Iroise Dumontheil

Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience

Lecturer, Department of Psychological Sciences

Birkbeck, University of London, WC1E 7HX London.


Tel: 020 3073 8008


Research interests

My research examines social and executive functions in adulthood and their development during adolescence. I am particularly interested in the role played by the rostral prefrontal cortex, or Brodmann area 10. This brain region supports both social functions, such as mentalising or theory of mind, and executive functions such as relational reasoning, multitasking, prospective memory, as well as other cognitive processes such as mindwandering or episodic memory retrieval. I focus on (1) the interaction between social cognition and cognitive control processes, and (2) the interplay between on-task and off-task (mindwandering) cognition. To do this I combine behavioural, structural and functional neuroimaging methods, as well as more recently the study of the effect of genetic polymorphisms on cognition.

Curriculum vitae

I completed my PhD in 2006 at the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris; most of my research was done at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London. I then did successive postdocs at the MRC-Cognitive and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge with Prof. John Duncan, at UCL with Prof. Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, and at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm with Prof. Torkel Klingberg. My PhD and first postdoc focused on the study of executive functions in adults. I then extended my work to look at development of these functions and social cognition during adolescence. In Stockholm I started looking at the effect of genetic variants on cognition. In October 2012 I started a lectureship at the Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck.



Symeonidou, I. and Dumontheil, Iroise and Chow, W.-Y. and Breheny, R. (2016) Development of online use of theory of mind during adolescence: an eye-tracking study. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 149 , pp. 81-97. ISSN 0022-0965.

Dumontheil, Iroise (2016) Adolescent brain development. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 10 , pp. 39-44. ISSN 2352-1546.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Wolf, L.K. and Blakemore, S.-J. (2016) Audience effects on the neural correlates of relational reasoning in adolescence. Neuropsychologia 87 , pp. 85-95. ISSN 0028-3932.

Humphrey, Gillian and Dumontheil, Iroise (2016) Development of risk-taking, perspective-taking, and inhibitory control during adolescence. Developmental Neuropsychology , pp. 1-18. ISSN 8756-5641.

Dumontheil, Iroise (2015) Development of the social brain during adolescence. Psicología Educativa 21 (2), pp. 117-124. ISSN 1135-755X.

Mills, K.L. and Dumontheil, Iroise and Speekenbrink, M. and Blakemore, S.-J. (2015) Multitasking during social interactions in adolescence and early adulthood. Royal Society Open Science 2 (11), p. 150117. ISSN 2054-5703.

Jensen, S.K.G. and Dickie, E.W. and Schwartz, D.H. and Evans, C.J. and Dumontheil, Iroise and Paus, T. and Barker, E.D. (2015) Effect of early adversity and childhood internalizing symptoms on brain structure in young men. JAMA Pediatrics 169 (10), pp. 938-946. ISSN 2168-6203.

Wolf, L.K. and Bazargani, N. and Kilford, E.J. and Dumontheil, Iroise and Blakemore, S.-J. (2015) The audience effect in adolescence depends on who's looking over your shoulder. Journal of Adolescence 43 , pp. 5-14. ISSN 0140-1971.

Kilford, E.J. and Dumontheil, Iroise and Wood, N.W. and Blakemore, S.-J. (2015) Influence of COMT genotype and affective distractors on the processing of self-generated thought. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 10 (6), pp. 777-782. ISSN 1749-5016.

Dumontheil, Iroise (2014) Development of abstract thinking during childhood and adolescence: the role of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience 10 , pp. 57-76. ISSN 1878-9293.

Bazargani, N. and Hillebrandt, H. and Christoff, K. and Dumontheil, Iroise (2014) Developmental changes in effective connectivity associated with relational reasoning. Human Brain Mapping 35 (7), pp. 3262-3276. ISSN 1065-9471.

Jensen, Sarah K.G. and Dumontheil, Iroise and Barker, Edward D. (2014) Developmental inter-relations between early maternal depression, contextual risks, and interpersonal stress, and their effect on later child cognitive functioning. Depression and Anxiety 31 (7), pp. 599-607. ISSN 1091-4269.

Fett, A.-K.J. and Shergill, S.S. and Gromann, P.M. and Dumontheil, Iroise and Blakemore, S.-J. and Yakub, F. and Krabbendam, L. (2014)Trust and social reciprocity in adolescence – a matter of perspective-taking. Journal of Adolescence 37 (2), pp. 175-184. ISSN 0140-1971.

Goddings, A.-L. and Dumontheil, Iroise and Blakemore, S.J. and Viner, R.M. (2014) The relationship between pubertal status and neural activity during risky decision-making in male adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health 54 (2), S84-S85. ISSN 1054-139X.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Jensen, S.K.G. and Wood, N.W. and Meyer, M.L. and Lieberman, M.D. and Blakemore, S.-J. (2014) Preliminary investigation of the influence of dopamine regulating genes on social working memory. Social Neuroscience 9 (5), pp. 437-451. ISSN 1747-0919.

Hillebrandt, H. and Dumontheil, Iroise and Blakemore, S.J. and Roiser, J.P. (2013) Dynamic causal modelling of effective connectivity during perspective taking in a communicative task. NeuroImage 76 , pp. 116-124. ISSN 1053-8119.

Weil, L.G. and Fleming, S.M. and Dumontheil, Iroise and Kilford, E.J. and Weil, R.S. and Rees, G. and Dolan, R.J. and Blakemore, S.J.(2013) The development of metacognitive ability in adolescence. Consciousness and Cognition 22 (1), pp. 264-271. ISSN 1053-8100.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Hillebrandt, H. and Apperly, I.A. and Blakemore, S.J. (2012) Developmental differences in the control of action selection by social information. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 24 (10), pp. 2080-2095. ISSN 0898-929X.

Duncan, J. and Schramm, M. and Thompson, R. and Dumontheil, Iroise (2012) Task rules, working memory, and fluid intelligence.Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 19 (5), pp. 864-870. ISSN 1069-9384.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Klingberg, T. (2012) Brain activity during a visuospatial working memory task predicts arithmetical performance 2 years later. Cerebral Cortex 22 (5), pp. 1078-1085. ISSN 1047-3211.

Ziermans, T. and Dumontheil, Iroise and Roggeman, C. and Peyrard-Janvid, M. and Matsson, H. and Kere, J. and Klingberg, T. (2012)Working memory brain activity and capacity link MAOA polymorphism to aggressive behavior during development. Translational Psychiatry 2 (2), e85. ISSN 2158-3188.

Sebastian, C.L. and Tan, G.C.Y. and Roiser, J.P. and Viding, E. and Dumontheil, Iroise and Blakemore, S.J. (2011) Developmental influences on the neural bases of responses to social rejection: Implications of social neuroscience for education. NeuroImage 57 (3), pp. 686-694. ISSN 1053-8119.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Roggeman, C. and Ziermans, T. and Peyrard-Janvid, M. and Matsson, H. and Kere, J. and Klingberg, T. (2011)Influence of the COMT Genotype on Working Memory and Brain Activity Changes During Development. Biological Psychiatry 70 (3), pp. 222-229. ISSN 0006-3223.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Thompson, R. and Duncan, J. (2011) Assembly and use of new task rules in fronto-parietal cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 23 (1), pp. 168-182. ISSN 0898-929X.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Houlton, R. and Christoff, K. and Blakemore, S.J. (2010) Development of relational reasoning during adolescence. Developmental Science 13 (6), F15-F24. ISSN 1363-755X.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Gilbert, S.J. and Frith, C.D. and Burgess, P.W. (2010) Recruitment of lateral rostral prefrontal cortex in spontaneous and task-related thoughts. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 63 (9), pp. 1740-1756. ISSN 1747-0218.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Hassan, B. and Gilbert, S.J. and Blakemore, S.J. (2010) Development of the selection and manipulation of self-generated thoughts in adolescence. Journal of Neuroscience 30 (22), pp. 7664-7671. ISSN 0270-6474.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Gilbert, S.J. and Burgess, P.W. and Otten, L.J. (2010) Neural correlates of task and source switching: similar or different? Biological Psychology 83 (3), pp. 239-249. ISSN 0301-0511.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Apperly, I.A. and Blakemore, S.J. (2010) Online usage of theory of mind continues to develop in late adolescence. Developmental Science 13 (2), pp. 331-338. ISSN 1363-755X.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Küster, O. and Apperly, I.A. and Blakemore, S.J. (2010) Taking perspective into account in a communicative task.NeuroImage 52 (4), pp. 1574-1583. ISSN 1053-8119.

Dumontheil, Iroise and Burgess, P.W. and Blakemore, S.J. (2008) Development of rostral prefrontal cortex and cognitive and behavioural disorders. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 50 (3), pp. 168-181. ISSN 0012-1622.

Book Section

Dumontheil, Iroise and Blakemore, S.J. (2012) Social cognition and abstract thought in adolescence: the role of structural and functional development in rostral prefrontal cortex. In: UNSPECIFIED (ed.) Educational Neuroscience. BJEP Monograph Series II 8. London, UK: The British Psychological Society, pp. 99-113. ISBN 9781854337177 .

Conference or Workshop Item

Dumontheil, Iroise and Gilbert, S.J. and Blakemore, S.J. (2010) Adolescent development of the selection and manipulation of self-generated thoughts: a behavioural, functional and structural imaging study. In: The 20th Annual Rotman Research Institute Conference: The frontal lobes, 22-26th Mar 2010, Toronto, Canada. (Unpublished)