Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience


Geraint Rees

Prof Geraint Rees

Professor of Cognitive Neurology

Awareness Group Leader


Geraint Rees

Current Research and Interests

My group seeks to understand the neural basis of human consciousness, and how it can be affected by neurological disease. We use functional MRI and magnetoencephalography (MEG) in combination with behavioral experiments and transcranial magnetic stimulation to study these questions in normal volunteers and patients with brain damage.

Research Summary 

I am Dean of the UCL Faculty of Life Sciences. From 2009-2014 I was Director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and from 2011-2014 Deputy Head of the Faculty of Brain Sciences at UCL. I lead a research group investigating the neural basis of human consciousness based at the ICN and the internationally renowned Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging.  Passionate about academic and clinical academic training, I set up and currently direct the UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences Academic Careers Office. The ACO provides strategic leadership for the biomedical training portfolio at UCL and talent management to investigators and students across the School of Life and Medical Sciences. I have a number of externally facing roles for UCL. I am a member of the Francis Crick Institute Executive Team and the Board of Directors of Imanova. My work has been recognised by award of the Royal Society Francis Crick medal and election to the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Work in my research group focuses on the neural mechanisms underlying human consciousness in health and disease. At present we focus primarily on the neural correlates of particular types of conscious content, aiming to distinguish between conscious and unconscious representations in the human brain. As a considerable amount is already known about the anatomy and physiology of the visual system, much of the research in the laboratory focuses on visual awareness. However, we are interested in all the major modalities and work in the laboratory also studies the auditory and somatosensory systems. We mainly use functional MRI at high field, in combination with behavioral studies, transcranial magnetic stimulation and EEG/MEG

Teaching Summary

My major educational interest is in strategy and policy development for postgraduate clinical academic training, both locally and nationally. At UCL I set up and direct the UCL SLMS Academic Careers Office. This is part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Health and jointly operated with the UCL/H NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. The ACO actively manages UCL's large portfolio of MRC & NIHR clinical and scientific trainees, manages our large MRC Doctoral Training Centre award, and also coordinates talent management and leadership training such as our Future Leaders programme. I co-direct (with David Lomas) the Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Programme at UCL and co-direct (with Sebastian Ourselin & David Hawkes) the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging. As well as this strategic activity I also teach on a number of Masters courses across UCL and provide lectures to several undergraduate programmes and pre-sessional courses.

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