Latest news

Oxford Centre for Emotions and Affective Neuroscience

Oxford Centre for Emotions & Affective Neuroscience

Elaine has recently moved to the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, to take up an appointment as Research Professor and to establish the Oxford Centre for Emotions & Affective Neuroscience (OCEAN). Elaine is also delighted to have been awarded an ERC Advanced Investigator Award, which will allow her to set up a multidisciplinary research programme to investigate why some people are resilient, apparently immune to anything that life throws at them, while others are fragile, bowled over by seemingly minor difficulties.

Elaine Fox public speaking

Forthcoming Events

Elaine will be attending the European Congress of Psychology in Stockholm, Sweden from 10-14 July ( and will give a keynote speech at the conference on The Role of Cognitive Biases in Determining Emotional Vulnerability and Emotional Resilience.

Find out more →

Elaine is also giving a keynote talk at the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies conference on ‘Improving Mental Health’. The conference is in London from 16-19 July.

Find out more →

Elaine will be taking part in a Salon Literary Breakfast at the Latitude Festival on Saturday 20th July. Tickets still available.

Find out more →


Now available in Poland

Polish readers can now enjoy Miedzy Pesymizmem a Optymizmem (Between Pessimism and Optimism), the latest translation of Elaine Fox’s book Rainy Brain Sunny Brain. Order your copy online now.

Order Miedzy Pesymizmem a Optymizmem →

Kolejna ksiązka z doskonale przyjętej serii Pytajniki, w której ukazały się między innymi: „Śniadanie z Sokratesem”, „Mózg incognito” i „Potyczki z Freudem”.

Zwykło się mawiać, że optymista i pesymista żyją tak samo długo, tylko optymista trochę weselej.
Czy można przeprogramować mózg, tak by zmienić siebie i swój sposób postrzegania świata? Zadanie to z pewnością niełatwe, ale – jak przekonuje autorka książki – zdecydowanie możliwe. Profesor Elaine Fox opisuje dwa typy osobowości, chmurną i pogodną, i wyjaśnia, że mają one źródła w ludzkim umyśle, który – jak wynika z odkryć współczesnej nauki – łatwo ulega przeobrażeniom. Skoro więc mózg jest w stanie się zmieniać, możemy wpływać na to, kim jesteśmy.
Książka ujawnia różne rodzaje technik, dzięki którym pesymiści nauczą się myśleć pozytywnie i znajdą szczęście, a lekkoduchom skłonnym do nadmiernego ryzyka pozwolą one odzyskać kontrolę nad życiem.

„Każde doświadczenie, od najbłahszego po najdonioślejsze, przekształca mózg. Elaine Fox pokazuje, jak dobrze to wykorzystać, jak zarządzać zmianami, które go ulepszają”.
Joseph LeDoux, autor Mózgu emocjonalnego

„Żaden Kłapouch na świecie nie powinien się poddawać: mózg może się zmieniać”.
„Psychology Today”

Elaine Fox – psycholog eksperymentalna i neurofizjolog. Obecnie dyrektor Laboratorium Neurobiologii Afektywnej na Wydziale Psychologii uniwersytetu w Essex. Na swoim koncie ma wiele publikacji dotyczących naukowych aspektów strachu i optymizmu. O jej pracach naukowych dyskutowano na łamach czasopism: „Economist”, „New Scientist”, „New York Times” czy „Times”.

Rainy Brain Sunny Brain

Rainy Brain Sunny Brain out now in the Netherlands

The Dutch version of Rainy Brain Sunny Brain, Het positieve brein (The Positive Brain) is out now. Elaine Fox’s book of reveals insights into the science of pessimism and optimism and is available to order online now.

Order Het Positieve Brein →

Ben je optimist of pessimist? Is het glas half vol of half leeg? Zul je slagen of falen?

Dat zijn simpele vragen om te beantwoorden, omdat we ons eigen karakter goed genoeg kennen. Klinisch psycholoog Elaine Fox bewees met een baanbrekend onderzoek dat onze levenshouding afhangt van hoe je bent: Zoek je naar de leuke kanten van het leven of jaagt het leven je juist angst aan? Bij de meeste mensen is de balans tussen angst en plezier prima, maar een te grote hang naar plezier of een te alomvattende levensangst kan desastreus uitpakken.

Gelukkig is er hoop. Elaine Fox bewijst met Het positieve brein dat levenslange zwartkijkers hun brein wel degelijk kunnen beïnvloeden door hun denkpatronen te trainen en op die manier neurologische verbindingen om te leiden naar een positiever en gelukkiger levenshouding. Ook adrenalineverslaafde kunnen hun eeuwige jacht op genot en plezier beter in de hand leren houden door de circuits in hun hersenen te herzien en te trainen.


Elaine Fox nominated for Transmission Prize

We’re delighted to announce that University of Essex professor Elaine Fox, author of Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain, has been
shortlisted for Salon London’s inaugural Transmission Prize. The prize will be awarded to the speaker who has done the most to engage the Salon’s audience and beyond in a new and interesting idea. Salon is launching the Transmission prize to reward non-fiction, not only in book form but also through other media and live presentation.

The winner and prize will be awarded on 7th February 2013.

Find out more about the Transmission Prize at or visit the following page to cast your vote:

Conville & Walsh announce of Transmission Prize shortlisting here:

Elaine Fox public speaking

Forthcoming talks

Are you a glass half-full, or a half-empty type of person? You can hear Elaine Fox talk about the science of Optimism and Pessimism at a number of events in the UK.

Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival (24th March)

Pioneering psychologist and neuroscientist Professor Elaine Fox explores why some of us are optimists and some pessimists and what we can do about it.


Essex Book Festival (19th March)

Leading psychologist and neuroscientist, Professor Elaine Fox from the University of Essex shows how we can brighten our lives and help ourselves flourish by retraining our brains, in her highly popular new book.


Bath Literary Festival (2nd March)

Charles Fernyhough and Elaine Fox use genetics, neurology, and psychology to discuss memory and optimism.


Brighton Science Festival, Catalyst Club (28th February)

How full is that glass? And does it matter? Elaine Fox explores the connection between optimism and happiness, and shows the new techniques for training happiness into the brain.


Sceptics in the Pub, Oxford (6th February)

Thinking and drinking. That is the unlikely goal of Sceptics in the Pub. Each month a speaker is invited to talk about an area of belief and to invite critical debate. Sceptical though, challenging discussions and humour are encouraged!

Find out more…


Café Scientifique in The Minories, Colchester (9th  January)

What makes us happy or sad and how we can brighten our lives by retraining our brains will be discussed at the latest Café Scientifique talk in Colchester.


Rainy Brain Sunny Brain out now in Sweden

Rainy Brain Sunny Brain has just be released in Sweden with the title Håll koll på din hjärna or “Keep track of your brain”.

The book is published by Norstedts and available to buy online from

Stevens Institute

Can we learn to be happy?

Elaine Fox will be giving a talk at the Stevens Institute in New York on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 3-4:30pm, in the Babbio Auditorium at The Center for Science Writings.

Are happiness and optimism primarily inherited traits, products of our genes? Or can they be learned and cultivated? If so, how? Elaine Fox, a psychologist and neuroscientist with joint appointments at the University of Oxford and University of Essex, is one of the world’s foremost researchers of these urgent questions. In this talk, she will present findings from her marvelous new book Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain.

The Center for Science Writings (CSW) is part of the College of Arts & Letters. All CSW events are free and open to the public. For more information see the CSW website,, or contact CSW Director John Horgan,


Richard Bacon Show

Elaine appeared on the Richard Bacon Show on BBC Radio 5 Live this week to discuss optimism and pessimism and her new book Rainy Brain Sunny Brain.

Listen to the show on the BBC iPlayer →


Win a free copy of Rainy Brain Sunny Brain

Research Digest have five copies to give away of Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain by Professor Elaine Fox, kindly provided by William Heinemann.

For a chance to win a copy, please post a comment to their blog entry explaining why you’re optimistic about the future (please leave an email address). Research Digest will pick five winners at random next Friday.

Good luck!

Enter the competition here →