Professor George Ellis
My first line of work is of a foundational nature: how does one respond to claims that agency is not possible because either neurons, genes, or physics determine all, so that brain operations are nothing but epiphenomena? Various forms of downward causation are at the core of the answer. My second line is an investigation of the nature of the primary (genetically determined) emotional systems that play a key role in brain development and function, and how this relates to claims of existence of innate brain modules of various kinds, such as a Language Acquisition Device. The third and related topic is the relation between neuroscience and learning in general, and between between neuroscience and learning to read and write in particular. This has important educational policy implications: see here for an initial discussion.