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I completed my undergraduate degree in Pharmacology at Newcastle University where I remained to complete a PhD in neuroscience. I then took a position as a postdoctoral researcher at the MRC Cognitive Brain Science Unit in Cambridge before moving to University of Oxford in 2018. I was appointed as Stipendiary Lecturer in Neurophysiology at Queens College in 2023.


I teach the “‘Introduction to Psychology’ Prelim course to Queen’s Experimental Psychology (EP) students.


I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Brain & Behaviour Research Group, where I conduct research into the cortical networks supporting perception, memory, and decision making. My current research is focussed on understanding communication between areas of the temporal and prefrontal cortex during sensory processing, and aims to understand how these areas communicate to process incoming information and to shape decisions and choices.

My research involves the use of several techniques in combination to link neuronal activity with behaviour. This includes developing behavioural testing paradigms as well as the analysis of a range of neuronal data. I frequently combine both neuroimaging (fMRI), and electrophysiology data to find neural activity associated with sensory features or outcomes, and to quantify how this information is communicated between areas of the brain.


I was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico where I earned my bachelor’s degree at the Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESO). Subsequently, I went on to pursue two master’s degrees in the Netherlands, including a Research MSc in Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. More recently, I completed my DPhil at the University of Oxford in the Oxford Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence. I am currently a post-doctoral researcher in the Brain & Behaviour Research Group led by Prof. Mark Buckley in the University of Oxford and a Stipendiary Lecturer in Queen’s college.


I teach part of the first year ‘Introduction to Psychology’ course to Queen’s Experimental Psychology (EP), Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics (PPL), and Biomedical Science (BMS) students, particularly the Psychobiology and Cognition modules. I also provide tutorials to 2nd year students for their course in ‘Behavioural Neuroscience’. For final year students I provide a couple of lectures and tutorials for the Advanced Option entitled ‘Systems Neuroscience’. Additionally, I give a lecture on Learning and Memory for MSc in Neuroscience students for their A1 module.


I am currently a post-doctoral researcher in the Brain & Behaviour Research Group where I investigate the neural activity that underlies and supports complex cognitive and neuropsychological processes like learning, memory and cognition.


A list of my publications can be found here


I studied medicine at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. I then moved to London to do an MSc in Neuroscience at UCL followed by a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience. After receiving my PhD in 2017 I moved to Oxford. I have since been working at the department of Experimental Psychology and the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN).


I am module leader for the Behavioural Neuroscience Core Practical.


When performing a voluntary action, one has to decide not only which action to choose but whether, at any given point in time, it is worth taking any action as opposed to doing nothing at all, given the potential benefits of acting in a particular environment.  My aim is to understand how the environmental context influences the willingness to initiate a volitional action and how it exerts this influence via brain circuits.  Understanding such process are important because impairments in decisions about if and when to act are observed across a wide range of brain disorders such as apathy and impulsivity.

To answer this question, I design behavioural paradigms in which humans and/or non-human primates (NHPs) make decisions about when it is worth acting. While humans/NHPs are performing the task, I record their brain activity with electroencephalogram (EEG) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). I then use non-invasive brain stimulation methods such as transcranial ultrasound (TUS) to identify the causal relationship between the brain activity and behaviour.


Please visit my department page.


  • BA (Hons) Experimental Psychology (EP)
  • BA (Hons) Psychology, Philosophy & Linguistics (PPL)

The courses and teaching

Experimental Psychology (EP) is the scientific study of behaviour, and this means that our course concentrates on theories about behaviour that rest on scientific evidence. If you read EP then our intention is that you will learn about this evidence and also learn how to gather such evidence for yourself.

Those reading Psychology, Philosophy & Linguistics (PPL) may combine the study of Psychology either with the study of Philosophy which is concerned with a wide range of questions including ethics, knowledge and the nature of mind, or with the study of Linguistics which is the study of language in all its aspects, including the structure of languages, meaning (semantics), how children learn language, pronunciation, and how people understand, mentally represent and generate language. In PPL one can study any combination of two out of the three subjects (i.e. including Philosophy and Linguistics) but it is recommended that students only study two out of the three instead of all three (and when applying note that each pairwise combination has a different course code).

In the first two terms of the first year, EP and PPL students study for their Preliminary (i.e. qualifying) Examinations (which we refer to as ‘Prelims’) in three papers. EP students typically take Psychology, Statistics and Neuropsychology, whereas PPL students typically replace the Neuropsychology paper with either Philosophy or Linguistics (though other combinations are possible). As these first two terms of University life are formative periods for one’s degree level academic study, at Queen’s we strive to provide maximum support via in-house tutoring for Prelims: therefore, depending on your courses, you will likely have Introduction to Psychology tutorials from both our Psychology Fellow Professor Mark Buckley (who coordinates EP/PPL admissions) and our College lecturer in Psychology and Statistics (currently Dr Danielle Shore); you are also likely have Neurophysiology tutorials from our College lecturer in Neurophysiology (currently Dr David Menassa), and if you take Linguistics you will likely have Linguistics tutorials from our Linguistics lecturer (currently Dr Joanna Przedlacka). We also have a College lecturer in Philosophy (currently Dr Ben Sorgiovanni) who provides both tutorials and oversight of the Philosophy courses that PPL students take.

Over the following three terms EP students take all of their ‘Final Honour School (FHS) Part I’ modules which cover a wide range of in-depth courses in Psychology stretching from physiological analysis of the brain to social psychology, with courses on perception, memory, thinking, child development, psychological disorders, language, and many other subjects in between. PPL students studying Psychology take a proportion of these modules, with the rest made up of either Philosophy or Linguistics courses (the exact proportion is a decision open to the student). In the third and final year the degree of specialization in the Experimental Psychology course at Oxford is much greater than that offered by most other universities as one can choose from a diverse range of ‘Advanced Options’ taught by outstanding and word-leading researchers and scholars; one can carry out an original research project and one may choose to replace one final year advanced option module/lecture course with an extended dissertation.

In all courses involving Experimental Psychology there is a commitment to the experimental analysis of behaviour. For these courses you will receive tuition from experts in these subjects who are tutors at a wide range of colleges including Queen’s’ own fellow and tutor in Psychology, Prof. Mark Buckley, whose expertise lies in the general fields of Behavioural/Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology/Neurophysiology (Prof. Buckley coordinates the Part I FHS course named Behavioural Neuroscience and if, like all EP and the majority of PPL students, you take this course in your second year then Prof. Buckley will likely be your expert in-house tutor in this subject). In addition to tutorial provision per se within Queen’s, your college tutor is also responsible for coordinating your tuition with tutors external to Queen’s and will act as your academic mentor and advisor, meeting you at least twice termly to advise you on academic matters and more, providing you with the opportunity to discuss and evaluate feedback on your progress, and helping you navigate difficulties of any kind that you may be experiencing.

In addition to Queen’s providing mentorship, Queen’s also provides many opportunities to interact informally, both academically and socially, with EP and PPL students in all three years. Queen’s EP/PPL students in all three years become members of ‘The Queen’s College Psychology Society’, a lively within-college society which meets once per term to engage in both academic-related and social events all aiming to further cement the EP/PPL subject ‘family’ within Queen’s. Old Members tend to remain in contact both formally with the college and informally via this popular society. Recent events include option discussion evenings where students may learn about what other students in the years above are doing in order to help guide individual decisions about option choices; there is also the opportunity to engage with a growing network of Old Members who have recently studied EP or PPL at Queen’s and who enthusiastically volunteer to advise current Queen’s EP and PPL students on career choices drawing upon their recent experiences. We also have our very popular ‘Queen’s College Psychology Society Dinner’ every Trinity term.


Queen’s normally admits a total of four students each year to read EP and PPL combined. There is no fixed sub-quota of places ascribed to each course, and for both EP and PPL we consider students with any combination of A-level (or equivalent) subjects on an equal footing. However, like all colleges, we strongly recommend that candidates for EP/PPL have studied at least one of the science subjects e.g. Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology and/or Mathematics at A-level (or equivalent). The college runs several open days each year and we warmly welcome potential applicants to come along and informally discuss any element of their application to read EP or PPL at Queen’s direct with the tutors; other enquiries outside of these events are also welcome and should be directed in the first instance to


To be invited for an interview, a short listed applicant will need to have a very good track record of academic achievement, excellent A-level grade predictions (or equivalent), a strong UCAS reference and a good mark in our pre-interview admissions test (the TSA or Thinking Skills Assessment). Short-listing of applicants for interview uses criteria agreed across colleges and is based heavily upon academic attainment to-date and the results of the pre-interview admissions test. We also take full account of any individual circumstances, both academic and non-academic, which may suggest that the aforementioned assessment measures may significantly underestimate academic potential.

If you apply to Queen’s to read EP you will be interviewed in Experimental Psychology; if you apply to read PPL you will be interviewed in the two subjects out of the three you specify at the time of application that you wish to be considered for.  Tutors will be looking for the following qualities at interview: clarity of analysis and presentation of ideas; ability to generate own ideas and propositions; ability to listen and respond to ideas put forward during discussion and to draw inferences from them; and ability to put forward coherent and well thought-out proposals and responses. Further, all our applicants will also be interviewed at another college too that is departmentally allocated (and cannot be specified by the applicant); this is to ensure that we have two independent interview assessments for every applicant to help ensure that the most able candidates get into Oxford as a whole irrespective of college of first choice. Although the interview understandably looms large on candidates’ minds, the post-interview decisions on who to offer places to read EP or PPL are not based solely or even predominantly on the interview, rather they are based upon performance across the full range of available indicators: public examination results to date (e.g. GCSE’s or equivalent), predicted or obtained A-levels or equivalent, the pre-interview admissions test, the interviews, and other relevant information on the application form.

For more information on how to apply and how we select applicants together with details of the pre-interview admissions test and qualification requirements, please see the Department’s Undergraduate Courses in Psychology page.


I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at Bangor University, where I remained to complete my Masters degree in Psychological Research with Clinical Neuroscience and PhD in Social Neuroscience. I came to Oxford in 2014 as a postdoctoral researcher and was appointed Departmental Lecturer in Experimental Psychology and College Lecturer in Statistics at Queen’s College in October 2017. 


I teach statistics for the Experimental Psychology and Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics courses across Prelims, Part I and Part II. My teaching predominantly covers material from the Introduction to Probability Theory and Statistics and Experimental Design and Statistics Courses.  


My research examines how humans navigate social environments focusing on how social information shapes decision-making processes. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how different pieces of social information contribute to decision-making, and the underlying neural processes. For example, how do facial expressions of emotion influence interpersonal and intergroup trust and cooperation? Social partners are a rich source of information and provide many cues, which we can use to guide our decision-making and behaviour. Therefore, my research aims to understand how people perceive, interpret, and use the different social cues they receive in an interaction (e.g. facial expressions of emotion, or behaviours such as the reciprocity of trust). To investigate these ideas I apply reinforcement learning, and neuroeconomic models to social interactions.


  • Shore, D.M., Ng, R., Bellugi, U., & Mills, D.L. (2017). Abnormalities in early visual processes are linked to hypersociability and atypical evaluation of facial trustworthiness: an ERP study with Williams syndrome. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience. doi:10.3758/s13415-017-0528-6
  • Ha, T., Granger, D. A., Shore, D. M., Yeung, E.W., & Dishion, T.J. (2015). Neural responses to partner rejection predict adrenocortical reactivity in adolescent romantic couples. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 61, 39. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.07.495. 


I went to School in Oldham and then came to Oxford University to read Biological Science at New College where after becoming interested in neurobiology, behaviour, and the brain I remained to complete a D.Phil. in Experimental Psychology with a focus on understanding how neural systems in the brain underlie memory. A Research Training Fellowship from the Medical Research Council, followed by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, enabled me to expand my research into the neuroscience of memory and decision-making at Oxford. During this period I was appointed Science Research Fellow at St John’s College and Psychology Lecturer at Magdalen College (the latter appointment I still hold). In 2006 I was appointed to a University Lecturership (now termed Associate Professorship) in Experimental Psychology combined with the Tutorial Fellowship in Psychology at Queen’s. I have been a ‘Visiting Scientist’ at the Cognitive Brain Mapping Laboratory of my collaborators at RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan for many years and am a Visiting Professor at Tohoku University Brain Science Centre, also in Japan. In 2016 I was promoted to a full Professor in Behaviour and Cognitive Neuroscience and I head the ‘Brain and Behaviour Research Group’ in the Department of Experimental Psychology.


I teach part of the first year ‘Introduction to Psychology’ course to Queen’s Experimental Psychology (EP), Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics (PPL), and Biomedical Science (BMS) students by means of tutorial courses, with a focus on teaching the ‘Psychobiology’ modules. I am the course coordinator of the Departmentally organised 2nd year (Part I) lecture course in ‘Behavioural Neuroscience’ and so I lecture extensively on this course as well providing the associated tutorials to second year EP/PPL/BMS students who take this course. For final year students I run a popular Advanced Option (Part II) course entitled ‘Neurobiology of Episodic and Semantic Memory’ and I supervise Part II research project and Part II library dissertations for those enthusiastic about areas of research close to my own interests.


The aim of the program of research in my laboratory (funded by the MRC and Wellcome Trust) is to determine how neural systems in the brain interact to mediate basic cognitive processes such as learning, memory, and decision-making. For example, we have long been interested in understanding how brain areas in the temporal lobes and in associated regions, some of which become dysfunction in dementias including Alzheimer’s Disease, operate in mediating perception and memory. Likewise we have also focused our attention on understanding how more anterior brain regions in the frontal lobes operate in mediating other basic cognitive processes including choice behavior. An overarching theme of the current research in my laboratory is to progress beyond the traditional focus of research on individual regions and move to an understanding of how networks of interconnected brain regions interact together to mediate normal learning, memory and cognition. To do this we have to investigate both normal and abnormal brain function using a range of complementary neuropsychological and neurophysiological techniques.


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