Iroise Dumontheil

Honorary Research Associate at Birbeck, University of London

Professor of Psychology and ARC Future Fellow at the University of Melbourne



Research interests

My research focuses on the development of executive functions and its association with educational outcomes. I use a variety of techniques, which include questionnaires, computerised tests, genetics, and structural and functional neuroimaging. I am interested in the impact of cognitive training, from computerised games to mindfulness meditation practice, on cognition in children and adolescents, as well as the potential implications of neuroscience research for education. My current research is about the development of metacognition during childhood and adolescence, and how it is linked to cognitive control development and mathematics achievement.

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 Birkbeck and joined the CBCD. In 2015 I became Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience and in 2020 Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck. In 2023, I moved to the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne, where I am Professor of Psychology and Australian Research Council Future Fellow. I remain Honorary Research Associate at Birkbeck.


Dumontheil I*, Wilkinson HR*, Farran EK, Smid C, Modhvadia R, Mareschal D and the UnLocke team (2023). How do executive functions influence children’s reasoning about counterintuitive concepts in mathematics and science? Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 7, 257-275. * Indicates co-first authorship, as authors have contributed equally.

Vasilopoulos F, Jeffrey H, Wu Y, & Dumontheil I (2023). Multi-level meta-analysis of whether fostering creativity during physical activity interventions increases their impact on cognitive and academic outcomes during childhood. Scientific Reports, 13, 8383.

Vasilopoulos F, Jeffrey H, Wu Y, & Dumontheil I. (2023) Multi-level meta-analysis of physical activity interventions during childhood: Effects of physical activity on cognition and academic achievement. Educational Psychology Review25, 59.

Goddings AL, Dumontheil I, Viner R, & Blakemore S-J. (2023) Puberty and risky decision-making in male adolescents. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 60, 101230.

Dumontheil I, Lyons K,  Russell T, & Zelazo P. (2023) A preliminary neuroimaging investigation of the effects of mindfulness training on attention reorienting and amygdala reactivity to emotional faces in adolescent and adult females. Journal of Adolescence, 95(1), 181-189.  Full report available here.

Filippi R, Ceccolini A, Booth E, Shen C, Thomas MSC, Toledano MB, & Dumontheil I. (2022). Modulatory effects of SES and multilinguistic experience on cognitive development: a longitudinal data analysis of multilingual and monolingual adolescents. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 25(9), 3489-3506.

Shen C, Mireku MO, Di Simplicio M, Dumontheil I, Thomas MSC, Röösli M, Elliott P, & Toledano MB. (2022). Bidirectional associations between sleep problems and behavioural difficulties and health-related quality of life in adolescents: Evidence from the SCAMP longitudinal cohort study. JCPP Advances, 2(3), e12098.

Dumontheil I, Brookman-Byrne A, Tolmie AK, & Mareschal D. (2022). Neural and cognitive underpinnings of counterintuitive science and maths reasoning in adolescence. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 34(7), 1205–1229.

Gauthier A, Porayska-Pomsta Kaska, Mayer S, Dumontheil I, Farran EK, Bell D & Mareschal D (2022) Redesigning learning games for different learning contexts: Applying a serious game design framework to redesign Stop & Think. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 33, 100503.

Gotlieb RJM*, Hickey-Moody A*, Güroğlu B*, Burnard P*, Horn C, Willcox M, Saadatmand M, Linzarini A, Vandenbroucke A, Albanese DL, Bayley A, Blaise M, Blanchet P-A, Campos AL, Cavioni V, Cefai C, Collie RJ, Dumontheil I, Emery HF, Fuligni A, Glaveanu V, Gibson J, Glozah FN, Kuo H-C, Lagi R, Lammes S, Macfarlane AH, Martinsone B, Mclellan R, Pekrun R, Poulou M, Rey J, Rieffe C, Rodriguez V, Rojas N, Rosenbaum G, Sinha P,  Stirling S, Wu J-J, and Zhou J (2022). The social and emotional foundations of learning, in Bugden S and Borst G (eds.) Education and the learning experience in reimagining education: The International Science and Evidence-based Education Assessment [Duraiappah AK, van Atteveldt NM et al. (eds.)]. New Delhi: UNESCO MGIEP.  * Indicates co-first authorship, as authors have contributed equally.

de Mooij SMM, Dumontheil I, Kirkham NZ, Raijmakers MEJ, & van der Maas HLJ (2022) Post-Error Slowing: Large scale study in an online learning environment for practicing mathematics and language. Developmental Science, 25(2), e13174.

Gauthier A, Porayska-Pomsta K, Dumontheil I, Mayer S, & Mareschal D (2022) Manipulating interface design features affects children's stop-and-think behaviours in a counterintuitive-problem game. Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 29(2), 1-22. 

Donati G, Meaburn EM, & Dumontheil I. (2021) Internalising and externalising in early adolescence predict later executive function, not the other way around: a cross-lagged panel analysis. Cognition and Emotion, 35(5), 986-998.

Shen C, Dumontheil I, Thomas MSC, Röösli M, Elliott P, Toledano MB. (2021) Digital technology use and body mass index: Evidence from cross-sectional analysis of an adolescent cohort study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23(7), e26485.

Morris S, Dumontheil I, & Farran EK. (2021) Responses to Navon tasks differ across development and between tasks with differing attentional demands. Vision Research, 185, 17-28.

Donati G, Dumontheil I, Pain O, Asbury K, & Meaburn EL. (2021) Evidence for specificity of polygenic contributions to attainment in English, maths and science during adolescence. Scientific Reports, 11, 3851.

Dumontheil I. (2021) La régulation du comportement et des émotions pendant l’adolescence. Neuroéducation 2019, 7(1).

de Mooij SMM, Raijmakers MEJ, Dumontheil I, Kirkham NZ, & van der Maas HLJ. (2021) Error detection through mouse movement in an online adaptive learning environment. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 37, 242-252.

Symeonidou I, Dumontheil I, Ferguson HJ, & Breheny R. (2020) Adolescents are delayed at inferring complex social intentions in others, but not basic (false) beliefs: An eye movement investigation. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 73(10), 1640-1659.

Wilkinson HR, Smid C, Morris S, Farran EK, Dumontheil I, Mayer S, Tolmie A, Bell D, Porayska-Pomsta K, Holmes W, Mareschal D, Thomas MSC and the UnLocke Team**. (2020) Domain-specific inhibitory control training to improve children’s learning of counterintuitive concepts in mathematics and science. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 4, 296–314. **The UnLocke team consists of the authors of this paper as well as Annie Brookman-Byrne, Roshni Modhvadia, and Dilini Sumanapala.

Edey R, Yon D, Dumontheil I, & Press C. (2020). Association between action kinematics and emotion perception across adolescence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 46(7), 657-666.

Atteveldt N, Peters S, De Smedt B, & Dumontheil I. (2020). Towards greater collaboration in educational neuroscience: perspectives from the 2018 Earli‐SIG22 conference. Mind, Brain, and Education, 14(2), 124–129.

Jenkins RH, Shen C, Dumontheil I, Thomas M, Elliot P, Röösli M, & Toledano M. (2020) Social networking site use in young adolescents: association with health-related quality of life and behavioural difficulties. Computers in Human Behavior, 109, 106320.

Magis-Weinberg L, Custers R, & Dumontheil I. (2020) Rewards enhance proactive and reactive control in adolescence and adulthood. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 14(11), 1219-1232.

Dumontheil I, Kilford EJ, & Blakemore S-J. (2020) Development of dopaminergic genetic associations with visuospatial, verbal and social working memory. Developmental Science, 23, e12889.

de Mooij SMM, Kirkham NZ, Raijmakers M, van der Maas HLJ, & Dumontheil I. (2020) Should online maths learning environments be tailored to individuals’ cognitive profiles? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 191, 104730.

Morris S, Farran E K, & Dumontheil I. (2019). Field independence associates with mathematics and science performance in 5‐ to 10‐year‐olds after accounting for domain‐general factors. Mind, Brain, and Education, 13(4), 268–278.

Donati G, Dumontheil I, & Meaburn EL. (2019) Genome-wide association study of latent cognitive measures in adolescence: genetic overlap with intelligence and education. Mind, Brain and Education, 13:224-233. .

Brookman-Byrne A, Mareschal D, Tolmie AK, & Dumontheil I. (2019) The unique contributions of verbal analogical reasoning and non-verbal matrix reasoning to science and maths problem-solving in adolescence. Mind, Brain, and Education, 13:211-223.

Toledano M, Mutz J, Röösli M, Thomas M, Dumontheil I, & Elliott P. (2019) Cohort Profile: The Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP). International Journal of Epidemiology, 48:25-26.

Mireku MO, Barker MM, Mutz J, Shen C, Dumontheil I, Thomas MSC, Röösli M, Elliott P, & Toledano MB. ("019) Processed data on the night-time screen-based media device use and adolescents’ sleep and health-related quality of life. Data Brief, 23:103761.

Mireku MO, Barker MM, Mutz J, Dumontheil I, Thomas MSC, Röösli M, Elliott P, & Toledano MB. (2019). Night-time screen-based media device use and adolescents’ sleep and health-related quality of life. Environment International, 124:66-78.

Donati G, Meaburn EL, & Dumontheil I. The specificity of associations between cognition and attainment in English, maths and science during adolescence. Learning and Individual Differences (2019), 69:84-93.

Tamnes CK, Overbye K, Ferschamnn L, Fjell AM, Walhovd KB, Blakemore S-J, Dumontheil I. Social perspective taking is associated with self-reported prosocial behavior and regional cortical thickness across adolescence. Developmental Psychology (2018), 54: 1745–1757.

Brookman-Byrne A, Mareschal D, Tolmie AK, Dumontheil I. Inhibitory control and counterintuitive science and maths reasoning in adolescence. PLOS ONE (2018), 13(6):e0198973.

Mireku MO, Mueller W, Fleming C, Chang I, Dumontheil I, Thomas MSC, Eeftens M, Elliott P, Röösli M, & Toledano MB. Total recall in the SCAMP cohort: Validation of self-reported mobile phone use in the smartphone era. Environmental Research (2018), 161:1-8.

Magis-Weinberg L, Blakemore S-J, Dumontheil I. Social and nonsocial relational reasoning in adolescence and adulthood. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2017), 29(10):1739-1754.

Edey R, Yon D, Cook J, Dumontheil I, Press C. Our own action kinematics predict the perceived affective state of others. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance (2017), 43(7):1263-1268.

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.