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MaryAnn Noonan

BSc(hons), MSc, DPhil

Departmental Lecturer

I am a Stipendiary Lecturer and acting organising tutor in Psychology at Wadham College and and Departmental Lecturer in the Department of Experimental Psychology. My research explores how individuals learn and make decisions. This is not an easy problem, particularly when there are many valuable options to chose between. My work asks how the brain accomplishes this; coordinating different cognitive functions to achieve adaptive goal-directed behaviour. I am now investigating how these cognitive functions develop across adolescence and how the brain adapts during this critical period of life.

My previous research has focused on dissociating cognitive functions in the frontal lobe, especially the mechanisms underlying the accumulation of experience and the utilisation of this experience in order to guide behaviour and solve problems. I completed my BSc in Psychology at the University of York and my MSc and DPhil in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. My DPhil and subsequent post-doctoral position with Matthew Rushworth in the Decision and Action Lab focused on the neural basis of learning, decision making and social cognition. I then spent a further year as a postdoctoral research fellow at McGill University, Canada and working with Lesley Fellows before taking up a postdoctoral position in the Attention & Working Memory Group, OHBA, with Mark Stokes. Here we investigated the neural suppression of distracting information. For a full academic bio, see my CV here.