Sallie Baxendale

Thrilled to be in the final!

Favourite Thing: Find out things that no one has ever found out before



Univeristy of Surrey 1986-1990, 1990-1992, UCL 1992-1995


BSc (Hons) MSc PhD C.Psychol AfBPS

Work History:

Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, Institute of Neurology, UCL, London

Current Job:

Consultant Neuropsycologist


Insitute of Neurology

About Me

I am a neuropsychologist. That means I study brains and what happens to people when their brains go wrong

I have a three legged dog, a one eyed cat and another cat who is deaf. They are the best pets in the world. My favourite film is probably Inside Out but I like all of the Pixar movies and know most of them off by heart. You can test me if you like!

My Work

My project idea: Does what you know about someone influence how attractive you think they are?

I work with people who have brain operations.

As a neuropsychologist I work with people whose brains aren’t working properly. This can give them all kinds of┬áproblems and can affect their ability to learn new things and remember things from the past. Sometimes we can make things better by cutting out the bad bit of the brain. Sometimes we do this when the patient is awake! but it doesn’t hurt them. Ask me more about this in the zone.

My Typical Day

I spend time with patients in the hospital and working with data

I typically spend about half of my time with patients in the hospital trying to work out what is wrong with their brains and what might be causing their problems and half my time researching ways that we can help them.

My idea for a research project

Does what you know about someone influence how attractive you think they are?

How pretty you are is not related to how nice and kind you are. But studies have shown that people tend to predict that good looking people will be nicer and kinder than people who are not so physically attractive, even when they haven’t met them! I want to find out whether the opposite is true. If you hear good or bad things about a person before you meet them, does it influence how physically attractive you think they are?

This kind of research will help us understand how social media influences relationships between young people.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Creative, Generous, Happy

Who is your favourite singer or band?

It changes all the time

What's your favourite food?

Macaroni cheese

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Swim with pigs in the sea

What did you want to be after you left school?

a cartographer (someone who makes maps)

Were you ever in trouble at school?

Yes – a lot, especially in PE and German

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

I found a new way of testing something that meant that patients didnt have to have a painful injection

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

The world around me

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

a writer, or maybe a fashion designer, or maybe I would run an animal sanctuary

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

A Harry Potter Time turner, an invisibility cloak and it would be cool to be able to fly

Tell us a joke.

Why did the teacher wear sunglasses? Because her class was so bright!

Other stuff

Work photos: