The Episodic Memory Group



Chris Bird

Chris Bird: Principal Investigator

Chris has been using neuropsychology and fMRI to investigate memory and other cognitive processes since 2000. He joined the University of Sussex in 2011. Prior to this, Chris worked in the Neuropsychology Department at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and for nearly 10 years at UCL’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in London. He is a Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Sussex and teaches Cognitive Psychology and FMRI to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Chris is a recipient of a 5 year European Research Council Starting Grant award and winner of the Elizabeth Warrington Prize from the British Neuropsychological Society. 

Sam Berens

Sam Berens: former PhD Student and postdoc (now at York Uni)

Sam uses fMRI and behavioural testing to investigate associative memory processes. He is particularly interested in the role of the medial temporal lobes when gradually learning different types of material. After graduating in 2012 with an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from Sussex, Sam started a PhD under the supervision of Chris Bird.

UPDATE: Sam was awarded his PhD with flying colours and after working for around 14 months as a postdoc, left Sussex to work with Aidan Horner at the University of york.


Alice De Visscher: Visitor (now returned to Belgium)

Alice’s research interests focus on the typical and atypical development of numerical cognition. In particular she studies the different types of dyscalculia (math learning disorders) by using case studies and group studies. She graduated from UCL (Belgium) with a Masters in Speech and language therapy (neuropsychology orientation). She started a PhD in the Numerical Cognition Lab of the UCL (Belgium) with Professor Marie-Pascale Noël and recently joined the University of Sussex. She is currently finishing her PhD and starting projects on memory and numerical cognition under the supervision of Chris Bird.

UPDATE: Alice carried out an fMRI study on the brain regions assocaited with interference effects when recalling numerical facts that was published in NeuroImage.

picture of keidel

James Keidel: Post-doctoral Research Fellow (Brain Imaging)

James received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied with Mark Seidenberg.  He has since worked at the University of Manchester and Bangor University.  His work has used fMRI (with a focus on multivariate analysis techniques) to investigate topics ranging from Shakespeare to semantics to bilingualism.  He is running studies investigating memory function in typical populations as part of the TRANSMEM project.

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Christiane Oedekoven: Post-doctoral Research Fellow (Neuropsychology)

Christiane is interested in cognitive ageing, especially regarding changes in memory processes with age. After studying Psychology, she received her PhD from the University of Marburg, investigating episodic memory in healthy elderly and patients with memory impairment using fMRI and neuropsychology. Since then, she worked at the University of Tuebingen, focusing on the effects of training and possible compensatory mechanisms. She is carrying out neuropsychological studies of episodic memory in individuals with memory problems as part of the TRANSMEM project.


Gemma Campbell: PhD Student

Gemma is interested in all aspects of learning and memory, particularly with regard to how these processes might change with abnormal cognitive ageing. Gemma originally joined the University of Sussex in 2009 and graduated with a degree in Psychology. She then completed an MSc in Clinical Neuroscience at UCL and has since returned to Sussex to start her PhD under the supervision of Chris Bird. Her research uses neuropsychological testing to investigate novel methods of learning in individuals with memory problems such as Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.