Dr Elsa Fouragnan

Dr Elsa Fouragnan

Lecturer in Psychology

School of Psychology (Faculty of Health)


Future Leader Fellow UKRI
Head of the Stimulation Lab at BRIC
Invited lecturer in Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience 

Bio: My research focuses on the neurobiology of decision-making and learning, both in healthy adults and in patients with psychiatric disorders. After working as a biomedical engineer, developing brain-related clinical devises, I pursued an academic career in computational neuroscience at the universities of Glasgow and Oxford. My previous research focused on the use of multimodal neuroimaging, including simultaneous EEG and fMRI methods, which allowed uncovering latent brain states that remain unobserved with conventional methods. Additionally, I worked on the proof of principle - in an animal model - that transcranial ultrasound neuromodulation can safely and transiently change neural activity in precise parts of the brain. My ambition is to bring this technology forward and apply it to mental health challenges. 


PhD in computational neuroscience - European fellowship & Visiting scholar at USC, Los Angeles, USA 

Master in Biomedical Engineering (ENSC Bordeaux, France)

Roles on external bodies

Member of the Focused Ultrasound international working group on safety and ethics 2018-present

Board member of the Change Group, Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Oxford, 2017-2018

Treasurer, French federation of students and early researchers in Cognitive Sciences, 2006

Teaching interests

  • 412 - Psychological Science
  • 415 - Topics in Psychology
  • 406 - Applied psychology
  • 404 - Current topics in Psychology
  • 570 - Issues in Cognitive and Brain Science

Staff serving as external examiners

PhD examiner:

  • Elodie Levy, ICM, CNRS, Paris, France

Research interests

I am fascinated by the brain's remarkable capacity to process our continually changing environment, allowing us to avoid repeated mistakes and make smart decisions. How is this normally achieved, and what are the consequences of brain damage? To address these questions, a large part of my work focuses on both value-based decision-making and reward-learning and involves various methods including multimodal neuroimaging (simultaneous EEG-fMRI), focal ultrasound neurostimulation and comparative neuroscience.

Other research

Award for best Neuroscientific contribution (~$20,000) by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 2019

Best poster price, Foundation for Focused Ultrasound, Oxford University, September 2019 

Best poster price, Neuroeconomics Summer School, Amsterdam University, June 2012

Award for exceptional performance in Mathematics, Atomic Energy Commissariat, Toulouse, 2006

Grants & contracts

UKRI FLF 2020-2024 (£1,032,516.11), Principal Investigator "Mapping the neural circuit of credit assignment for a new targeted brain intervention in addiction"

Leverhulme 2019-2022 (£462,995), Co-investigator “Social perception as Bayesian hypothesis testing and revision” with Prof. Patric Bach (PI)

Praxis Clinical Grant (£2,000), Small Research Grant - Developing psychiatric tasks in eating disorders with Dr Remi Neveu

Key publications are highlighted

Queirazza F, Fouragnan E, Steele JD, Cavanagh J & Philiastides MG 2019 'Neural correlates of weighted reward prediction error during reinforcement learning classify response to cognitive behavioral therapy in depression' Science Advances 5, (7) eaav4962-eaav4962 , DOI PEARL
Fouragnan EF, Chau BKH, Folloni D, Kolling N, Verhagen L, Klein-Flügge M, Tankelevitch L, Papageorgiou GK, Aubry J-F & Sallet J 2019 'The macaque anterior cingulate cortex translates counterfactual choice value into actual behavioral change' Nature Neuroscience 22, (5) 797-808 , DOI PEARL
Folloni D, Verhagen L, Mars R, Fouragnan E, Constans C, Aubry J-F, Rushworth MFS & Sallet J 2019 'Manipulation of subcortical and deep cortical activity in the primate brain using transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation' Neuron , DOI PEARL
Fouragnan E, Retzler C & Philiastides MG 2018 'Separate neural representations of prediction error valence and surprise: Evidence from an fMRI meta-analysis' Human Brain Mapping Author Site , DOI PEARL
Fouragnan E, Queirazza F, Retzler C, Mullinger KJ & Philiastides MG 2017 'Spatiotemporal neural characterization of prediction error valence and surprise during reward learning in humans' Scientific Reports 7, (1) , DOI PEARL
Pisauro MA, Fouragnan E, Retzler C & Philiastides MG 2017 'Neural correlates of evidence accumulation during value-based decisions revealed via simultaneous EEG-fMRI' Nature Communications 8, (1) , DOI PEARL
Neveu R, Fouragnan E, Barsumian F, Carrier E, Lai M, Nicolas A, Neveu D & Coricelli G 2016 'Preference for Safe Over Risky Options in Binge Eating' Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 10, , DOI PEARL
Neveu R, Fouragnan E, Barsumian F, Carrier E, Lai M, Nicolas A, Neveu D & Coricelli G 2016 'Preference for Safe Over Risky Options in Binge Eating' FRONTIERS IN BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE 10, Author Site , DOI
Fouragnan E, Retzler C, Mullinger K & Philiastides MG 2015 'Two spatiotemporally distinct value systems shape reward-based learning in the human brain' Nature Communications 6, (1) , DOI PEARL
Neveu R, Neveu D, Barsumian F, Fouragnan E, Carrier E, Lai M, Sultan J, Nicolas A & Coricelli G 2014 'Improved Planning Abilities in Binge Eating' PLoS ONE 9, (8) e105657-e105657 , DOI PEARL
Fouragnan E, Chierchia G, Greiner S, Neveu R, Avesani P & Coricelli G 2013 'Reputational Priors Magnify Striatal Responses to Violations of Trust' Journal of Neuroscience 33, (8) 3602-3611 , DOI
Queirazza F, Fouragnan E, Steele JD, Cavanagh J & Philiastides MG 0 'Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex activity during learning discriminates response to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in depression' , DOI