Steve Fleming is a Principal Research Associate and Sir Henry Dale Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Fellow at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, University College London where he leads the Metacognition Group. The group’s research focuses on the mechanisms supporting conscious awareness, metacognition and decision-making in the adult human brain.
Steve received a first class BA in Psychology and Physiology at Oxford University (2003-2006) before completing a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL under the supervision of Ray Dolan and Chris Frith, investigating awareness in perceptual decision-making (2006-2011). He was awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship to study with Nathaniel Daw at New York University and Matthew Rushworth at Oxford (2011-2015), building computational models of self-monitoring. In 2006 he received the British Psychological Society Undergraduate Award and the Gibbs Prize in Psychology, Physiology and Philosophy from the University of Oxford. Since then Steve's research has been recognised with the William James Prize from the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (2012), a "Rising Star" designation by the Association of Psychological Science (2015) and the Wiley Prize in Psychology from the British Academy (2016).
Steve is actively involved in public engagement and has given public talks about neuroscience and consciousness both in the UK and the USA. He is Executive Director of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. He has written general-interest articles for outlets including Aeon, Scientific American and Psychology Today, and the lab’s work is regularly featured in the mainstream media.
Postdoctoral Research Associates
Dan Bang [web]
d.bang [at] ucl.ac.uk
As a slight academic detour, Dr. Dan Bang spent his early days in Beijing studying Mandarin Chinese. Following that he read for a BA in Linguistics at Aarhus University before becoming involved with the Interacting Minds Centre at Aarhus University; working as a Research Assistant for Bahador Bahrami, Andreas Roepstorff and Chris Frith. Dan then read for a Masters degree in Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology under the supervision of Robin Dunbar at the University of Oxford. Upon completion of his Masters, he read for a DPhil degree under the supervision of Jennifer Lau and Chris Summerfield at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. His DPhil research broadly concerned how people compute and integrate confidence during group decision-making. As a postdoc in the Metacognition Lab, Dan is working on dissociating the different types of uncertainty that affect our sense of confidence.
Marion Rouault [web]
marion.rouault [at] ucl.ac.uk
Dr. Marion Rouault completed her PhD work with Etienne Koechlin investigating executive control and decision-making in prefrontal cortex. This work focused on two types of value signals in choice outcomes, belief and reward values, which concurrently control decisions. She is interested in the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying metacognition, learning and decision-making in humans. As a postdoc in the Metacognition Group Marion is investigating how the sense of confidence changes in the presence and absence of feedback, and its relationship with metacognition, at the behavioural, computational and neural levels. She is currently investigating how a sense of confidence is built and maintained and the functional role of these signals in guiding learning and decision-making. In addition, she aims to understand how a global sense of confidence such as individual self-esteem is built from local, task-dependent confidence. Possible extensions of this work include the study of metacognitive impairments in certain psychiatric disorders characterized by changes in self-evaluation.
max.rollwage.16 [at] ucl.ac.uk
Max graduated with a Diploma in Psychology from Philipps-University Marburg. In parallel, he was working as research assistant at the German Primate Center and European Neuroscience Institute in Göttingen, for Igor Kagan, Arezoo Pooresmaeili and Melanie Wilke. Generally, he is interested in the process of decision making, individual choice-differences and especially in the metacognitive evaluation of previous decisions. Max is carrying out a PhD in the MetaLab funded by the Max Planck-UCL Computational Psychiatry Centre, and supervised by Steve and Prof. Ray Dolan. He plans to investigate the link between metacognition, confidence and political beliefs.
Sara Kimmich [web]
sara.kimmich [at] nih.gov
Sara Kimmich graduated from University of California in 2015 with degrees in Cognitive Science and Political Science, where she began an early brain imaging career through two years of research funding as an National Institutes of Health MARC Fellow. She is fascinated by the brain’s ability to change itself, and focuses on neurofeedback: a non-invasive intervention that allows subjects to gain control of their own brain responses via brain-computer interfaces in real-time. Now a graduate student in the UCL-NIMH Joint Doctoral Program, she works with Dr. Bandettini at the NIMH Section for Functional Methods to improve real-time fMRI signal processing, and is co-supervised by Steve and Dr. Geraint Rees at UCL to understand individual differences in neurofeedback learning.
Matan completed his MSc in neuroscience at Tel Aviv University. In his dissertation he proposed a model-free fMRI analysis, and applied it to the study of the sense of agency in humans. Matan is now pursuing a PhD in the MetaLab, supervised by Steve and Prof. Karl Friston, in which he plans to investigate the complementary roles of motor-related and motor-invariant information to self recognition and to the updating of one's own self-representation. Matan is curious about philosophical, computational and cognitive aspects of self-representation. He is also interested in questions of scientific inference, and in moral aspects of doing science.
Dr Andrew McWilliams is an NIHR-funded Academic Clinical Fellow in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. After receiving a first class BA(Hons) in Natural Sciences (Psychology) at King’s College Cambridge, he trained in medicine at Barts and the London School of Medicine, winning the Strauss Prize for Psychological Medicine. He became interested in liaison psychiatry whilst working with Prof Isobel Heyman at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where his research has focussed on paediatric Non-epileptic seizures: a condition previously regarded as rare. Currently a member of the Maudsley Training Programme, he is interested in developing ways to measure metacognition in user-acceptable formats which can be applied to clinical populations across the lifespan. He also has an interest in the use of dance in mental illness and to promote resilience.
Xiao is visiting the lab from Beijing Normal University on a China Scholarship Council Award. His PhD studies focus on the psychological basis of metamemory. He plans to conduct a project to examine the relationship between metamemory and cognitive offloading, using a combination of behavioural methods and EEG.
Rylan is a Cognitive Neuroscience MRes student at UCL. He graduated from the University of California, Davis with two degrees in Computer Science Engineering and Statistics. Rylan is broadly interested in the intersection of decision making and metacognition, with the goal of understanding the role that metacognition plays in improving decisions as well as in detecting and correcting erroneous decisions. He aims to build computational models that capture decisions and confidence in humans, and then use those models to generate testable predictions on the underlying cognitive computational processes.
Alisa graduated with a Diploma in Psychology from the University of Groningen and is now following the Dual Masters in Brain and Mind Sciences at UCL and ENS/UPMC. She is interested in the process of decision making and individual differences in metacognitive evaluations of choices and changes of mind. Working with Max, her aim is to investigate the link between confidence and post-decision information integration.
Jason Carpenter graduated from UCLA with a Bachelors degree in Cognitive Science. He worked as a Research Assistant in the Metacognition Group from 2015-2017 after working with the lab from abroad at UCLA with lab collaborator Hakwan Lau. He worked on projects examining whether and how metacognition can be improved through training, and how this is supported by functional and structural brain changes. Jason is now a Masters student in Computer Science at UCSF.
Oriane Armand graduated with a Bachelors in Biology and completed a Masters in neuroscience in Paris before coming to UCL to study for the MSc in Advanced Neuroimaging. She conducted a study in the MetaLab investigating the relationship between motor force and metacognition with psychophysics. Oriane is now a Research Assistant at the Institute of Philosophy, London.
Tricia Seow graduated from the MSci in Neuroscience at UCL before working as a Research Assistant in the lab. Her projects included exploring the influence of social context on visual consciousness as well as building large-scale web-based studies that aim to relate features of metacognition to individual differences in personality and psychiatric symptoms. Tricia is now a PhD student with Claire Gillan at Trinity College Dublin.
Steven Chau completed his medical training in psychiatry in Hong Kong before joining the MSc in Neuroscience programme at UCL. His project focused on developing connectivity-based imaging analyses to further understand the role of subregions of the frontopolar cortex in metacognition.
Shaima studied for a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering before joining the MSc in Neuroscience programme at UCL. She worked with Marion on a project examining how prior experience affects confidence judgments.
Mount Sinai Hospital
University of Denver
Institute of Psychiatry, KCL
University of Birmingham