Creative Brain
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St Edmund Hall Centre for the Creative Brain

The Centre for the Creative Brain: thinking about neuroscience in a wider context

The Centre for the Creative Brain at St Edmund Hall brings together people from a wide range of disciplines and provides an opportunity for discussion and dialogue. In particular, it aims to explore how neuroscience can further our understanding of the aspects of our lives that make us most human, and how insights from art, music, and literature can enrich our understanding of the brain.

Anyone with an interest is welcome to attend the Centre’s events, which are always free of charge and aimed at a non-specialist audience.

We particularly encourage members and associate members of all three common rooms (JCR, MCR and SCR) within the College, non-academic staff, former students, and friends of the Hall to become involved.


The Centre hosts an annual symposium showcasing the highest quality international speakers at the interface between neuroscience and literature, fine art, philosophy, ethics, music and sociology. In addition, there are termly events that look at the role of neuroscience in creativity and offer the chance to find out more about cutting-edge research in neuroscience and related fields.

Events will be publicised here; they are always aimed at a general audience and are free to attend.

The Art (and Science) of Epilepsy - 7:30pm on Friday 18 May 2018, Old Dining Hall

A symposium on the art (and science) of epilepsy. The symposium will explore the link between epilepsy and art in many forms. Featuring talks from Dr Sallie Baxendale, on how epilepsy has inspired filmmakers over the last 100 years; Dr Rhys Thomas, discussing artists with epilepsy; and Dr Rhys Bevan-Jones, on his work in art and mental health. Book a free ticket here.


For all who were interested in Prof. Paul Skokowski's talk in TT 2017, we are delighted to announce that a related paper has just been published which describes many of the same ideas in greater depth.  The paper is free to read and is available here.  

Previous Events

Since its launch in 2014, the Centre for the Creative Brain has organised a wide range of symposiums and lectures – examining diverse themes including music, memory, laughter, art, the weather, ageing and Shakespeare.

Find out more about our previous events.


If you would like to join our mailing list please send a blank email to:

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If you have any queries about the Centre for the Creative Brain please email:

Charlie Stagg:


St Edmund Hall has an increasing reputation as a centre for world-leading neuroscience, across the full breadth of the discipline. The Centre benefits from the active involvement of many of these Fellows, as well as many others, at St Edmund Hall. We also have strong support from the wider neuroimaging community in Oxford, including The Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN) – a multi-disciplinary neuroimaging research facility which encompasses the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB), Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA, Department of Psychiatry) and imaging facilities within the Department of Experimental Psychology.


We have a cross-common room inter-disciplinary committee who steer the activities of the centre. The committee for 2017-18 is:

Dr Charlotte Stagg – Chair – SCR, Principal Investigator at the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB) and the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA)
Ms Ainslie Johnstone – Secretary – DPhil in Clinical Neurosciences, St John’s College

Dr Adam Al-Diwani – MCR, DPhil in Cognitive and Mental Health
Ms Kirsty Clark – JCR, Fine Art
Ms Anna Geissmann – JCR, French and Spanish
Ms Georgina James – JCR, Biomedical Sciences
Mr John Logan – MCR, Clinical Medicine
Prof. Paul Matthews – SCR, Head of Brain Sciences at Imperial College and Fellow by Special Election at St Edmund Hall
Ms Caroline Nettekoven – DPhil in Psychiatry, Jesus College
Mr Jack Oldbury – JCR, Biomedical Sciences
Ms Jeanne Marie Ryan – MCR, DPhil in Education