Sam Schwarzkopf


In the regal robes of PI-hood…

I did my undergraduate studies (BSc Neuroscience) at Cardiff University and subsequently decided to stay there also to do my PhD in the lab of Frank Sengpiel. Subsequently, I did a brief postdoc project at the University of Birmingham, where I moved into human neuroimaging and cognitive neuroscience. In 2008, I moved to University College London to join the lab of Geraint Rees at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging (the “FIL”) and the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (ICN) as postdoctoral research fellow. In 2012, I was awarded generous funding in the form of an ERC Starting Grant to support my research. I moved to the department of Experimental Psychology and the Birkbeck-UCL Centre for Neuroimaging (BUCNI) to set up an independent lab there. UCL is a thriving and dynamic research environment and I am both thrilled and humbled by the countless talented people I have had the pleasure to work with here, from students to principals.

The overarching goal of my lab’s research is to better understand what in the brain makes us perceive the world the way we do. Therefore we study the variability and commonalities between people’s perception and brain function. Our research mainly employs functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and behavioural, psychophysical measurements. However, in collaboration with my colleagues I have also used magnetoencephalography (MEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and other neurophysiological techniques. The methods are merely the tools; what matters most are the biological questions motivating our research. Therefore the choice of methodology is driven first and foremost by whatever technique is best suited to address the particular question we are addressing at the time.