Dr Ben Wilson
Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +44 191 208 6948
- Address: Institute of Neuroscience
Newcastle University Medical School
Henry Wellcome Building,
Newcastle Upon Tyne,
Benjamin Wilson is a Sir Henry Wellcome Research Fellow at the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University. Benjamin’s research focuses on understanding the neurobiological systems that support language and the evolution of these brain networks, with the goal of developing animal models in which language-related processes might be better understood. His research combines sequence processing tasks and comparative neuroimaging techniques to investigate the extent to which cognitive abilities underpinning language in humans might be shared by nonhuman primates, and how far these abilities are supported by evolutionarily conserved networks of brain areas.
Area of expertise
- Comparative neuroscience
- Artificial grammar learning and sequence processing
- Language evolution
- 2016 - present, Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University
- 2009-2013, PhD, Neuroscience, Newcastle University
- 2007-2008, MSc, Evolutionary Psychology, University of Liverpool
- 2002-2005, BSc, Psychology, University of York
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My research focuses on understanding the neurobiological systems that supports language, and the evolution of these brain networks. I use a variety of comparative behavioural and neuroimaging techniques to assess how humans and nonhuman primates respond to stimuli designed to emulate certain features of language and how their brains process this information.
I have previously used natural response and eye-tracking 'artificial grammar learning’ experiments to directly compare the sequence learning abilities of different primate species (humans, Rhesus macaques, common marmosets). I recently performed the first comparative fMRI experiment in humans and monkeys using artificial language stimuli, and identified functionally homologous, evolutionarily conserved regions of the frontal cortex in both species.
My current work focuses on combining insights from neuroimaging studies of the human language network with studies of basic auditory cognition in humans and other primates, with the goal of better understanding the cognitive mechanisms involved in language-related processes. I am specifically interested in how the brain encodes temporal information and processes the relationships between sounds in a sequence over time, such as how we temporally link phonemes into words and words into phrases or sentences. Understanding these processes could both provide insights into the evolution of human linguistic abilities and also represents a critical step in the development of an animal model system in which the neurobiological underpinnings of these conserved processes could be studied at a level of detail rarely possible in humans.
- Milne AE, Wilson B, Christiansen MH. Structured sequence learning across sensory modalities in humans and nonhuman primates. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 2018, 21, 39-48.
- Cope TE, Wilson B, Robson H, Drinkall R, Dean L, Grube M, Jones PS, Patterson K, Griffiths TD, Rowe JB, Petkov CI. Artificial grammar learning in vascular and progressive non-fluent aphasias. Neuropsychologia 2017, 104, 201-213.
- Milne AE, Petkov CI, Wilson B. Auditory and visual sequence learning in humans and monkeys using an artificial grammar learning paradigm. Neuroscience 2017, Epub ahead of print.
- Wilson B, Marslen-Wilson WD, Petkov CI. Conserved Sequence Processing in Primate Frontal Cortex. Trends in Neurosciences 2017, 40(2), 72-82.
- Kikuchi Y, Attaheri A, Wilson B, Rhone AE, Nourski KV, Gander PE, Kovach CK, Kawasaki H, Griffiths TD, Howard MA, Petkov CI. Sequence learning modulates neural responses and oscillatory coupling in human and monkey auditory cortex. PLoS Biology 2017, 15(4), e2000219.
- Cope TE, Wilson B, Robson H, Dean L, Grube M, Patterson K, Griffiths TD, Rowe JB, Petkov C. Artificial grammar learning in vascular and progressive non-fluent aphasia identifies domain general impairments. In: 10th International Conference on Frontotemporal Dementias. 2016, Munich, Germany: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Slater H, Milne AE, Wilson B, Muers RS, Balezeau F, Hunter D, Thiele A, Griffiths TD, Petkov CI. Individually customisable non-invasive head immobilisation system for non-human primates with an option for voluntary engagement. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 2016, 269, 46-60.
- Wilson B, Kikuchi Y, Sun L, Hunter D, Dick F, Smith K, Thiele A, Griffiths TD, Marslen-Wilson WD, Petkov CI. Auditory sequence processing reveals evolutionarily conserved regions of frontal cortex in macaques and humans. Nature Communications 2015, 6, 8901.
- Attaheri A, Kikuchi Y, Milne AE, Wilson B, Alter K, Petkov CI. EEG potentials associated with artificial grammar learning in the primate brain. Brain and Language 2015, 148, 74-80.
- Wilson B, Smith K, Petkov CI. Mixed-complexity artificial grammar learning in humans and macaque monkeys: evaluating learning strategies. European Journal of Neuroscience 2015, 41(5), 568-578.
- Wilson B, Slater H, Kikuchi Y, Milne A, Marslen-Wilson W, Smith K, Petkov CI. Auditory Artificial Grammar Learning in Macaque and Marmoset Monkeys. Journal of Neuroscience 2013, 33(48), 18825-18835.
- Kikuchi Y, Barrett J, Attaheri A, Wilson B, Petkov C. Neuroimaging and neurophysiology of Artificial Grammar learning in the primate brain: Dissociations between fMRI-BOLD and neuronal activity. In: Advances & Perspectives in Auditory Neurophysiology. 2012, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
- Petkov CI, Wilson B. On the pursuit of the brain network for proto-syntactic learning in non-human primates: conceptual issues and neurobiological hypotheses. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 2012, 367(1598), 2077-2088.
- Wilson B, Collison MG, Slater H, Hunter DM, Smith K, Marslen-Wilson W, Petkov CI. Behavioural and functional imaging analysis of ‘artificial-grammar’ sequence learning in Rhesus macaques. In: Society for Neuroscience. 2011. In Preparation.
- Wilson B, Petkov CI. Communication and the Primate Brain: Insights from Neuroimaging Studies in Humans, Chimpanzees and Macaques. Human Biology 2011, 83(2), 175-189.
- Petkov CI, Wilson B. Functional imaging of brain regions sensitive to communication sounds in primates. In: 11th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association 2010 (INTERSPEECH 2010). 2010, Makuhari, Japan: International Speech Communication Association (ISCA).
- Platek S, Krill A, Wilson B. Implicit trustworthiness ratings of self-resembling faces activate brain centers involved in reward. Neuropsychologia 2009, 47(1), 289-293.