Ainslie Johnstone

DPhil student in Neuroscience

I am a final year DPhil student studying clinical neuroscience at Oxford. My first encounter with neuroscience was when I was studying for my undergraduate degree in Natural Science at Cambridge. I found it amazing that scientists could study the biological processes behind the amazing array of thoughts, feelings and experiences that make up our minds’.

I soon realised that was pretty complicated stuff though, and so I decided to focus my DPhil work on what happens in our brain when we learn to make new movements. I am particularly interested how different natural brain chemicals change when we learn new skills; and how we could alter these chemicals to help people who have suffered a stroke or brain injury to relearn lost abilities.

Last year I was one of the WIN Public Engagement Ambassadors, and in 2015-16 was the Biology Experiments Officer for OxHOS, a student run public engagement society. I am also the assistant coordinator for the St Edmund Hall Centre for the Creative Brain, where we run termly symposia exploring the link between neuroscience and creativity.  I have also written a few articles about my research for the general public.

Links to two pieces of writing about my research: