Dr Duncan Astle

Personal profile

Personal profile


My research uses EEG and MEG with children and adults to explore the neural and cognitive mechanisms of top-down attentional control. In addition to exploring their developmental consequences, I am currently exploring the extent to which these mechanisms can be trained using a working memory intervention. Working memory capacity variability is a strong predictor of educational outcome. One possibility, inspired by the adult cognitive neuroscience literature, is that individual differences in attentional control mechanisms might drive these apparent memory differences in childhood; the working memory training might be effective because it boosts these top-down control mechanisms. Thus my current research seeks to understand the relationship between development, training, and the neural mechanisms of top-down attentional control.



Much of my research has been based at the University of Oxford, initially as a post-doc and then as the Fulford Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College, also funded by a personal award from the ESRC. I worked closely with Dr. Gaia Scerif and Prof. Kia Nobre, and we continue to collaborate. Following my time at Oxford, I had a brief stint as a Visiting Scholar at Yale University, before returning to the UK to take up a British Academy Research Fellowship at Royal Holloway, University of London.



I regularly speak at local schools involved in our research, and I am happy to come and give presentations about my research to parents, teachers and other education practioners.

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