Cognition and Neuroscience Research Group

Our research interests concern vision, language, hearing, cognition and affect, including brain function in neurological and developmental disorders such as epilepsy, autism and dyslexia.


The portfolio of research within the Cognition and Neuroscience Research Group focuses on three key topics: the development of language and cognition, sensory and perceptual systems, and social cognition and affective research. We contribute to two of the College of Health and Life Sciences' four key multidisciplinary themes; clinical and systems neuroscience, and vision, cognition, and language. We work closely with the Aston Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment.  

We utilise a number of techniques as part of our research, including: 

  • neuroimaging and clinical neurophysiology (MEG, fMRI, MRS, EEG, TMS) 
  • cognitive psychology 
  • psychophysics 
  • computational modelling 
  • virtual reality 
  • motion capture. 

Funders and collaborators

Sources of funding for members of this research group include Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), European Research Council (ERC), Marie Curie Fellowships, International Brain Research Organization (IBRO)/ International Bureau of Education (IBE) UNESCO Science of Learning Fellowship, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). 

People and publications

Our team of over 20 principal researchers come from a variety of psychology and cognitive neuroscience backgrounds. As experts in their field, members of the group hold key roles within professional membership bodies and associations, and chair funding panels, they provide expert commentary for print and broadcast media, and are invited to speak at national and European conferences. 

Professor Brian Roberts

Director of Research: Professor Brian Roberts

Brian is Professor of Auditory Perception within the School of Psychology. His research interests are in hearing and speech perception, particularly using behavioural methods to investigate auditory scene analysis and the informational masking of target speech by other speech. 


Researchers in the group make use of a wide variety of equipment within the University to conduct their work, from neuroimaging to virtual reality.


Aston Laboratory for Immersive Virtual Environments (ALIVE)

The combination of motion capture, virtual reality and EEG recording equipment provides a perfect platform for combining research into visual perception, social cognition, and social vision. 

See facility details.

Neuroimaging at IHN

Neuroimaging at the Aston Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment (IHN)

Facilities within the IHN include MRI, MEG, EEG, and TMS laboratories. 

See facility details.

Research Topics

Language, cognition, and development

This topic encompasses both child development and adult learning. A core focus is on understanding how we learn the meaning of words through written and spoken language, combining longitudinal research, experimental work and neuroimaging methods.

Sensory and perceptual systems

This topic concerns the normal and abnormal functions of sensation and perception, particularly in vision and hearing. Research activities encompass psychophysics, visual and auditory cognition, virtual reality, computational modelling, neuroimaging and TMS. 

Social cognition and affect research

This topic encompasses social cognition, which examines the cognitive and neural processes underpinning social interactions, and research on affect, which concerns the bidirectional relationship between cognition and emotion and its influence on behaviour. Our research uses survey-based methods, experimental work (including eye-tracking), and neuroimaging.