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Dr Amelia Burroughs

Dr Amelia Burroughs

Dr Amelia Burroughs
BSc(Hons), PhD

Research Associate in Language Learning

Area of research

Understanding the brain processes involved in language comprehension and the neural basis for individual differences in language learning during adulthood

Office F41
Merchant Venturers Building,
Woodland Road, Clifton BS8 1UB
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+44 (0) 117 331 2291



My current research interests lie in the area of neurolinguistics. I use human brain recording techniques (EEG) and dynamic causal modelling to investigate how the brain is able to make sense of an incoming stream of sentences in both native languages and when learning a second language during adulthood. I am interested in the brain mechanisms that underlie language learning and specifically the differences between individuals when they learn a new language. Some people pick up new languages incredibly quickly, others are much slower. Are there differences in the neural mechanisms of these individuals? Another interest of mine is where and how sentence grammar is processed in the brain.

I did my PhD at the University of Bristol where I was a student on the Wellcome Trust-funded Neural Dynamics PhD programme. During my PhD I used a combination of experimental in vivo recording techniques, optogenetics, data analysis methods and mathematical modelling techniques to investigate the dynamics of the complex spike in cerebellar Purkinje cells. The complex spike is a rare example of an action potential that has a highly variable waveform, rather than the typical all-or-none response. I aimed to better understand how complex spike variability influences Purkinje cell simple spike behaviour and vice versa and how these interactions are influenced by noradrenergic innervation. I built a single compartment model of the cerebellar Purkinje cell that was capable of describing the electrodynamics of the complex spike in silico. I obtained my BSc in Neuroscience from University College London. My final year project combined high-resolution microscopy and data analysis techniques to understand the spatial arrangement of synapses onto the Purkinje cell and local interneurons of the cerebellum. 


  • EEG
  • linguistics
  • neuroscience
  • dynamic causal modelling



Department of Computer Science

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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