Timothy Behrens MEng DPhil

Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow , Professor of Computational Neuroscience
I have two main research interests. The first is in understanding anatomical brain connectivity (the paths of the wires that connect different regions of the brain). The second is in understanding learning and decision-making in the human and macaque brains from a computational perspective.

Research Themes

Cross-Divisional Themes

  • Neuroscience
  • Behavioural Science
  • Imaging

Group Members


Web Personal Website
Department Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain

We have two main research interests.The computational anatomy group studies the organisation of anatomical brain connections and how they relate to regional brain function. We principally use non-invasive diffusion MRI, often in combination with functional techniques or traditional tracing techniques. We also have a strong methodological focus.

 The learning and decision making group mostly investigates the role of frontal cortical mechanisms in controlling behaviour.  We use computational descriptions at the behavioural and network levels to form predictions, and test these in neurophysiological, neurochemical, and lesion data.

Sources of Funding


I come from a computational background (having studied Information Engineering as an undergraduate at Oxford). I did a Dphil at the FMRIB centre focussing on deveoping new methods for understanding the data from the (then) very new technique: diffusion imaging. During my DPhil, I moved my research focus to the boundary of computational methods and Nueroscience, publishing both in methods and Neuroscience journals, but all on the topic of diffusion imaging. During my first post-doc, I continued with my interest in diffusion imaging and brain connectional anatomy, and I obtained a grant from the Dr. Hadwen trust with Dr. Johansen Berg, to employ a post-doc in this field. I also became interested in the computaional methods employed by the brain to solve everyday problems. I obtained a fellowship from the MRC to perform combined computation, behavioural and neuroimaging experiments in reward-based learning and decision-making.