Members of the Language, Action, and Brain Lab
The Captain of the LAB Lab
After living nomadically in a car and some vans for a few years, Captain Skipper got a PhD and became an Associate Professor at University College London. After another bout of living nomadically on a narrowboat, his current research uses neuroimaging and psychedelics to examine the relationship between the neurobiology of language, inner speech, and consciousness.
Other lab members
George is a Research Assistant working on the neuroscience of consciousness. This involves using theory to inspire new measures of brain dynamics, as well as the application of new measures to guide theory. His recent research has looked at disruptions of delay architectures in the human brain during different global modes of consciousness, and what this might mean for contemporary models of consciousness.
Greg Cooper is a PhD student working on the design and coordination of the ‘Understanding Neuroplasticity Induced by Tryptamines’ (UNITy) Project. His work centres around establishing how psychedelic drugs modulate brain-network dynamics in naturalistic settings, and how these changes relate to post-trip behavioural change. In practice, his research focuses on developing new fMRI analysis techniques to characterise the mechanisms behind how the brain processes multiple timescales of information at once, while watching movies and while under the effects of general-anaesthetic and psychedelic drugs. Additionally, Greg is developing new techniques to tie subjective reports of the psychedelic experience to brain data.
Agathe is fascinated by the power of psychedelics to uncover the mysteries of consciousness and heal the mind. She worked on the world’s first clinical trial of DMT for depression at Small Pharma and is now working on her PhD through the award of a UCL PALS Demonstratorship. She has an interest in using psychedelic drugs as a tool to modulate consciousness and reveal some of its intricacies. Specifically, she is investigating the neurobiology and therapeutic power of spiritual experiences on psychedelics. In her free time, Agathe enjoys bedroom music production and DJing in random places.
Annette is a PhD student in the LAB Lab and at The University of Texas at Dallas, studying neurobiology of language. Prior to her doctoral studies, she obtained degrees in English Literature (BA), Film Studies (MA), and Communication Disorders (MSc), and worked in industries from law to film. She’s a licensed and certified Speech and Language Therapist in Texas. Her recent research focuses on brain processing of taboo words (i.e., expletives) during naturalistic perception.
Regan is part of The London Interdisciplinary Biosciences Consortium (LIDo) Doctoral Training Program, 2020 cohort, focusing on the neurobiology of language and consciousness. This is her first adventure into neuroscience, coming from a BSc in Biology and MSc in Biomedical & Molecular Sciences Research. She is mainly interested in changes in language before and after the psychedelic experience, and how this relates, overall, to conscious experience. Although using fMRI scanning, she opts for the more naturalistic experience, provided by the LAB Lab, wherein participants watch movies, rather than complete unnatural tasks.
Viktor started his PhD in 2021 as part of the Leverhulme Eco-Brain DTP. His research aims at understanding the real-world dynamics of language comprehension in the brain with a focus on potential computational implementation. Currently, he is investigating what effect different types of contextual structures can have on concept representation.
Joanna is a PhD student working on novel ways of integrating digital technologies and AI to understand real-world wellbeing and behaviour changes induced by psychedelic drugs. Specifically, she is interested in using natural language processing to study differences in the narrative self after exposure to DMT, as well as the use of wearables and mobile apps to enable naturalistic participant observations.
Egor is a LIDo PhD student focusing on neurobiological mechanisms of language comprehension under naturalistic conditions. Prior to his PhD, he obtained an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from the Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow. The main goal of his research is to uncover the relationship between brain networks associated with non-linguistic (for example, mouth movements) and linguistic cues.
Yumeng is an undergraduate student in UCL BSc Neuroscience. She is interested in individual differences in emotional processing of naturalistic stimuli. Her research focuses on how individuals with different behavioural traits process movies with dynamic emotional contents.
Alex is a Clinical Neuroscience Master’s student interested in the neuroplastic and potentially neurogenic effects of psychedelics and psychoplastogens. His current work focuses on structural brain changes following repeated administration of psychedelics in members of the Santo Daime Church. He joined the LAB Lab after earning an MSc in Experimental Pharmacology from UCL, and a BSc in Behavioural Neuroscience.
Prunella and Rupert
Prunella and Rupert are the official LAB Lab and UNITy companions with fur. They are cats.
Yi Jou (Winnie) Yeh
Winnie started her PhD in the LAB Lab in 2021. Her project is mainly focusing on multimodal processing of emotional language and hopes to discover the neurobiology of emotional processing in speech using naturalistic stimuli. Coming from a psycholinguistic background (BAHons, University of Stellenbosch and MScRes Linguistics, University of Edinburgh), this is her first take on neuroscience and she is interested in how the brain makes sense of our world through language and context.
Bangjie is a PhD student at the University of Texas at Dallas. He completed his master’s degree in neuroscience from UCL, where he joined the LAB lab. He is interested in understanding neural representations of naturalistic speech.
Grace is undergraduate student in Psychology and Language Science at UCL. She is interested in cognitive psychology as well as language and the brain. We are happy to have her helping us with projects related to the neurobiology of emotional language processing.
Dr Sarah Aliko
LAB Lab Alumnus
Sarah was a PhD student in the LAB Lab from 2017-2022 through the The London Interdisciplinary Biosciences Consortium (LIDo) Doctoral Training Program. She obtained her BSc in Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh. Her work focused on the neurobiology of language and the functional connectivity of the brain under naturalistic conditions.
LAB Lab Alumnus
Florin obtained his MSci from UCL in 2018 before joining the LAB Lab as a PhD student before leaving in 2022 to work full time at a start-up in media that aims to support and enable curiosity in children.
LAB Lab Alumnus
Jiawen graduated from the UCL BSc Psychology programme and worked in the LAB Lab as a Research Assistant before he departed for Columbia University to pursue his PhD at the Columbia Dynamic Perception and Memory Lab.
Dr Stef Meliss
LAB Lab Alumnus
Stef was a PhD student at the University of Reading and joined the Lab lab as an Honorary Research Associate from 2018-2020. She obtained her BSc and MSc in Psychology at the University of Hamburg, Germany, before focusing on cognitive neuroscience in her doctoral studies. More specifically, she was interested in reward-motivated learning and how it can be influenced by curiosity. To enhance the ecological validity, her experiments relied on naturalistic stimuli like movie clips to investigate incidental encoding processes. In addition to behavioural effects, she also investigates the neural underpinnings using fMRI and inter-subject correlation approaches.
LAB Lab Alumnus
Dyutiman was a Newton International Fellow from 2018 to 2021 and worked on the experimental psychology and neuroscience of emotion, mental health, arts and creativity – their inter-relationships and their social and cultural predispositions. He has a PhD in Biomedical sciences, Post-Doctoral experience in cognitive sciences (experimental aesthetics), and a five-years Diploma in Fine-arts (painting).
- Ravi Das Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology, UCL, UK
- Sunjeev Kamboj Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology, UCL, UK
- Steven L Small School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, USA
- Tessa Dekker Experimental Psychology, UCL, UK
- Daniel R Lametti Acadia University, Canada
- Chee-Ming Ting School of Information Technology, Monash University, Malaysia
- Fred Dick Alphalab, Birkbeck College, and UCL, UK
- Eduardo Schenberg The Phaneros Institute, São Paulo, Brazil
- eMoodie Experience Sampling & Ecological Momentary Assessment Platfor