Dr Michael Ewbank

Michael Ewbank

University position

Senior Research Associate

Dr Michael Ewbank is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit



Home page


Research Theme

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


My research focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms that underlie the processing of social stimuli. I have a particular expertise in using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to probe the response properties of brain regions involved in processing complex visual stimuli.

I am particularly interested in understanding the cognitive and neural bases of face identity processing in typical adults, and their disruption in autism spectrum conditions. This area of my research has focused on understanding how changes in brain connectivity may underlie the phenomenon of repetition suppression, and what this can tell us about the general mechanisms underlying face recognition. I am also interested in investigating the relationship between individual differences in personality traits and the perception of facial expression and other social signals.

Research Focus


face recognition



facial expression


Clinical conditions



Behavioural analysis

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)



Phil Barnard

Simon Baron-Cohen

Rik Henson

James Rowe

Elisabeth von dem Hagen

United Kingdom

Elaine Fox Web: http://www.essex.ac.uk/psychol...

Andrew Lawrence Web: http://www.cf.ac.uk/psych/c...

Rebecca Lawson Web: http://rebecca.lawson@ucl.ac.uk


Lauri Nummenmaa Web: http://users.utu.fi/latanu/

Luca Passamonti Web: http://www.mendeley.com/profile...

Gill Rhodes Web: http://www.psychology.uwa.edu.au/about/s...

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Ewbank, MP, Pell, PJ, Powell, TE, von dem Hagen, EH, Baron-Cohen, S, & Calder, AJ (in press), “Repetition suppression and memory for faces is reduced in adults with autism spectrum conditions” Cerebral Cortex

    Ewbank MP, Lawson RP, Henson RN, Rowe JB, Passamonti L, Calder AJ (2011), “Changes in "top-down" connectivity underlie repetition suppression in the ventral visual pathway.” J Neurosci 31(15):5635-42 Details

    Ewbank MP, Jennings C, Calder AJ (2009), “Why are you angry with me? Facial expressions of threat influence perception of gaze direction.” J Vis 9(12):16.1-7 Details

    Andrews TJ, Ewbank MP (2004), “Distinct representations for facial identity and changeable aspects of faces in the human temporal lobe.” Neuroimage 23(3):905-13 Details



    Ewbank, MP, von dem Hagen, EH, Powell, TE, Henson, RN & Calder, AJ (2016), “The effect of perceptual expectation on repetition suppression to faces is not modulated by variation in autistic traits. ” Cortex 80, 51-6.

    Holmes, J, Byrne, E, Gathercole, S, Ewbank, MP (2016), “Transcranial random noise stimulation does not enhance the effects of working memory training. ” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 28(10), 1471-83

    Pell, PJ, Mareschal, I, Calder, AJ, von dem Hagen, EH, Clifford, CWG., Baron-Cohen, S, EWBANK, MP (2016), “Intact priors for gaze direction in adults with high-functioning autism spectrum conditions. ” Molecular Autism 7:25


    Ewbank MP, Rhodes G, von dem Hagen EA, Powell TE, Bright N, Stoyanova RS, Baron-Cohen S, Calder AJ (2014), “Repetition Suppression in Ventral Visual Cortex Is Diminished as a Function of Increasing Autistic Traits.” Cereb Cortex Details


    Ewbank MP, Henson RN, Rowe JB, Stoyanova RS, Calder AJ (2013), “Different Neural Mechanisms within Occipitotemporal Cortex Underlie Repetition Suppression across Same and Different-Size Faces.” Cereb Cortex 23(5):1073-84 Details

    Lefevre CE, Ewbank MP, Calder AJ, von dem Hagen E, Perrett DI (2013), “It is all in the face: carotenoid skin coloration loses attractiveness outside the face.” Biol Lett 9(6):20130633 Details


    Ewbank MP, Henson RN (2012), “Explaining away repetition effects via predictive coding.” Cogn Neurosci 3(3-4):239-40 Details

    Murphy FC, Ewbank MP, Calder AJ (2012), “Emotion and personality factors influence the neural response to emotional stimuli.” Behav Brain Sci 35(3):156-7 Details

    Rhodes G, Addison B, Jeffery L, Ewbank M, Calder AJ (2012), “Facial expressions of threat influence perceived gaze direction in 8 year-olds.” PLoS One 7(11):e49317 Details

    Walsh ND, Dalgleish T, Dunn VJ, Abbott R, St Clair MC, Owens M, Fairchild G, Kerslake WS, Hiscox LV, Passamonti L, Ewbank M, Ban M, Calder AJ, Goodyer IM (2012), “5-HTTLPR-environment interplay and its effects on neural reactivity in adolescents.” Neuroimage 63(3):1670-80 Details


    Calder AJ, Ewbank M, Passamonti L (2011), “Personality influences the neural responses to viewing facial expressions of emotion.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 366(1571):1684-701 Details

    Ewbank MP (2011), “Adaptation studies suggest interactive feedback shapes responses in occipitotemporal regions.” Cogn Neurosci 2(3-4):205-6 Details


    Ewbank MP, Fox E, Calder AJ (2010), “The Interaction Between Gaze and Facial Expression in the Amygdala and Extended Amygdala is Modulated by Anxiety.” Front Hum Neurosci 4:56 Details

    Stoyanova RS, Ewbank MP, Calder AJ (2010), “"You talkin' to me?" Self-relevant auditory signals influence perception of gaze direction.” Psychol Sci 21(12):1765-9 Details

    von dem Hagen EA, Nummenmaa L, Yu R, Engell AD, Ewbank MP, Calder AJ (2010), “Autism Spectrum Traits in the Typical Population Predict Structure and Function in the Posterior Superior Temporal Sulcus.” Cereb Cortex Details


    Ewbank MP, Barnard PJ, Croucher CJ, Ramponi C, Calder AJ (2009), “The amygdala response to images with impact.” Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 4(2):127-33 Details

    Ewbank MP, Lawrence AD, Passamonti L, Keane J, Peers PV, Calder AJ (2009), “Anxiety predicts a differential neural response to attended and unattended facial signals of anger and fear.” Neuroimage 44(3):1144-51 Details

    Passamonti L, Rowe JB, Schwarzbauer C, Ewbank MP, von dem Hagen E, Calder AJ (2009), “Personality predicts the brain's response to viewing appetizing foods: the neural basis of a risk factor for overeating.” J Neurosci 29(1):43-51 Details

    von dem Hagen EA, Beaver JD, Ewbank MP, Keane J, Passamonti L, Lawrence AD, Calder AJ (2009), “Leaving a bad taste in your mouth but not in my insula.” Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 4(4):379-86 Details


    Ewbank MP, Andrews TJ (2008), “Differential sensitivity for viewpoint between familiar and unfamiliar faces in human visual cortex.” Neuroimage 40(4):1857-70 Details

    Ewbank MP, Smith WAP, Hancock ER, Andrews TJ (2008), “The M170 reflects a viewpoint dependent representation for both familiar and unfamiliar faces” Cerebral Cortex 18:364-370

    Passamonti L, Rowe JB, Ewbank M, Hampshire A, Keane J, Calder AJ (2008), “Connectivity from the ventral anterior cingulate to the amygdala is modulated by appetitive motivation in response to facial signals of aggression.” Neuroimage 43(3):562-70 Details


    Ewbank MP, Schluppeck D, Andrews TJ (2005), “fMR-adaptation reveals a distributed representation of inanimate objects and places in human visual cortex.” Neuroimage 28(1):268-79 Details