School of Psychology

Staff Profiles

Professor Alexander Thiele

Professor of Visual Neuroscience


I am a Professor of Visual Neuroscience in the Biosciences Institute at Newcastle University. I have studied Biology at Bochum University, Germany, where I also did my PhD. Thereafter I went on a HFSP fellowship to Tom Albright's lab (Salk Institute) for a post-doc for 3 years. In 2000 I was offered a Lectureship at what was then the Department of Psychology, Newcastle University, and I have become a full Professor in 2004. Through many rounds of restructuring, I have been parts of different Departments, Schools, and Institutes and am now based in the Biosciences Institute, where I supervise my research group, and where I also am the theme lead for the 'Neuroscience, Neurodisability, and Neurological Disorders' theme.


Research Interests

Key words: Visual Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience ,Neuropharmacology, Attention, Decision making, Neural coding

My  work focusses on neuronal and sensory coding, and the analysis of cognitive function in relation to neuropharmacology. I lead a multidisciplinary team, using a variety of different animal models, as well as human subjects, to understand mechanisms of cognition in relation to sensory processing.

Work in my lab spans multiple areas including:  basic aspects of vision and audition and how this is facilitated by temporal coding, and by intra-areal and interareal communication as well as mechanisms of learning, attention and decision making. A key driving question is unravelling the underlying neuropharmacology that enables these processes.

I exploit multiple techniques to address these topics, including humans and non-human primate fMRI, multi-electrode single cell recordings in non-human primate, 2-photon Ca imaging, and optogenetics, all combined with neuropharmacological manipulations.


I teach in the School of Psychology, and in the Biomedical Sciences programme, and in taught  MRes programmes.