Dr David Moreau


Profile Image
Senior Lecturer


I came to The University of Auckland in 2015, after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University in the United States. I now lead the Brain Dynamics Lab (braindynamicslab.com).

Research | Current

The Brain Dynamics Lab focuses on the variability inherent to behavioral and neural systems, in the context of normal development, neurological diseases and disorders, and as a result of interventions.

More specifically, research in the lab is centered on three main goals:

(1) Theoretical: understanding the mechanisms of behavioral and neural change; 

(2) Methodological: refining the measurements and methods to evaluate these dynamics;

(3) Translational: designing and implementing interventions to improve mental and physical health.​

We pursue these three intertwined lines of research in the hope to further our understanding of typical and disordered brains, with the overall goal to facilitate personalized approaches to intervention.

Teaching | Current

PSYCH109: Content Developer

PSYCH211: Psychology for Society - Course coordinator for the quantitative section, Lecturer

PSYCH306: Research Methods in Psychology - Course coordinator, Lecturer

PSYCH323: Changes Across the Lifespan, Lecturer

PSYCH722: Learning and Human Development - Lecturer

PSYCH744: Experimental Design and Quantitative Methods for Psychology - Lecturer

PSYCH756: Dynamics of Brain and Behavior - Course coordinator, Lecturer

Postgraduate supervision

I supervise postgraduate students at the Honors, Masters and PhD level. Possible research areas for postgraduate students include:

  • The dynamics of brain and behavior
  • The neural mechanisms underlying cognitive performance
  • The influence of health interventions (e.g., exercise, diet) on brain and cognition
  • The development of novel methods to assess variability in brain and behavior
  • Meta-science, mathematical simulations, and replications

Prospective postgraduate students are welcome to get in touch with me. A background in neuroscience and/or statistics is preferable, and a willingness to learn computational methods is essential (e.g., R, Python, Matlab).


  • Royal Society Early Career Research Excellence Award (2020)
  • University of Auckland Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence (2020)
  • Fellow of the Psychonomic Society (2020)
  • University of Auckland Early Career Research Excellence Award (2019)
  • Centre for Brain Research Emerging Researcher Award (2018)
  • National Award for Best PhD Thesis in Science (2013)
  • National Research Fellowship (2011)
  • Fulbright Fellowship (2008)
  • Fulbright Award, Washington D.C. (2008)
  • E.U. Exchange Student Fellowship (2007)
  • National Student Fellowship (2007)
  • Franco-Canadian Bilateral Fellowship (2004)

Areas of expertise

Cognitive Neuroscience; Training and Plasticity of Cognition; Methods; Statistics; Mathematical Modeling

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Psychology committee, School of Psychology, 2020-present
  • Research Methods Working Group, School of Psychology, 2018-present
  • Neuroimaging User Group, School of Psychology, 2017-present
  • Statistical Consultant for the Growing Up in New Zealand study, 2016-present
  • Emerging Researcher Committee, Centre for Brain Research, University of Auckland, 2016-present
  • Strategic Planning Group Committee, Centre for Brain Research, University of Auckland, 2016-present
  • National Development Grant Referee (ad hoc), 2015

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Yao, Z.-F., Sligte, I. G., Moreau, D., Hsieh, S., Yang, C.-T., Ridderinkhof, K. R., ... Wang, C.-H. (2020). The brains of elite soccer players are subject to experience-dependent alterations in white matter connectivity. Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior, 132, 79-91. 10.1016/j.cortex.2020.07.016
  • Wiebels, K., Addis, D. R., Moreau, D., van Mulukom, V., Onderdijk, K. E., & Roberts, R. P. (2020). Relational processing demands and the role of spatial context in the construction of episodic simulations. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition, 46 (8), 1424-1441. 10.1037/xlm0000831
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Donna Rose Addis, Reece Roberts
  • Wang, C.-H., Liang, W.-K., & Moreau, D. (2020). Differential Modulation of Brain Signal Variability During Cognitive Control in Athletes with Different Domains of Expertise. Neuroscience, 425, 267-279. 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.11.003
  • Moreau, D., & Chou, E. (2019). The Acute Effect of High-Intensity Exercise on Executive Function: A Meta-Analysis. Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 14 (5), 734-764. 10.1177/1745691619850568
  • Gamble, B., Moreau, D., Tippett, L. J., & Addis, D. R. (2019). Specificity of Future Thinking in Depression: A Meta-Analysis. Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 14 (5), 816-834. 10.1177/1745691619851784
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Donna Rose Addis, Lynette Tippett
  • Moreau, D., & Corballis, M. C. (2019). When averaging goes wrong: The case for mixture model estimation in psychological science. Journal of experimental psychology. General, 148 (9), 1615-1627. 10.1037/xge0000504
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Michael Corballis
  • Wang, C.-H., Moreau, D., & Kao, S.-C. (2019). From the Lab to the Field: Potential Applications of Dry EEG Systems to Understand the Brain-Behavior Relationship in Sports. FRONTIERS IN NEUROSCIENCE, 1310.3389/fnins.2019.00893
  • McKay, N. S., Moreau, D., Henare, D. T., & Kirk, I. J. (2019). The brain-derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met genotype does not influence the grey or white matter structures underlying recognition memory. NeuroImage, 197, 1-12. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.03.072
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ian Kirk

Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 2, Room 221
New Zealand

Web links