Dr Alex Clarke


Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

Department:School of Psychology and Sport Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Brain & Cognition , Psychology

Alex is interested in perception and memory, and how our brains perceive and understand the world.

Alex's website
Google scholar
Twitter: @AlexDClarke


Alex’s research aims to understand the neural dynamics of how we understand what we see – from when light hits the retina, to an understanding of what we see. Alex completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2011, before research posts at the University of California Davis and the University of Cambridge.

Research interests

  • Semantic memory
  • Perception
  • Brain dynamics
  • Neuroimaging methods

Our brain recognises objects with remarkable speed and accuracy. Alex’s research aims to understand the rapid neural dynamics that enable us to understand what we see. Alex combines different neuroimaging methods (fMRI, MEG, EEG, neuropsychology and ECOG) with cognitive and computational models of vision to ask how visual signals access our semantic memory for objects, in terms of how different brain structures support different kinds of information, and how information in the brain changes over time.


Alex teaches on the modules Fundamentals of Cognitive Psychology, Becoming a Researcher, Research Techniques for Psychology, and Learning, Memory and Perception.


  • PhD Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge
  • MSc Cognitive Neuroscience, University of York
  • BSc Psychology, University of Sheffield

Selected recent publications

Clarke, A., Roberts BM., & Ranganath, C. (2017). Neural oscillations during conditional associative learning. bioRxiv 198838; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/198838

Ries, S., Dhillon, R., Clarke, A., et al., Knight, R.T. (2017). Spatiotemporal dynamics of word retrieval in speech production revealed by cortical high-frequency band activity. PNAS, 114(23), E4530-4538.

Clarke, A., Pell, P.J., Ranganath, C., & Tyler, L.K. (2016). Learning warps object representations in ventral temporal cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 28 (7), 1010-1023.

Clarke, A., & Tyler, L.K. (2015). Understanding What We See: How We Derive Meaning From Vision. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 19(11): 677-687.

Clarke, A., Devereux, B.J., Randall, B., & Tyler, L.K. (2015). Predicting the time course of individual objects with MEG. Cerebral Cortex, 25(10), 3602–3612.

Clarke, A., & Tyler, L.K. (2014). Object-Specific Semantic Coding in Human Perirhinal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 34(14), 4766-4775.

Clarke, A., Taylor, K.I., Devereux, B., Randall, B., & Tyler, L.K. (2013). From perception to conception: how meaningful objects are processed over time. Cerebral Cortex, 23(1), 187-197.

Clarke, A., Taylor, K., & Tyler, LK. (2011). The evolution of meaning: Spatiotemporal dynamics of visual object recognition. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.23:8, 1887-1899.