Professor Timothy Behrens FRS

Tim Behrens is Professor of Computational Neuroscience at Oxford University and University College London, and a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow. He studies how our brains learn and represent knowledge about the world in service of flexible behaviour.  His work aims to explain complex human behaviour but is grounded in comparisons with animal models and formal mathematical theory. It has therefore made impact across scales from cells to brain regions and across mammalian species. He has also developed widely used approaches for measuring brain connections non-invasively.

A major recent theme has been neural computations in the frontal-hippocampal circuitry.  Here, Behrens has shown that cellular computations renowned for their roles in spatial processing, such as grid cells (with Alexandra Constantinescu and Jill O’Reilly) and replay (with Yunzhe Liu, Zeb Kurth Nelson and Ray Dolan) can also represent and manipulate non-spatial knowledge.  Using these results, he has built models (with James Whittington and Tim Muller) that help to reconcile our accounts of spatial and non-spatial processing in hippocampus.

Professional position

  • Honorary Principal Investigator, Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, University College London (UCL)
  • Professor of Computational Neuroscience, Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, University of Oxford

Subject groups

  • Computer sciences

    Artificial intelligence, machine learning, vision

  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences

    Animal (especially mammalian) and human physiology and anatomy (non-clinical), Behavioural neuroscience, Development and control of behaviour, Experimental psychology