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    Professor Nicky Clayton, FRS

    University Position


    Nicky studies the development and evolution of cognition in members of the crow family (including jackdaws, rooks and jays) and humans. Her work has challenged many of the common-held assumptions that only humans can plan for the future and reminisce about the past, and that only humans can understand other minds as well as other times. This work has led to a radical re-evaluation of animal cognition, and raises important issues about the evolution of cognition. She is Scientist in Residence at Rambert working with Artistic Direct Mark Baldwin on choreographic works inspired by science e.g. Comedy of Change. Nicky's most recent collaboration is with artist and write, Clive Wilkins, who is Artist in Residence in the Psychology department. It arose out of their mutual interest in mental time trave. They also regularly dance tango together. ( ) You can watch there TEDx talk Conversations without words here (

    Key Publications


    Obesity and insulin resistance are associated with reduced activity in core memory regions of the brain.

    Journal: Neuropsychologia
    E-pub date: 1 Feb 2017
    Authors: LG Cheke, HM Bonnici, NS Clayton, JS Simons

    Higher body mass index is associated with episodic memory deficits in young adults.

    Journal: Q J Exp Psychol (Hove)
    E-pub date: 1 Nov 2016
    Authors: LG Cheke, JS Simons, NS Clayton