Current members of the lab are listed below.

Lab Director 

Dr Stephane De Brito BSc, MPhil, PhD



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Dr De Brito conducts functional and structural MRI research to 1: examine the neural substrates associated with the development and the persistence of severe antisocial behaviour in children and adults; 2. shed light on the relationship between childhood maltreatment and brain structure and functioning; and 3. Identify structural and functional neural markers of resilience.


Dr Jack Rogers BSc, MSc, PhD



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As a member of the SCAN lab I help conduct research investigating the neural substrates associated with the development and prognosis of antisocial behaviour in children and adolescents. This work uses functional and structural MRI. Amongst other aspects of behaviour and neural processing, my work helps explore the relationship between processing of emotional faces and vocalizations and brain structure/functioning. Before moving to the University of Birmingham to work in the SCAN lab, I was a Wellcome Trust funded post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford using functional MRI, and combined functional MRI and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) techniques to explore the functional and anatomical organization of the human brain. My PhD work, completed at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, explored speech processing and comprehension in the human brain.

PhD Students

Roberta Clanton



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Roberta graduated from the University of South Florida in 2011 with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Minor concentrations in Behavioural Healthcare and Criminology. During her undergraduate studies she was a research assistant and project coordinator at the Florida Mental Health Institute. After graduation, Roberta received an Intramural Research Training Award to complete a post-baccalaureate fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health with Dr. James Blair in the section on affective cognitive neuroscience. She then joined the SCAN Lab in September 2013 as a PhD Student, and her doctoral project is on the neuroimaging correlates of empathic responsiveness in children with Conduct Disorder.


Ruth Pauli



I am a PhD student with Dr De Brito in the SCAN lab. I am applying multivariate pattern classification techniques to structural and functional MRI data, in order to better characterise subtypes of conduct disorder in children and adolescents. Prior to joining the SCAN lab I gained my BSc in Psychology from the University of Birmingham (2010), my MSc in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology from UCL and Yale (2015), and worked for several years as a research assistant in NHS mental health services.


Yidian Gao


My name is Yidian Gao and I am a visiting 3rd year Ph. D student from Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University in China. Before I joined the SCAN lab, I gained my bachelor and Msc. degrees in Applied Psychology in Hunan Normal University (2012) and Central South University (2015) in China. I am co-supervised by Dr Stephane De Brito and Dr Shuqiao Yao. I am focusing on the cognitive and neural mechanisms underpinning conduct disorder using structural and functional MRI.

Master Students

Daniel McDonald



My name is Daniel and in 2016 I graduated from the University of Liverpool obtaining my bachelors degree in psychology. During my final year, I conducted a research project concerning errors in human visual perception with respect to animate and inanimate objects. I am currently enrolled on the MSc course where my main research project will examine the association between various parenting styles and grey matter volume in cortical and sub-cortical regions of the brain. My aim is to pursue a career in forensic psychology via a doctoral programme.


Christopher Townsend



My name is Chris and I am a recent graduate from Newman University, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. For my dissertation, I examined variations in the dark triad of personality, within subject disciplines. This year, I am currently enrolled in the MA Psychology course, here at the University of Birmingham. My final project will be to carry out a meta-analysis on the association between psychopathy and impulsivity as measured by personality and neurocognitive measures. My aim is to pursue my primary interests of Forensic and Clinical Psychology.’



Undergraduate Students

Abigail Brown



Hi I’m Abigail. I am an undergraduate psychology student at Aston University and I am currently undertaking a placement year at the University of Birmingham. Here at the SCAN lab, I deal mostly with the admin side of things; from recruiting participants to maintaining participant databases.  As well as this, I lead the behavioural sessions with the participants. In the future I would like to pursue a career in health psychology and research.