Clare Press (Head)

After my doctoral training I held three ESRC and MRC fellowships. I took up my first faculty position at the University of Reading, before moving to my current position at Birkbeck in 2012. In 2021 I was appointed a Principal Investigator at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, UCL, and made a full professor.

Emma Ward (Postdoctoral Researcher)

I joined the lab in December 2021 as a postdoc, and I am specifically interested in working together with Prof Clare Press to ask how people distinguish between incoming sensory information that is a useful basis for forming future expectations and incoming sensory information that is irrelevant or unreliable. For my PhD I studied this process in autism, at the Donders Institute in Nijmegen, supervised by Prof Sabine Hunnius and Prof Jan Buitelaar.

Matan Mazor (Postdoctoral Researcher)

I completed my doctoral training at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, UCL, where I investigated the role of self-modelling in inference about absence. Before that, I completed an MSc in neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, where I used model-free fMRI to investigate the internal forward model in the human brain. I joined Clare’s lab in 2022 as part of her ERC grant to investigate the perceptual prediction paradox.

Nathan Foster (Postdoctoral Researcher)

I completed my doctoral training at the Research institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, under the supervision of Dr. Spencer Hayes. My PhD examined how processes associated with sensorimotor integration modulate sensorimotor learning and control in autism spectrum disorders. I am now continuing this research as a MINDED fellow at the Italian Institute of Technology, funded by EU Horizon 2020, and on secondment at Birkbeck investigating motor control in infants with high likelihood of developing autism.

James Chard (PhD student)

I completed my MSc in Psychology at Birkbeck as a mature student in 2014, having previously completed a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, and worked as a lawyer for several years. I joined the Action Lab as a part-time PhD student focusing on low level visual perception in healthy aging and how changes here relate to those in social perception and agency.

Kirsten Rittershofer (PhD student)

I have previously completed my BSc in Cognitive Science at the University of Osnabr├╝ck and my MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at Radboud University, Nijmegen. Currently, I am a PhD student under the supervision of Clare Press and Peter Kok. During my PhD, I will examine how perception is shaped by likely future actions.

Carl Bunce (PhD student)

Before joining the lab as a research assistant, I completed my undergraduate studies in Psychology at the University of Reading and my MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. My current project which is funded by the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund is an investigation into the mechanisms underlying our sense of agency..

Bayparvah Kaur Gehdu (PhD student)

I completed my MSc in Clinical Neurodevelopmental Sciences at King’s College, London in 2019, having previously completed a BSc in Psychology specialising in cognitive and clinical neuroscience at City, University of London in 2018. Currently, I’m a PhD student under the supervision of Richard Cook and Clare Press, funded by Birkbeck’s Diversity100 studentship. During my PhD, I will examine the perceptual underpinnings of face recognition in autistic individuals. 

Itay Goetz (PhD student)

I completed my BSc in Psychological Sciences and MSc in Organisational Psychology at Birkbeck. I am currently working on my PhD in Empirical Aesthetics at Bamberg University, Germany. My main research interests are art experience and perception, and the effects of motivation and expectation on perception. I am undertaking a collaborative project along these lines with Clare and her team.  

Nicholas Baker (Research Assistant)

Melody Zeng (MSc student)

Huiyi Zeng (Melody) is a Brain and Mind Sciences Dual MSc student at UCL. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at Sun Yat-sen University in China. Driven by her interest in predictive processing and metacognition, she is now investigating the perceptual prediction paradox as part of her MSc project supervised by Prof. Clare Press.

Mette Westander (MSc student)

I am currently studying Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology after completing a BA in Psychology and Philosophy at Oxford University. My MSc project with the Action Lab investigates expectation and perception in autistic versus neurotypical individuals.

Sabreen Ali (MSc student)

I have completed my BA(H) in Applied Psychology at Amity University Kolkata, India. I am now a student at Birkbeck University Of London studying MSc Health and Clinical Psychological Sciences. I am working on a project studying contextual learning in autism.


(a) Cristina Becchio, IIT, Italy.

(b) Jennifer Cook, University of Birmingham.

(c) Richard Cook, Birkbeck, University of London.

(d) Floris de Lange, Donders Institute, Netherlands.

(e) Martin Eimer, Birkbeck, University of London.

(f) Richard Ivry, Berkeley, United States.

(g) Peter Kok, Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, UCL.

(h) Daniel Yon, Birkbeck, University of London.