Duncan Astle



Desford Primary School, Market Bosworth High-School, Bosworth Community College, University of Durham, University of Nottingham (in that order!)


BSc (Hons) Psychology; PhD Cognitive Neuroscience / Psychology

Work History:

2010-2011 University Lecturer (Faculty Member), Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; 2008-2010 : Fulford Junior Research Fellow, Somerville College, University of Oxford, UK; 2007-2010 Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford, UK

Current Job:

2012- PI / Faculty Member (Programme Leader Track Scientist); 2012- Research Associate, St. John’s College, Cambridge, UK


Medical Research Council – Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit

My Interview

Me and my work

My research uses electro- and magnetoencephalography with typically and atypically developing children. In particular I am interested in attentional control – how we direct our cognitive resources towards particular task-relevant pieces of information, such that we can achieve our goals. These control mechanisms are severely tested as children progress through years of intensive education, and are implicated in numerous developmental disorders.

In my research programme we develop new neuroscientific tools and methods for studying how the brain supports these processes in childhood, how they are altered in children with very poor attentional control skills, and the extent to which they can be enhanced with targeted interventions.

You can check out our blog and twitter account:

Typical day

We have numerous studies running both at the Unit and out in schools. On any given day my time could be spent working on data we have already collected, designing new studies, assisting in data collection, writing papers or at conferences (or any combination therein!).

What topics do you work on?

Attention, Working Memory, and related constructs (e.g. Executive Functions)

What methods do you use?

Electroencephalography (EEG), Magnetoencephalography (MEG), cognitive tasks, standardised assessments

Who was your favourite teacher?

So hard to say! Maybe Mr or Mrs Wocha.