Testing hypotheses of context-dependent, distributed, and non-hierarchical neural representation using hypermodal MRI

Fred Dick (primary)
Psychological Sciences
Birkbeck College
Jeremy Skipper (secondary)
Experimental Psychology


Cortical organization is often modelled as hierarchical, modular, and relatively invariant. However, the experimental paradigms informing such models often use artificial, temporally constrained, and sensorily impoverished stimuli. In this project, the student will evaluate more distributed and context-dependent models of cortical function using the novel MOVIE II hypermodal dataset, where individuals undergo high temporal and spatial resolution functional MRI while watching a full-length movie; each individual’s sensory and myelination maps are also acquired. The student will also run further targeted EEG and fMRI paradigms on a subset of the MOVIE II cohort to follow up on specific hypotheses.


Carey, D., Caprini, F., Allen, M., Lutti, A., Weiskopf, N., Rees, G., Callaghan, M.F., & Dick, F. (2018). Quantitative MRI provides markers of intra-, inter-regional, and age-related differences in young adult cortical microstructure. NeuroImage, 182, 429–440. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.11.066

Skipper J. 2014 Echoes of the spoken past: how auditory cortex hears context during speech perception. PhilisoTrans. R. Soc. B3692013029720130297.

Aliko, S., Huang, J., Gheorghiu, F., Meliss, S., & Skipper, J. I. (2020). A naturalistic neuroimaging database for understanding the brain using ecological stimuli. Scientific Data, 7(1), 347. http://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-00680-2

Dick, F. K., Lehet, M. I., Callaghan, M. F., Keller, T. A., Sereno, M. I., & Holt, L. L. (2017). Extensive Tonotopic Mapping across Auditory Cortex Is Recapitulated by Spectrally Directed Attention and Systematically Related to Cortical Myeloarchitecture. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(50), 12187–12201. http://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1436-17.2017

Animal disease, health and welfare
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
Image ProcessingMathematics / StatisticsSimulation / Modelling