About the Author

Professor Elaine Fox

Elaine Fox is a psychologist and neuroscientist who has researched widely on the science of emotions. She has always been fascinated by why some people are very resilient and can deal with whatever life throws at them, while others are fragile and at risk of developing anxiety and depression. She grew up in Dublin and has worked at St James Hospital Dublin, University College Dublin, Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and the University of Essex where she was head of the Department of Psychology & Centre for Brain Science from 2007- 2010, before moving to the University of Oxford in 2013.

Elaine is currently a Research Professor in the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford and Director of the Oxford Centre for Emotions & Affective Neuroscience (OCEAN), where she leads a program of research combining cognitive psychology, neuroimaging, and genetics. She has recently been awarded an ERC Advanced Investigator Award to support her research in the development of emotional vulnerability and resilience. Her work has been discussed in Nature, Science, New Scientist, The Economist, and the New York Times. A Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science (APS), she lives near Oxford in England.

Elaine has published widely on the scientific aspects of fear, anxiety, optimism, and optimal mental health and her work, which has appeared in many leading scientific journals, has been summarized for the non-specialist in RAINY BRAIN, SUNNY BRAIN: The New Science of Optimism and Pessimism.

Her scientific discoveries on optimism, happiness and optimal mental health have been discussed widely across the national media, and led to her appearance in an ABC documentary presented by Michael J. Fox (no relation) entitled The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist in 2010 and in a 2013 BBC Horizon documentary called The Truth about Personality in which she attempts to shift the presenter Michael Mosley’s brain from pessimism to optimism.