Department of Cognitive Science
Faculty of Media & Knowledge Science
University of Malta
Msida, MSD 2080
Email: ian.thornton at um.edu.mt
I'm interested in understanding how the brain represents information that changes over time. Much work on vision in Cognitive Science continues to concern itself with stable states. Often this is simply because static experimental stimuli are more available and/or conceptually tractable. In my research I try to explore the role that time plays in mental representation. I do this by adapting standard experimental methods/techniques for use with dynamic stimuli.
I was born and brought up in North East London, went to Lancaster for my undergrad and then on to Cambridge for an MPhil. I left the UK in late Eighties, travelling first to Japan, where I taught English, and then on to Australia. For four years I was a research assistant at Sydney University while completely failing to learn to surf. I then moved to the West Coast of the US, starting my PhD with Jennifer Freyd, at the University of Oregon, Eugene. I took my second year out to visit the lab of Maggie Shiffrar at Rutgers University, Newark, NJ. Returning to Eugene for two more years, I graduated in 1997. I did a post-doc in Boston, working at the now-vanished Cambridge Basic Research labs, split between MIT & Harvard. I had the good fortune to work with a number of inspiring colleagues, including Ron Rensink, Patrick Cavanagh, Simon Rushton & Rob Gray. In 2000, I moved back to Europe, joining Heinrich Bülthoff's group at the Max Planck Insitute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany. In 2005 I became Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Swansea University. Since 2013 I have been Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Malta. I also live in Belgrade, Serbia for part of the year.