Mind and Brain Science Applied to Everyday Life

Ian Robertson

Ian Robertson is a clinical psychologist
 and neuroscientist with a unique ability to apply his research to real world problems. His forthcoming book (3rd June 2021) is How Confidence Works: the new science of self-belief and why some people learn it and others don't. See him introduce the book in this short video

Here he gives the Carmichael Lecture to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland on The Era of Mind, where he outlines his view of the crucial role that confidence will play in facing future challenges.

You can also listen here to an interview with him about confidence, after listening to his two favourite pieces of music! His last best-selling book was The Stress Test: How Pressure Can Make You Stronger and Sharper (Bloomsbury) and, like his previous books Mind Sculpture, The Mind’s Eye and The Winner Effect, has been translated into many languages. Currently co-director of the Global Brain Health Institute and Emeritus Professor at Trinity College Dublin, he is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading researchers in neuropsychology.  He contributes to this free psychology advice website https://noworeez.com
 and tweets as @ihrobertson. 

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I am a cognitive neuroscientist as well as a writer. Below are a few of my most recent papers from this year on topics ranging from improving memory through brain stimulation to the effects of how we breathe on our brain function, to the measurement of brain age using MRI imaging. My research has shown how we have much more control over our brain function than we realise and can alter the structure, function and chemistry of our brains through our behaviour, our breathing and our thinking.

Here is a recent interview I did with Josh Balsters of Gorilla about my research on sustained attention.


Vanneste S, Mohan A, Yoo HB, Huang Y, Luckey AM, McLeod SL, Robertson, IH et al. The peripheral effect of direct current stimulation on brain circuits involving memory. Science Advances. 2020;6(45):eaax9538.

Boyle, R., Jollans, L., Rueda-Delgado, L. M., Rizzo, R., Yener, G. G., McMorrow, J. P., Robertson, IH... & Stern, Y. (2020). Brain-predicted age difference score is related to specific cognitive functions: A multi-site replication analysis. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 1-19.

Melnychuk, MC, Murphy PR, Robertson IH et al (2020) Prediction of attentional focus from respiration with simple feed-forward and time delay neural networks. Neural Computing and Applications, 1-10.

Luckey AM, McLeod SL, Robertson IH, To WT, Vanneste S. Greater Occipital Nerve Stimulation Boosts Associative Memory in Older Individuals: A Randomized Trial. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 2020:1545968320943573.

Smith E, Ali D, Wilkerson B, Dawson WD, Sobowale K, Reynolds C, Robertson IH et al. A Brain Capital Grand Strategy: toward economic reimagination. Molecular Psychiatry. 2020.