Hearing Sciences

Image of Rebecca Dewey

Rebecca Dewey

Senior Research Fellow in Neuroimaging, Faculty of Science



Rebecca obtained an undergraduate master's degree in physics with theoretical physics from the University of Manchester in 2008. From there, she moved to the University of Nottingham to study for her PhD in advanced functional neuroimaging in the Division of Radiological and Imaging Sciences, which was conferred upon her in 2012. She now works as a research fellow in neuroimaging at the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre, School of Physics and Astronomy, collaborating closely with the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit.

Expertise Summary

With a background in magnetic resonance physics, Rebecca spent her PhD studies developing advanced functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques to observe the changes in brain activity, functional connectivity and cerebral perfusion caused by the onset of disease or the administration of a drug. More specifically, she conducted a study into the effect of the peripherally acting beta-blocker, Nadolol, on the arterial spin labelling (ASL) perfusion and blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) fMRI response to emotional visual stimuli.

Rebecca spent 2012-2016 conducting a study using the functional neuroimaging technique of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in combination with fMRI to measure activation patterns in the auditory network in response to non-auditory sensory stimuli in profoundly deaf individuals, and to investigate whether these patterns change with cochlear implant use.

Rebecca now works on a project managed collaboratively between the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre (SPMIC) in the school of Physics and Astronomy, the Hearing Sciences theme of the the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Hearing Sciences in the Division of Mental Health and Clinical Neurosciences in the School of Medicine, and the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester. The project aims to use MRI and electrophysiology to investigate the neural bases of noise exposure, aging, and hearing loss, and to characterise damage to the auditory system that is currently undetectable by regular audiological testing methods.

Rebecca's other work includes MR imaging of individuals with auditory implantable prostheses (e.g., cochlear implants), and the effect of the MR environment on the human balance system.

Research Summary

I am interested in new techniques that can be used to observe how external influences alter how the brain works. Drugs and prosthetics, as well as illnesses and disease can change how the brain… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

I am interested in new techniques that can be used to observe how external influences alter how the brain works. Drugs and prosthetics, as well as illnesses and disease can change how the brain responds to its environment. Functional neuroimaging can help us to understand how these external influences alter normal brain function. Functional neuroimaging can often be enhanced by using multiple imaging modalities simultaneously (multi-modal imaging) to obtain the most information about a process. I am currently using novel methods of imaging the brain and nerves in the head to understand the long-term effects of noise exposure.

I also work to try and improve the way that people with implanted auditory prostheses (e.g., cochlear implants) can undergo brain imaging, improving the safety of the procedures and the quality of the resulting images.

Hearing Sciences

Mental Health & Clinical Neuroscience
School of Medicine
University of Nottingham
Medical School, QMC
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

telephone: University Park +44 (0) 115 74 86900
Ropewalk House +44 (0) 115 82 32600
Glasgow +44 (0) 141 242 9665
email: hearing-research@nottingham.ac.uk