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Twitter: @kianobre

Google Scholar: Anna C Nobre

Wikipedia: Anna Christina Nobre

Interview for St Catherine’s College celebration of International Women’s Day (2021)

Profile in 100 Women of Oxford medical Sciences (2021)

Interview in European Journal of Neuroscience (2019)

Interview in Neuron (2017)

Public lecture for Convergence Science Network, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Interview in Süddeutsche Zeitung (2016)

Entry in Oxford Sparks

Research groups

Kia Nobre


Chair in Translational Cognitive Neuroscience

  • Head of Department of Experimental Psychology
  • Director of Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity
  • Chair of Oxford Neuroscience Strategy Committee
  • Professorial Fellow, St Catherine's College, Oxford
  • Head of the Brain & Cognition Lab

Human Cognitive Neuroscience - How memory and attention guide psychological experience and adaptive behaviour

I am interested in understanding the organising principles of the neural systems that support adaptive cognition and behaviour in the human brain. My current research examines how the brain prioritises and selects information from the sensory stream and from memories at various time scales to form psychological experience and guide behaviour. In addition to revealing the basic mechanisms of these large-scale proactive and dynamic regulatory mechanisms, I am interested in how they develop over the lifespan and how they are disrupted in psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

My research group is the Brain & Cognition Lab. Our work combines behavioural methods (psychophysics, eye tracking, virtual reality) with state-of-the art non-invasive techniques to image and stimulate the human brain (magneto- and electroencephalography, magnetic resonance imaging, and brain stimulation). We particularly enjoy designing tasks that help integrate psychological domains often studied in isolation (e.g., attention, working memory, long-term memory) to examine the fine-grained modulation of psychological and brain processing in the service of adaptive behaviour within dynamic environments. We piece together the puzzle of how time-evolving neuronal signalling is selected, routed and integrated to control our unfolding experience and actions; the nature and the putative role of rhythmic brain activity are particular areas of curiosity.

Funding for the core research activities in my group comes from the Wellcome Trust, National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), Medical Research Council (MRC),  European Commission Marie Skłodowska actions, and James S. McDonnell Foundation (JSMF). Students and research fellows in the lab often hold competitive studentships and fellowships.

Brief Biography

I grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and completed my university education in the United States. I obtained my PhD (1993) and carried out postdoctoral research at Yale University, supervised by Gregory McCarthy, before joining Marsel Mesulam’s group at Harvard Medical School and then Northwestern University. I moved to Oxford in 1994 to take up a McDonnell-Pew Lectureship in Cognitive Neuroscience and a Junior Research Fellowship at New College. Prior to my current position (2014), I was a titular Professor at the Department of Experimental Psychology (Lecturer 1996–2002, Reader 2002–2006) and a Tutorial Fellow at New College, Oxford (1996–2014). 

Current Positions

I hold the Chair in Translational Cognitive Neuroscience at Oxford, shared between the Departments of Psychiatry and of Experimental Psychology and linked to St Catherine's College. I continue to collaborate with the Mesulam Centre for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University in Chicago, USA.

I am actively engaged in serving the academic and scientific communities. At Oxford, I am head of the Department of Experimental Psychology, director of the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA) in Psychiatry, and chair of the Oxford Neuroscience committee. I am also a member of the University Council and serve on its research, innovation, and education committees. Outside Oxford, I serve as advisor to the James S. McDonnell Foundation Program (JSMF) in Understanding Human Cognition and on various advisory bodies to scientific institutions. In addition, I hold roles on multiple editorial, funding, programme and prize-awarding boards. 

I am a fellow of the British Academy,  a member of the Academia Europaea, and an international fellow of the National Academy of Sciences.


As a scientific researcher, I am passionate about innovating new ways of understanding the human brain and bringing cutting-edge and rigorous fundamental cognitive neuroscience to translational and clinical research for societal benefit.

As a scientific citizen, I am committed to keeping curiosity and science alive in the world. I try to share my wonder and delight about discovering the nature of things with those around me. To this end, I am dedicated to educating, training and mentoring – and helping individuals forge career paths that bring them meaning and fulfilment.