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Aline Bompas

Dr Aline Bompas

Senior Lecturer, Joint-Lead for Cognitive Neuroscience

School of Psychology

+44 29208 70709
Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT


Research summary

My research focuses mainly on visuo-motor decisions, such as rapidly responding with eye or hand movements to changes in visual signals. My aim is to uncover how the human brain takes these rapid decisions, and for this I rely on sophisticated analysis of behaviour, computational modelling of decision and electrophysiology (EEG, MEG). I apply this research to better understand fluctuations in performance within individuals, as well as individual differences in the healthy population and clinical conditions such Alzheimer’s disease. My interest for intrisic variability in human performance extends to topics such as metacognition, depression, impulsivity or ADHD. I am affiliated to CUBRIC, the Cardiff University brain imaging centre, and co-lead of the Cognitive Neuroscience group. 

Teaching summary

I am the lead coordinator for professional placements at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I coordinate the "Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience" module of the MSc in Neuroimaging, and lecture on the neuroimaging of perception and action as part of this module. I coordinate the international departmental talk series (Colloquia) and also deliver a year 2 practical on Perception and Action.





















Research topics and related papers

My team uses a combination of techniques to better understand visuo-motor performance, its physiological underpinning and how it may differ within and across people:

Here are some of my main projects and most relevant related papers:

Computational modelling of visuo-motor decisions. My team uses a range of models (neural field models, linear accumulators, drift diffusion model) to offer quantitative approaches to behaviour and explicit links to brain activity.

Bompas, A., Campbell, A.E., and Sumner, P. (2020). Cognitive control and automatic interference in mind and brain: A unified model of saccadic inhibition and countermanding. Psychological Review.  

Bompas, A., Hedge, C. and Sumner, P. 2017. Speeded saccadic and manual visuo-motor decisions: distinct processes but same principles. Cognitive Psychology 94, pp. 26-52. (10.1016/j.cogpsych.2017.02.002)

Bompas, A., and Sumner, P. 2011. Saccadic inhibition reveals the timing of automatic and voluntary signals in the human brain. The Journal of Neuroscience 31(35), pp. 12501-12512. (10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2234-11.2011)

Neural basis of variability in visuo-motor behaviours and the effect of age and Alzheimer’s disease. We use behavioural tasks and MEG recordings to better understand why performance varies across time, and how these fluctuations are affected with age and dementia.

Koelewijn, L. Bompas, A., Tales, A., Brookes, M., Muthukumaraswamy, S.D., Bayer, A. & Singh, K.D. (2017). Alzheimer's disease disrupts alpha and beta-band resting-state oscillatory network connectivity. Clinical Neurophysiology 128(11), pp. 2347-2357. PMC5674981.

Bompas, A., et al. 2015. The contribution of pre-stimulus neural oscillatory activity to spontaneous response time variability. NeuroImage 107, pp. 34-45. (10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.11.057)

Bayer, A., et al. 2014. Abnormal inhibition of return in mild cognitive impairment: is it specific to the presence of prodromal dementia?. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 40(1), pp. 177-189. (10.3233/JAD-131934)

Tales, A., et al. 2012. Intra-individual reaction time variability in aMCI: A precursor to dementia?. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 32(2), pp. 457-466. (10.3233/JAD-2012-120505)

Visual Perception: How do we learn to perceive? How do we distinguish the real from the illusory?

Powell, al. 2016. Interaction between contours and eye movements in the perception of afterimages: A test of the signal ambiguity theory. Journal of Vision 16(7), article number: 16. (10.1167/16.7.16)

Powell, G., Sumner, P. and Bompas, A. E. D. 2015. The effect of eye movements and blinks on afterimage appearance and duration. Journal of Vision 15(3), pp. 1-15, article number: 20. (10.1167/15.3.20)

Bompas, A., Powell, G. and Sumner, P. 2013. Systematic biases in adult color perception persist despite lifelong information sufficient to calibrate them. Journal of Vision 13(1), article number: 19. (10.1167/13.1.19)

Powell, G., Bompas, A., and Sumner, P. 2012. Making the incredible credible: Afterimages are modulated by contextual edges more than real stimuli. Journal of Vision 12(10), article number: 17. (10.1167/12.10.17)

Bompas, A., and O'Regan, J. K. 2006. More evidence for sensorimotor adaptation in color perception. Journal of Vision 6(2), article number: 5. (10.1167/6.2.5)

Bompas, A., and O'Regan, J. K. 2006. Evidence for a role of action in colour perception. Perception -London- 35(1), pp. 65-78. (10.1068/p5356)

Which neuronal pathways contribute to visuo-oculomotor control?

Sumner, al. 2010. More GABA, less distraction: a neurochemical predictor of motor decision speed. Nature Neuroscience 13(7), pp. 825-827. (10.1038/nn.2559)

Bompas, A. E. D. and Sumner, P. 2009. Oculomotor Distraction by Signals Invisible to the Retinotectal and Magnocellular Pathways. Journal of Neurophysiology 102(4), pp. 2387-2395. (10.1152/jn.00359.2009)

Bompas, A. E. D. and Sumner, P. 2009. Temporal dynamics of saccadic distraction. Journal of Vision 9(9), article number: 17. (10.1167/9.9.17)

Bompas, al. 2008. Naso-temporal asymmetry for signals invisible to the retinotectal pathway. Journal of Neurophysiology 100(1), pp. 412-421. (10.1152/jn.90312.2008)

Bompas, A. E. D. and Sumner, P. 2008. Sensory sluggishness dissociates saccadic, manual, and perceptual responses: An S-cone study. Journal of Vision 8(8), pp. 1-13. (10.1167/8.8.10)


2013-2016: ESRC grant (£633,613) “A framework and toolkit for understanding impulsive action”, co-written with Petroc Sumner (PI), Chris Chambers, Casimir Ludwig, Frederick Verbruggen and Fred Boy.

Research group

Action Control Group: Pr Petroc Sumner, Dr Georgie Powell, Dr Craig Hedge, Dr Jiaxiang Zhang

Sensational Group: Pr Tom Freeman, Pr Simon Rsuhton, Dr Christoph Teufel, Pr John Culling, Dr Jacques Grange, Dr Georgie Powell 

MEG Group: Pr Krish Singh, Dr Gavin Perry, Dr Holly Rossiter, Dr Alex Shaw, Pr Neil Harrison, Dr Jiaxiang Zhang, Pr Khalid Hamandi, Dr Sharmila Khot, Dr Dave McGonigle

CUBRIC Cognitive Neuroscience Group: Dr Christoph Teufel, Pr Penny Lewis, Dr Elisabeth van dem Hagen, Dr Claudia Metzler-Baddeley, Dr Lisa Evans, Pr Krish Singh, Pr Petroc Sumner, Pr Andrew Lawrence, Dr Matthias Gruber, Dr Chen Song

Research collaborators

Internal: School of Psychology: Petroc Sumner, Georgie Powell, Craig Hedge, Jiaxiang Zhang, Christoph Teufel, Krish Singh

Cardiff University, School of Medecine: Pr Tony Bayer

Psychology Department, Bristol University: Pr Iain Gilchrist
Lyon Neuroscience Research Center: Dr Jérémie Mattout, Jean-Philippe Lachaux, Vania Herbillon, Denis Pélisson, Alessandro Farnè, Judith Nicolas
Swansea University: Dr Andrea Tales

Bielefield University: Dr Marlou Perquin


Undergraduate education

1995-1998: Scientifique Baccalauréat and preparatory school  in biology, mathematics, physics and chemistry at Lycée Chaptal (Paris).

1998-2001:  master degree in biology from the Institut National Agronomique de Paris.

Postgraduate education

2000-2001: advanced master degree in cognitive sciences (DEA  de sciences cognitives de Paris).

2001-2005:  PhD student at the Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale, CNRS, Université  Paris 5 (UMR8581), supervised by Kevin O’Regan and Joelle Proust (Institut Jean  Nicod). Grant from the French Research and Technology Ministry. Thesis on “The  application of the sensorimotor approach to colour perception”.


2015-present: Senior Lecturer at the  School of Psychology, Cardiff University

2012-2015: Research Associate at the Lyon Neuroscience  Research Center, in the DYCOG team, “EEG monitoring for the anticipation of  performance”, funded by the French ministry of defence

2006-2012: Research  Associate at the School of Psychology, Cardiff University

2005-2006: research fellowship at  the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Department of  Computational Psychophysics, Tübingen, Germany, award from the Fyssen  Fondation.


Postgraduate research interests

All action decisions are subject to spontaneous  fluctuations, resulting in large variability in speed and accuracy across time.  My approach focuses on fast visuo-motor decisions and I am specifically  interested in the following questions:

  • What is the balance of stochasticity and  determinism in simple decisions, including free-choice?
  • What is the temporal structure and  electrophysiological correlates of endogenous variance?
  • To what extent future decisions can be predicted  from recent behaviour and brain activity?
  • What are the metacognitive correlates of poor  performance?
  • What  underlies hypervariability in attention disorders, hyperactivity or dementia?

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information  regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application.

Current students

Adelina-Mihaela Halchin