Matthew Rushworth’s research has focussed on understanding brain circuits for learning, decision making, and social cognition. He developed methods for comparing brain circuits in humans and other animals and for manipulating the activity in one brain area and examining the impact on interconnected regions and on behaviour. He showed that prefrontal and cingulate brain regions enable us to learn links between our choices and their consequences, make decisions on the basis of our expectations of the outcomes, and think about alternative and counterfactual choices. He has shown how brain activity changes in social contexts and when we learn not just by ourselves but from others.
Matthew studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford where he then worked with Dick Passingham FRS. Awarded a Royal Society Locke Research Fellowship he began working with neuroimaging techniques at the Oxford centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) and Wellcome Trust Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN).
Matthew is now Watts Professor of Experimental Psychology in Oxford where his laboratory is funded by the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council.