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Mark Stokes

Mark Stokes

Mark Stokes

BA/BSc(Hons), PhD

Associate Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience

  • Tutorial Fellow, New College

Mark's research explores the role of selective attention in perception, working memory and flexible decision-making. Mark is particularly interested in how these core cognitive functions are integrated for goal-directed adaptive behaviour.

As Head of Attention Group at the Department of Experimental Psychology, Mark coordinates a programme of cognitive neuroscientific research exploring the mechanisms that underpin high-level cognition in the human brain. This research programme exploits a broad range of complementary methods for measuring and stimulating brain activity with high temporal and spatial resolution. Mark's group are also exploring new directions to translate their research in fundamental cognitive neuroscience to psychiatric models of mood disorders.

Mark maintains a neuroscience blog, The Brain Box, to disseminate his own research to a more general audience, as well as to comment on other public-interest topics in neuroscience from the latest breakthroughs to ongoing controversies. Mark also co-hosts Brain Metrics at Nature. Mark also uses Twitter to engage his science with a wider public audience: @StokesNeuro.


In 2003, Mark completed a combined BA/BSc(Hons) at the University of Melbourne, with majors in English, Philosophy and Psychology. Mark moved to the UK in 2004 for his PhD with John Duncan and Rhodri Cusack at the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge University. In 2007, Mark was elected to a Junior Research Fellowship at St John's College Oxford, working on attention and memory with Kia Nobre in the Brain and Cognition Laboratory. Mark was awarded an MRC Career Development Fellowship in 2012 to explore the neural basis of selective inhibition as a principal investigator in Psychiatry and Experimental Psychology, awarded the title of University Research Lecturer and elected to a Science Research Fellowship at St John's College


Society for Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuroscience Society
Science is Vital
Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) 
Sense about Science


St John's College
Department of Psychiatry
Department of Experimental Psychology
Oxford Neuroscience
The Brain Box
Brain Metrics

In the news

The Guardian (2013): There's a lot more to neuroscience than media 'neuromania' 
The Guardian (2013): The folly of science on a shoestring
The Independent (2013): Our research is on ice due to shortage of helium
The Guardian (2012): 'Made-for-TV' experiments can make really bad science

Key publications

Recent publications

More publications