Mr Thomas James

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Psychology

Mr Thomas James
Mr Thomas James
School of Life & Health Sciences
Aston University
Aston Triangle
Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK

Room: SW513
Email: t.james1@aston.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)121 204 4012

I moved to Aston University during September 2017, joining the team of Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) for taught psychology courses. I am also completing a PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and a part-time PhD in Research Neuroscience. Furthermore, I am a coordinator of the Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA) panel.

PY1124 (Research Methods and Statistics), PY1125 + NE1004 (Psychology + Neuroscience Practicals), PY1129 (Introduction to Psychology), PY2240 (Lifespan Development), PY2241 (Individual Differences, Health and Personality), PY2244 (Research Methods & Advanced Statistics).

Primarily using electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG), I will be utilising the Firefly model’s TSynch measure (Burgess, 2012). TSynch denotes the time at which neural oscillations become temporarily phase aligned via gradual alterations in their ongoing frequencies. In the context of ageing research, TSynch has received minimal attention thus far. However, preliminary research indicates that there may be a relationship between TSynch and cognitive changes associated with ageing. Whilst lacking clarity, these preliminary results indicate that TSynch could be a candidate biomarker, with utility to detect age-related loss of cognition. This is because EEG can detect covert abnormalities of the brain, even before their evident manifestation as abnormal behaviour. Therefore, my PhD programme will take the first steps towards determining the viability of detecting Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), a pre-dementia stage, with TSynch. Prof. Adrian Burgess is my principal supervisor, with Dr. Charlotte Hartwright as associate supervisor.


Burgess, A.P. (2012). Towards a unified understanding of event-related changes in the EEG: The firefly model of synchronisation through cross-frequency phase modulation. PLoS ONE, 7, 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0045630 

Our enthusiastic ARCHA panel members, totalling over 150 people, are an invaluable part of the research community at Aston University. Aston’s researchers have project adverts sent directly to these panel members. On receiving these invitations, interested panel members contact the researchers to arrange participation. With successful collaboration, our joint mission is to facilitate scientific advances that enable us to understand, predict, and ultimately prevent age-related poor health.

If you are an Aston University researcher wanting to send a research advert to the panel, or prospective member wanting to join the panel, please don’t hesitate to contact me to find out more: t.james1@aston.ac.uk

  • PhD. Research Neuroscience, Aston University (2017-2023), TBC
  • PGCert. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Aston University (2017-2018), TBC
  • MSc. Neuroimaging and Neurostimulation: Methods and Applications, Cardiff University CUBRIC (2016-2017), Distinction
  • BSc. Psychology, Swansea University (2013-2016), First Class Honours
  • Neuroimaging of ageing and cognition, primarily Electroencephalography and Magnetoencephalography with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
  • Metascience, primarily Open Science
  • Brain stimulation methodology, primarily Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
  • British Psychological Society (MBPsS)
  • British Neuroscience Association
  • Federation of European Neuroscience Societies