Emily is a professor of social neuroscience and dancer based at the School of Psychology at Bangor University, where she directs the Social Brain in Action Laboratory. Using intensive training procedures, functional neuroimaging, and paradigms involving dance, acrobatics and robots, she explores observational learning throughout the lifespan, how motor expertise is manifest, and social influences on human-robot interaction. Emily received a BA in psychology and dance from Pomona College, an MSc in cognitive psychology from the University of Otago as a Fulbright Fellow in New Zealand, and a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from Dartmouth College. She undertook postdoctoral training at University of Nottingham and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, and was previously an assistant professor at Radboud University Nijmegen. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (USA), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Economic and Social Research Council (UK), Ministry of Defence (UK), and European Research Council.
Through her research, Emily examines how experience-dependent plasticity is manifest in the human brain and behaviour. In particular, her work probes how different types of experience (including physical and observational training, aesthetic evaluation, and observers’ expectations about other agents) shape perception, and how these different kinds of experience-based plasticity changes throughout the lifespan. The tools she uses to tackle these questions include intensive behavioural training paradigms, functional neuroimaging (fMRI), and neurostimulation (TMS/tDCS) techniques.