuronal activity from macroscopic aggregate signals?. Neuroimage, 44(4), 1290-1303doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.10.035 


Holliday, I. E., & Meese, T. S. (2008). Optic flow in human vision: MEG reveals a foveo-fugal bias in V1, specialization for spiral space in hMSTs, and global motion sensitivity in the IPS. Journal of vision, 8(10), [17]doi: 10.1167/8.10.17 

 Adjamian, P., Hadjipapas, A., Barnes, G. R., Hillebrand, A., & Holliday, I. E. (2008). Induced gamma activity in primary visual cortex is related to luminance and not color contrast: an MEG study. Journal of vision, 8(7), 1-7[4]doi: 10.1167/8.7.4 

Kringelbach, M. L., Lehtonen, A., Squire, S., Harvey, A. G., Craske, M. G., Holliday, I. E., Green, A. L., Aziz, T. Z., Hansen, P. C., Cornelissen, P. L., & Stein, A. (2008). A specific and rapid neural signature for parental instinct. PLoS ONE, 3(2), [e1664]doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001664 


Hadjipapas, A., Adjamian, P., Swettenham, J. B., Holliday, I. E., & Barnes, G. R. (2007). Stimuli of varying spatial scale induce gamma activity with distinct temporal characteristics in human visual cortex. Neuroimage, 35(2), 518-30doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.01.002 

 Kringelbach, M. L., Jenkinson, N., Green, A. L., Owen, S. L. F., Hansen, P. C., Cornelissen, P. L., Holliday, I. E., Stein, J., & Aziz, T. Z. (2007). Deep brain stimulation for chronic pain investigated with magnetoencephalography. NeuroReport, 18(3), 223-228doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328010dc3d