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Institute of Education

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Professor Michael Thomas

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Birkbeck, University of London.

Professor Michael Thomas

Since 2010, Michael Thomas has been Director of the University of London Centre for Educational Neuroscience, a cross-institutional research centre which aims to advance translational research between neuroscience and education, and develop practical applications within education.

In 2003, Michael established the Developmental Neurocognition Laboratory within Birkbeck’s world-leading Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development. The focus of his laboratory is to use multi-disciplinary methods to understand the brain and cognitive bases of cognitive variability, including intelligence and developmental disorders.

Within educational neuroscience, his work includes understanding the role of inhibitory control in children's science and maths learning; investigating the influence of mobile phone use on adolescent brain development; linking findings on sensitive periods in brain development to their educational implications; and building links between genetics, environment and education in children’s developmental outcomes.

In 2006, his research lab was the co-recipient of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education, for the project “Neuropsychological work with the very young: understanding brain function and cognitive development”. Michael is a Chartered Psychologist, Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.