He is an internationally recognised professor of cognitive neuroscience, with over 25 years experience conducting
behavioural and brain imaging research focusing on our social skills. He has taught the
fundamentals of neuroscience to a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate students, as
well as publishing more than 70 scientific articles. Mark has been awarded numerous high profile
fellowships and grants, and worked both at MIT in the USA and at universities in
He recently took voluntary redundancy to focus on making the many recent
discoveries in cognitive neuroscience more accessible to the general public. His academic
background allows him to communicate with authority on science and his passion for education makes
him accessible to a wide audience.
Not a typical ‘academic’, Mark comes from a disjointed family background. He hated school and experienced first-hand the challenges of getting ahead in a small town in Victoria. To describe these years as ‘colourful’ is an understatement.
Aged 25, something changed. Mark returned to learning, completed his HSC and began what became a rapid rise to academic achievement, including being awarded both the CJ Martin and the Queen Elisabeth II Fellowships. He became fascinated with how we interact, learn and think. Mark went on to study brain plasticity, attention disorders, autism, prosopagnosia (face blindness), dementia and eating disorders. He has been at the cutting edge of developing computational brain imaging analysis and the adoption of new technologies like virtual reality in research.
He now runs programs for schools and businesses on the neuroscience of learning, the
neuroscience of emotions and the impact of modern technologies (like smartphones) on our
brains. He has considerable media experience, with many television and radio appearances
featuring his research on topics ranging from facial expressions, emotions, racism, through to
how the brain processes smells and why we can’t tickle ourselves.
- Face and Object Perception
- Learning and Memory
1998 - 2002
2002 - 2005
University of Melbourne
2005 - 2007
Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
2007 - 2021