Emmet McNickle

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

My research primarily involves the use of neurophysiological recording methods such as electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG), as well as brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques. I use these approaches to study:

  • The neural mechanisms underpinning plasticity in the motor cortex following brain stimulation.
  • The use of brain stimulation for treatment of depression, and ways of determining who will benefit from it.
  • Development of portable BCIs for stroke rehabilitation.
  • Neurophysiological markers of inhibitory control in balance recovery.
  • Neural correlates of perceptual decision making.


I joined the Translational Brain Health Lab at Queen's as a research fellow in February 2024, and have recently been awarded a grant from Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke to develop the use of portable EEG-based brain-computer interfaces for movement rehabilitation following stroke.

I graduated with a BSc in Psychology at Queen’s in 2012 and was awarded the BPS prize for top graduating student. I completed a postgraduate certificate in statistics with distinction in 2014, then my PhD on brain stimulation and motor systems plasticity at Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience in 2015, funded by an Irish Research Council scholarship. Following this I spent another two years at Trinity as a post-doctoral research fellow funded by a European Research Council project into the neural correlates of perceptual decision-making. In 2017 I moved away from academic research to work in several government departments as a deputy principal statistician in the Northern Irish Statistics and Research Agency, project managing and leading on the analysis, reporting and dissemination of high-profile public research papers with direct impact on government policy.


I am currently a guest lecturer on the behavioural neuroscience methods final year module at Dublin City University.

I have previously taught statistics and research methods modules to both undergraduate and postgraduate cohorts at Trinity College Dublin, delivering lectures, lab demonstration and tutorials. I also mentored and provided supervision for several undergraduate and masters projects at TCD.

From September 2024 I will lecture on the neuropsychology methods final year module at Queen's, provide final year thesis supervision, and act as assistant PhD supervisor.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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