Dr Lucy Cheke

Lucy Cheke

University position


Dr Lucy Cheke is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Psychology


Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute



Home page

http://www.lucycheke.com/#!home/... (personal home page)

Research Theme

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


My research concerns the mechanism by which the brain creates, maintains and manipulates representations of events that are not currently available to perception. These representations can take many forms: they can be memories of veridical past events (“episodic memory”), conceptualisations of potential future events (“episodic foresight”), or simulations of unobservable physical or psychological mechanisms (“causal reasoning”/ “state-attribution”).

My most recent research focusses on the hypothesised bidirectional relationship between memory and obesity. There is accumulating evidence that obesity is associated with damage to areas within the brain’s “core recollection network” that is known to be crucial for memory, and for event representation more generally. These findings are concerning in their own right, but rendered more so by evidence that memory may play a key role in the regulation of consumption, and that memory deficits may interfere with this process.

Research Focus




Episodic Memory

Mental Time Travel

Clinical conditions




Behavioural analysis





Nicky Clayton

Kate Plaisted-Grant

Jon Simons


Alex Taylor Web: http://alexhtaylor.com/

Associated News Items

Key publications

Lucy G Cheke, Heidi M Bonnici, Nicola S Clayton, Jon S Simons (2017), “Obesity and insulin resistance are associated with reduced activity in core memory regions of the brain” Neuropsychologia

Cheke LG, Simons JS & Clayton NS (2016), “Higher BMI is associated with episodic memory deficits in young adults” . Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology



Elsa Loissel, Lucy G Cheke, Nicola S Clayton (2018), “Exploring the relative contributions of reward-history and functionality information to children’s acquisition of the Aesop’s fable task” PloS one

Sankalp Bhatnagar, Anna Alexandrova, Shahar Avin, Stephen Cave, Lucy Cheke, Matthew Crosby, Jan Feyereisl, Marta Halina, Bao Sheng Loe, Fernando Martínez-Plumed, Huw Price, Henry Shevlin, Adrian Weller, Alan Winfield, José Hernández-Orallo (2018), “Mapping intelligence: Requirements and possibilities” 3rd Conference on" Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence


Gabrielle Davidson, Rachael Miller, Elsa Loissel, Lucy G Cheke, Nicola S Clayton (2017), “The development of support intuitions and object causality in juvenile Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius)” Scientific reports

Kirsty Mary Davies, Lucy Gaia Cheke, Nicola Susan Clayton (2017), “Episodic memory as an explanation for the insurance hypothesis in obesity” Behavioral and Brain Sciences


MM Hofmann, LG Cheke, NS Clayton (2016), “Western scrub-jays (Aphelocoma californica) solve multiple-string problems by the spatial relation of string and reward” Animal cognition

Ljerka Ostoji?, Lucy G Cheke, Rachael C Shaw, Edward W Legg, Nicola S Clayton (2016), “Desire-state attribution: Benefits of a novel paradigm using the food-sharing behavior of Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius)” Communicative & integrative biology

Lucy G Cheke (2016), “What–where–when memory and encoding strategies in healthy aging” Learning & Memory

Rachael Miller, Sarah A Jelbert, Alex H Taylor, Lucy G Cheke, Russell D Gray, Elsa Loissel, Nicola S Clayton (2016), “Performance in object-choice Aesop’s Fable tasks are influenced by object biases in New Caledonian crows but not in human children” PloS one


Cheke LG & Clayton NS (2015), “The six blind-men and the elephant: Are episodic memory tasks tests of different things, or different tests of the same thing?” ? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Taylor AH, Cheke LG, Waismeyer A, Meltzoff A, Miller R, Gopnik A, Clayton NS & Gray RD (2015), “No conclusive evidence that corvids can create novel causal Interventions” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282 (1813)


Jelbert SA, Taylor AH, Cheke LG, Clayton NS, Gray RD (2014), “Using the Aesop's fable paradigm to investigate causal understanding of water displacement by New Caledonian crows.” PLoS One 9(3):e92895 Details

MacLean EL, Hare B, Nunn CL, Addessi E, Amici F, Anderson RC, Aureli F, Baker JM, Bania AE, Barnard AM, Boogert NJ, Brannon EM, Bray EE, Bray J, Brent LJ, Burkart JM, Call J, Cantlon JF, Cheke LG, Clayton NS, Delgado MM, DiVincenti LJ, Fujita K, Herrmann E, Hiramatsu C, Jacobs LF, Jordan KE, Laude JR, Leimgruber KL, Messer EJ, Moura AC, Ostoji? L, Picard A, Platt ML, Plotnik JM, Range F, Reader SM, Reddy RB, Sandel AA, Santos LR, Schumann K, Seed AM, Sewall KB, Shaw RC, Slocombe KE, Su Y, Takimoto A, Tan J, Tao R, van Schaik CP, Virányi Z, Visalberghi E, Wade JC, Watanabe A, Widness J, Young JK, Zentall TR, Zhao Y (2014), “The evolution of self-control.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(20):E2140-8 Details

Ostoji? L, Legg EW, Shaw RC, Cheke LG, Mendl M, Clayton NS (2014), “Can male Eurasian jays disengage from their own current desire to feed the female what she wants?” Biol Lett 10(3):20140042 Details

Taylor AH, Cheke LG, Waismeyer A, Meltzoff AN, Miller R, Gopnik A, Clayton NS, Gray RD (2014), “Of babies and birds: complex tool behaviours are not sufficient for the evolution of the ability to create a novel causal intervention.” Proc Biol Sci 281(1787) Details


Cheke LG, Clayton NS (2013), “Do different tests of episodic memory produce consistent results in human adults?” Learn Mem 20(9):491-8 Details

Ostoji? L, Shaw RC, Cheke LG, Clayton NS (2013), “Evidence suggesting that desire-state attribution may govern food sharing in Eurasian jays.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110(10):4123-8 Details

Ziauddeen H, Chamberlain SR, Nathan PJ, Koch A, Maltby K, Bush M, Tao WX, Napolitano A, Skeggs AL, Brooke AC, Cheke L, Clayton NS, Sadaf Farooqi I, O'Rahilly S, Waterworth D, Song K, Hosking L, Richards DB, Fletcher PC, Bullmore ET (2013), “Effects of the mu-opioid receptor antagonist GSK1521498 on hedonic and consummatory eating behaviour: a proof of mechanism study in binge-eating obese subjects.” Mol Psychiatry 18(12):1287-93 Details


Cheke LG, Clayton NS (2012), “Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius) overcome their current desires to anticipate two distinct future needs and plan for them appropriately.” Biol Lett 8(2):171-5 Details

Cheke LG, Loissel E, Clayton NS (2012), “How do children solve Aesop's Fable?” PLoS One 7(7):e40574 Details


Cheke LG, Bird CD, Clayton NS (2011), “Tool-use and instrumental learning in the Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius).” Anim Cogn 14(3):441-55 Details

Cheke LG, Thom JM & Clayton NS (2011), “Prospective Decision Making in Animals: A Potential Role for Intertemporal Choice in the Study of Prospective Cognition” Predictions in the Brain; Using our part to Generate a Future

Russell J, Cheke LG, Meltzoff AN & Clayton NS (2011), “What can What-Where-When (WWW) binding tasks tell us about young children's episodic future thinking? Theory and two experiments” Cognitive Development 26(4): 356-370