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Professor Zoe Kourtzi

Learning and brain plasticity; cognitive ageing; adaptive behaviours across the lifespan
Professor Zoe Kourtzi

Professor of Experimental Psychology

Principal Investigator, Adaptive Brain Lab

Learning and brain plasticity

Cognitive ageing

Adaptive behaviours across the lifespan


Departments and Institutes

Department of Psychology:

Research Interests

My research focuses on imaging the neural processes in the human brain that mediate complex, adaptive cognitive functions and behaviour. The aim of my work is to understand the neural processes that mediate complex cognitive functions (i.e. object categorization, recognition, perceptual decisions) and their experience-based and developmental neural plasticity. In particular, we combine multimodal brain imaging methods (structural and functional MRI, EEG, MEG), established behavioural paradigms from cognitive psychology and state-of-the art mathematical algorithms to understand the link between brain structure, neural function and behaviour. The development of these multidisciplinary and advanced tools has direct applications for translational research in ageing and neurological disorders with potential impact for the prevention and treatment of nervous system disorders. Within this framework research in my lab spans diverse areas in neuroscience: visual brain imaging, learning and plasticity, cognitive development of the intact and impaired brain across the lifespan from infancy to ageing.

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Cognitive development
  • Cognitive neuroscience

Key Publications

Kuai S, Levi D, Kourtzi Z (2013). Learning optimizes decision templates in the ventral visual cortex, Current Biology, 23, 1799-804.

Kuai S, Kourtzi Z (2013). Learning to see, but not discriminate visual forms is impaired in aging. Psychological Science, 24, 412-22.

Mayhew SD, Li S, Kourtzi Z (2012). Learning acts on distinct processes form visual form perception in the human brain. J Neuroscience, 32, 775-86.

Kourtzi Z, Connor E (2011). Neural representations for object perception: structure, category and adaptive coding. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 34, 45-67.

Zhang J, Kourtzi Z (2010). Learning-dependent plasticity with and without training in the human brain. PNAS, 107,13503-8.

Li S, Mayhew S D, Kourtzi Z (2009). Learning shapes the representation of behavioral choice in the human brain, Neuron, 62, 441-52.