My research interests are broadly in the area of sensory perception, but with a primary focus on the organization of the visual brain - this is highly complex with multiple areas and multiple pathways encoding and integrating information to provide us with a clear visual percept. I'm interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the underlying anatomy and functional organization of the visual brain that facilitate our sense of vision, primarily through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Several areas of work contribute to this:

Functional anatomy: How is the brain organized to facilitate visual processing? While much is known about the roles of different visual areas on a coarse scale (e.g. processing of colour, motion, etc.), very little has been gleaned from fMRI studies at a finer scale. Currently, I'm very interested in utilising more sophisticated imaging techniques such as multivoxel pattern analysis in order to answer these questions.

Visual encoding: How do neurons within different visual areas encode different stimulus properties (e.g. contrast, symmetry, etc.), and to what extent can our behaviour or the immediate visual surround modulate these sensory representations?

Development: It is apparent that the visual brain is highly intricate in its organization, but how do these patterns arise? What can anomalies of development (e.g. in synaesthesia or old age) and the resulting organisation tell us about function?

Some background: I was originally trained in the areas of statistics and computing before developing an interest in machine learning and artificial neural networks. From there, I moved to real neural networks, and completed my PhD in Neuroscience at the Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London. After a period of nearly five years as a postdoc at the Psychology Department at Royal Holloway, University of London with Prof. Andy Smith, I joined the Centre for Cognition and Neuroimaging at Brunel University as a lecturer.

Contact details

Adrian Lloyd Williams, PhD
Centre for Cognition & Neuroimaging
Brunel University
Middx. UB8 3PH

+44(0)1895 265452
adrian.williams [at]

PhD Opportunities

I'm very much interested in hearing from students who wish to pursue a PhD in neuroimaging, whether it be focused on vision or any other areas within cognitive neuroscience. I'm also interested in hearing from you if you want to take more of a methodological angle on neuroimaging research.