Dr David Moreau

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I completed my BS, MS and PhD at the University of Lille, France, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University. I arrived at The University of Auckland in 2015, where 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

PSYCH306: Research Methods in Psychology - Course coordinator, Lecturer

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

PSYCH722: Learning and Human Development - Guest Lecturer

PSYCH744: Experimental Design and Quantitative Methods for Psychology - Guest 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


  • 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)
  • Fulbright Award, Brown University (2008)
  • E.U. Exchange Student Fellowship (2007)
  • French 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

  • Neuroimaging User Group, 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)

  • 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
  • Wang, C.-H., Moreau, D., Yang, C.-T., Tsai, Y.-Y., Lin, J.-T., Liang, W.-K., & Tsai, C.-L. (2019). Aerobic exercise modulates transfer and brain signal complexity following cognitive training. Biological psychology, 144, 85-98. 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2019.03.012
  • Moreau, D., Wiebels, K., Wilson, A. J., & Waldie, K. E. (2019). Volumetric and surface characteristics of gray matter in adult dyslexia and dyscalculia. Neuropsychologia, 127, 204-210. 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.02.002
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46610
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kristina Wiebels, Karen Waldie
  • Spriggs, M. J., Thompson, C. S., Moreau, D., McNair, N. A., Wu, C. C., Lamb, Y. N., ... Shelling, A. N. (2019). Human Sensory LTP Predicts Memory Performance and Is Modulated by the BDNF Val(66) Met Polymorphism. FRONTIERS IN HUMAN NEUROSCIENCE, 1310.3389/fnhum.2019.00022
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46920
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Shelling, Jeffrey Hamm, Karen Waldie, Ian Kirk
  • Wang, C.-H., Moreau, D., Yang, C.-T., Lin, J.-T., Tsai, Y.-Y., & Tsai, C.-L. (2019). The influence of aerobic fitness on top-down and bottom-up mechanisms of interference control. Neuropsychology, 33 (2), 245-255. 10.1037/neu0000507
  • Moreau, D., Macnamara, B. N., & Hambrick, D. Z. (2019). Overstating the Role of Environmental Factors in Success: A Cautionary Note. CURRENT DIRECTIONS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE, 28 (1), 28-33. 10.1177/0963721418797300
  • Gamble, B., Moreau, D., Tippett, L. J., & Addis, D. R. (2019). Specificity of Future Thinking in Depression: A Meta-Analysis. Perspectives on Psychological Science10.1177/1745691619851784
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Donna Rose Addis
  • Moreau, D., Stonyer, J. E., McKay, N. S., & Waldie, K. E. (2018). No evidence for systematic white matter correlates of dyslexia: An Activation Likelihood Estimation meta-analysis. Brain research, 1683, 36-47. 10.1016/j.brainres.2018.01.014
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/44674
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Karen Waldie

Contact details

Primary office location

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

Web links