Dr. Emily Cross is a Senior Lecturer of cognitive neuroscience and a dancer who shares a dual appointment at the School of Psychology at Bangor University in North Wales and the Department of Social and Cultural Psychology and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. She studied psychology and dance as an undergraduate at Pomona College, and went on to complete a MSc in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Otago in New Zealand as a Fulbright fellow. She returned to the USA to complete a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at Dartmouth College, and then moved on to postdoctoral positions at the University of Nottingham in the UK and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany. Emily is with us today to tell us all about her journey through life and science.
As co-director of the Social Brain in Action Laboratory (www.soba-lab.com), the aim of Emily’s research is to explore how action and perception are linked in the human brain and how such links manifest in behavior and might be harnessed to improve learning or foster recovery from injury. In order to address her research questions, Dr. Cross uses dance, gymnastics, contortion and robots (among other things) in conjunction with brain imaging and brain stimulation to discover how the human brain learns and perceives complex actions. Current and previous supporters of her research include the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Ministry of Defense.