Dr Duncan Astle

Duncan  Astle

University position

Programme Leader

Dr Duncan Astle is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit

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Research Themes

Developmental Neuroscience

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


My research uses EEG and MEG with children and adults to explore the neural and cognitive mechanisms of top-down attentional control. In particular, I am interested in how these control mechanisms interact with our ability to store information in working memory. One possibility, inspired by the adult cognitive neuroscience literature, is that differences in attentional control mechanisms might drive these apparent memory differences across children.

MEG data taken from Barnes et al. (2016) J. Neurosci
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Research Focus







Clinical conditions

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Working memory deficits


Electroencephalography (EEG)

Magnetoencephalography (MEG)



Kate Baker

United Kingdom

Kia Nobre Web: http://www.ohba.ox.ac.uk/people/...

Gaia Scerif Web: http://psyweb.psy.ox.ac.uk/abcd/Pe...

Mark Woolrich Web: https://www.ohba.ox.ac.uk/team/ma...

Associated News Items



    Astle DE, Harvey H, Stokes M, Mohseni H, Nobre AC, Scerif G (2014), “Distinct neural mechanisms of individual and developmental differences in VSTM capacity.” Dev Psychobiol 56(4):601-10 Details

    Kuo BC, Astle DE (2014), “Neural mechanisms by which attention modulates the comparison of remembered and perceptual representations.” PLoS One 9(1):e86666 Details

    Shimi A, Kuo BC, Astle DE, Nobre AC, Scerif G (2014), “Age group and individual differences in attentional orienting dissociate neural mechanisms of encoding and maintenance in visual STM.” J Cogn Neurosci 26(4):864-77 Details


    Gosling SG, Astle DE (2013), “Directing spatial attention to locations within remembered and imagined mental representations.” Front Hum Neurosci 7:154 Details

    Shimi A, Astle DE (2013), “The strength of attentional biases reduces as visual short-term memory load increases.” J Neurophysiol 110(1):12-8 Details


    Murray AM, Nobre AC, Astle DE, Stokes MG (2012), “Lacking control over the trade-off between quality and quantity in visual short-term memory.” PLoS One 7(8):e41223 Details


    Astle D, Nixon E, Jackson S, Jackson G (2011), “Neural correlates of changing intention in the human FEF and IPS.” J Neurophysiol Details

    Astle DE, Scerif G (2011), “Interactions between attention and visual short-term memory (VSTM): what can be learnt from individual and developmental differences?” Neuropsychologia 49(6):1435-45 Details

    Astle DE, Summerfield J, Griffin I, Nobre AC (2011), “Orienting attention to locations in mental representations.” Atten Percept Psychophys Details


    Astle DE, Nobre AC, Scerif G (2010), “Attentional control constrains visual short-term memory: Insights from developmental and individual differences.” Q J Exp Psychol (Hove) :1-18 Details

    Astle DE, Nobre AC, Scerif G (2010), “Subliminally presented and stored objects capture spatial attention.” J Neurosci 30(10):3567-71 Details

    Tunney RJ, Fernie G, Astle DE (2010), “An ERP analysis of recognition and categorization decisions in a prototype-distortion task.” PLoS One 5(4):e10116 Details


    Astle DE (2009), “Going from a retinotopic to a spatiotopic coordinate system for spatial attention.” J Neurosci 29(13):3971-3 Details

    Astle DE, Jackson GM, Swainson R (2009), “Two measures of task-specific inhibition.” Q J Exp Psychol (Hove) :1-19 Details

    Astle DE, Nobre AC, Scerif G (2009), “Applying an attentional set to perceived and remembered features.” PLoS One 4(10):e7613 Details

    Astle DE, Scerif G (2009), “Using developmental cognitive neuroscience to study behavioral and attentional control.” Dev Psychobiol 51(2):107-18 Details

    Astle DE, Scerif G, Kuo BC, Nobre AC (2009), “Spatial selection of features within perceived and remembered objects.” Front Hum Neurosci 3:6 Details


    Astle DE, Jackson GM, Swainson R (2008), “The role of spatial information in advance task-set control: an event-related potential study.” Eur J Neurosci 28(7):1404-18 Details

    Astle DE, Jackson GM, Swainson R (2008), “Fractionating the cognitive control required to bring about a change in task: a dense-sensor event-related potential study.” J Cogn Neurosci 20(2):255-67 Details


    Astle DE, Jackson GM, Swainson R (2006), “Dissociating neural indices of dynamic cognitive control in advance task-set preparation: an ERP study of task switching.” Brain Res 1125(1):94-103 Details