Joshua Brain

Staff portrait: Joshua Brain

What is your background?
I am originally from the English city of Worcester. I studied Psychology in the UK, before working as a research assistant in the Department of Psychology, Murdoch University, Western Australia.

I continued my education by studying Sensory Science at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and the University of Copenhagen. The course was rather unique, in that it was the only one of its type taught in English, in Europe.

I moved to Aarhus in July 2013 to be part of the brand new Cognition and Behavior Lab. 

What are your main areas of research?
My position combines administrative and research duties. Working in the Lab, I oversee all of the myriad studies that take place. Researchers from across all four AU faculties come and use the rooms and equipment we have to offer.

With a background predominantly in psychology, and with my name of course, it is only logical that I am interested in the inner workings of our brain. More specifically, I am interested in flavour psychology and implicit memory. 

What research projects are you working on at the moment?
There are two main projects I am working on at present, besides the day-to-day Lab activities and making sure things are running smoothly.

The first is a psychophysiological project together with Lab manager Dan Mønster, in which we aim to compare and validate a new, portable, low-cost ECG device against a more expensive competitor product.

The second project is with collaborators from Copenhagen and The Netherlands, and investigates the role of implicit learning and novelty detection in everyday flavour memory.

Then there are the numerous studies that take place at the Lab, which I have an interest in.  

What are you involved in teaching-wise at the moment?
My position is a fine blend of research and administrative tasks, so no teaching currently.  

Are you planning to take part in any conferences or the like abroad in the near future?
There is the Pangborn conference in Gothenburg in August which I have identified as a go-to.  

Have you had any visitors from abroad recently?
We at the Lab often welcome researchers here on sabbatical or those visiting. We are currently running a study wherein researchers have travelled from Hungary and Finland to run a study at the Lab.  

Are you cooperating with researchers from other departments at AU at the moment?
From the Lab's perspective—yes! The Lab is a disciplinary resource open to all.

From my personal research perspective, I have close ties to the food research group (MAPP) at the Department of Business Administration and work together with colleagues from the Interacting Minds Centre (Arts).  

What do you do when you are not at work?
To my the annoyance of my neighbours, music takes up a lot of my time. I play guitar and am in the process of releasing a second EP, together with some friends. It is very alternative, atmospheric, melancholic stuff.

Additionally, I am an accredited sensory coffee trainer for the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe.

I'm also trying, and failing, to learn Danish. I'm told that after a few beers my Danish improves considerably though.

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