UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

Prof Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Prof Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience

Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Nov 2002

Research summary

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL. She is Deputy Director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and leader of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group. Her group's research focuses on the development of social cognition and decision making in the adolescent brain. 

The group is based at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, 17 Queen Square, London, UK.


Teaching summary

Undergraduate teaching:

The Brain in Action 3rd Year module

MSc teaching:

MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience

MSc in Developmental Neuropsychology, ICH

MSc in Research Methods

Doctoral training teaching:

Educational Psychology Doctorate

Graduate course convening:

Deputy director of the Wellcome 4-year PhD in neuroscience at UCL


University College London
PhD, Cognitive Psychology | 2000
University of Oxford
BA Hons, Experimental Psychology | 1996


Sarah-Jayne studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University (1993-1996) and then did her PhD (1996-2000) at the UCL Functional Imaging Lab with Chris Frith and Daniel Wolpert, investigating the self-monitoring in schizophrenia. She then took up a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellowship (2001-2003) to work in Lyon, France, in the area of social neuroscience. This was followed by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (2004-2007) and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2007-2016) at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Sarah-Jayne has been awarded a number of prizes for her research including the George Humphrey Prize for Highest First in Finals, Oxford University, 1996, British Psychological Society Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research Contributions to Psychology, 2001, British Psychological Society Spearman Medal for early career research 2006, The Society for Educational Studies Book Prize 2006 for The Learning Brain: Lessons for Education, Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Heirloom recipient 2011, Distinguished Lecturer in Neuropsychology Award 2011 from the Swedish Neuropsychological Society, The Turin Young Mind & Brain Prize 2013 and The Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award 2013. Sarah-Jayne was one of 40 ‘Young Scientists’ invited to the Annual Meeting of the New Champions, World Economic Forum, China, 2012 and was elected a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader Honouree, 2014. She was awarded the Klaus J Jacobs Prize 2015, worth one million Swiss Francs.

Sarah-Jayne is actively involved in Public Engagement with Science: she frequently gives public lectures and talks at schools, has worked with the Select Committee for Education, and acted as scientific consultant on the BBC series The Human Mind in 2003. She gave a TED talk at TEDGlobal, Edinburgh, 2012, which has had over one million views. She was one of 80 young people featured in The Observer, 2004, one of '40 under 40' academics highlighted in UCL magazine, 2006, named in The Sunday Times 100 Makers of the 21st Century list, 2014, one of 30 under 45 in The Times Young Female Power List, 2014, and one of 10 young academics highlighted by the Times Higher Education Supplement, 2008. 

Sarah-Jayne has an interest in the links between neuroscience and education. She co-authored a book with Prof Uta Frith called The Learning Brain: Lessons for Education. She sat on the Royal Society BrainWaves working group for neuroscience, education and lifelong learning and the Royal Society Vision Committee for Maths and Science Education.

In 2015, she was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Life Scientific. She closely worked with the Islington Community Theatre on their play, Brainstorm, written and performed by teenagers, which had two runs at the National Theatre in London, to national acclaim.

Sarah-Jayne is Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust Four Year PhD Programme in Neuroscience at UCL. She is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, and a member of the Wellcome Trust Expert Review Group for Cognitive Neuroscience and Mental Health.