Tom Johnstone, PhD


I am undertaking research into the neural basis of emotion and cognition at the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience & Neurodynamics (CINN) and the Department of Psychology, University of Reading.

My principal research question is how subcortical, prefrontal and sensory cortex interact while individuals are faced with emotional challenges. A current BBSRC funded research project aims to combine Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) to test the causal influence of lateral prefrontal cortical processing on limbic circuitry such as the amygdala and ventral striatum.

I am also involved in longitudinal studies of the neural changes associated with Anxiety Disorders and Depression, as well as effects of different types of treatment for these affective disorders. In these studies we focus on the top-down cortical regulation of subcortical neural circuits, and the consequences of regulatory failure in terms of autonomic, behavioural and subjective outcomes.

My methodological research entails the development of efficient experimental designs and analysis procedures for a large variety of FMRI experiments. Of particular interest are techniques for characterising the multiple sources of variance in longitudinal brain imaging studies, as well as applying nonlinear curve fitting approaches to quantify graded change in brain activation over stimulus continua.


Contact information:

School of Psychology and CLS

University of Reading

Earley Gate, Whiteknights

P.O. Box 238

Reading RG6 6AL, UK

Ph.  +44 (0)118 378 7530

Fax +44 (0)118 378 6715

You can find me in Office 1S25, Psychology Building

about me:


  1. Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging & Behavior

  2. Whalen Lab.

BONNZA: British Organisation of Neuroscientists from New Zealand and Australia