Tuesday, 24 September 2013

An introduction to Alexander Jones

I moved to London in 2001 (from Sweden) to do an undergrad at City University London and then continued with an MSc at UCL. Broadly, my research interests include attention, prediction, action, and multisensory integration, and using cognitive neuroscience techniques to investigate how brain and behaviour relate. In particular, I use electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERPs) to try and tap into what is going on in the brain.

I did my PhD at City University London looking at how we attend to touch, an area which has seen very little research as compared to vision and audition. Our sense of touch is constantly bombarded with information from our body (our clothes, the chair we sit on etc.) so how do we select what is relevant? Moreover, how does voluntary (endogenous) and reflexive (exogenous) attention interact, so... do we notice the “tap on the shoulder” when we are really focused on something else?

After my PhD I moved to Paris to do a post-doc at Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Universite Paris Descartes. Here my research was more focused on action prediction. How do we process the effects of our actions? The most well known example of the motor system predicting what will happen next is that you can’t tickle yourself (sensory suppression)! As with many colleagues, a range of topics interest me and I am currently involved in various projects such as investigating how professional ballet dancers view the aesthetics of movements, or in another project we are looking at how Mindfulness therapy can change attention and body processing in the brain. I am also keen to explore areas such as attention to pain, or the neural correlates of sports expertise, for example looking at action anticipation and attention. It is not always the strongest and fastest athlete who is best, but arguably the most important factor determining success is the brain, but why?

I’m in room TG68 so just drop by for a chat or email me at a.j.jones@mdx.ac.uk (ext. is 16328)

Alexander Jones

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