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Henrietta Howells

Miss, Ms

Personal profile

Research interests

I first looked at human networks at a macroscopic level within a degree in Geography, taking this forward to look at human behavioural networks in a following Psychology degree. I joined the Natbrainlab in 2009, using diffusion imaging tractography to perform in-vivo dissections of white matter limbic networks in autism. I completed a Neuroscience degree at Masters level with a thesis focusing on brain connectivity, in particular certain white matter pathways connecting cortical regions in the frontal lobe.

I am now completing a PhD using diffusion imaging tractography to investigate long-term white matter networks involved in fine motor skill (complex movements, or dexterity, with the hands). First we looked at whether right-handers, who show a behavioural asymmetry of having better fine motor skill with their right than left hand also show a structural asymmetry in the brain, through the balance of white matter pathways between brain hemispheres. We then investigated whether individuals who were born without arms as a result of thalidomide embryopathy, and who use their feet and mouth to paint and sculpt, have altered white matter networks for fine motor skill.

I also teach on the iBSC Psychology, the MSc Neuroscience and run a Clinical Neuroanatomy Seminar series, funded by the Maudsley Charity (

My particular research interests are diffusion imaging (both tensor and HARDI-based methods), handedness, fine motor skill, cognitive neuroscience and white matter connectivity more broadly.

Research interests (short)

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Education/Academic qualification

Master of Science, FAT or Fiction: Investigating a newly discovered frontal pathway, King's College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 2012

Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Open University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2011

Bachelor of Arts, UCL University College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 2007


  • QM Human anatomy
  • neuroimaging
  • diffusion imaging
  • white matter
  • handedness


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