Psychology and Neuroscience

Professor Matthias Weigelt – The Psychology and Ethics of Maximising Performance in Competitive Sports

Professor Matthias Weigelt – The Psychology and Ethics of Maximising Performance in Competitive Sports

In sporting performance, developing a competitive edge over opponents is essential. Professor Matthias Weigelt at the University of Paderborn, Germany, specialises in the application of psychological theory and methods to the understanding and enhancement of athletic performance. Read on to discover how by taking a cognitive neuroscientific approach to understanding deceptive actions in sports, Professor Weigelt is unravelling the processes underlying expertise in responding to head fakes in basketball with critical ethical implications.

Professor Gerhard Rammes – Investigating the Links between General Anaesthesia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Professor Gerhard Rammes – Investigating the Links between General Anaesthesia and Alzheimer’s Disease

General anaesthesia may increase the build-up of amyloid beta, a protein implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Gerhard Rammes and his team at the Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany, along with Dr Martina Bürge at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, UK, are researching the potential benefits of one specific anaesthetic, xenon, which in addition to having lower neurotoxicity than many other anaesthetics may also offer neuroprotective effects. These findings may have critical implications for personalised medicine in patients with dementia.

Dr Samuel Clark – Kappa Opioid Receptors: A New Treatment Target for Schizophrenia

Dr Samuel Clark – Kappa Opioid Receptors: A New Treatment Target for Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious psychiatric disorder that affects around 1% of the global population, producing debilitating symptoms that significantly impact upon the quality of life of sufferers. Even with treatment, prognosis is often poor with a high risk of relapse. Dr Samuel Clark of Terran Biosciences Inc and colleagues at Stony Brook University, New York, are investigating the potential of blocking one type of opioid receptor in the brain – the kappa receptor – to reduce the symptoms of the disease.

Professor Christine Larson – Understanding Brain Function, Cognition, and Emotion in Psychopathology

Professor Christine Larson – Understanding Brain Function, Cognition, and Emotion in Psychopathology

Mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders significantly impact on the quality of life of sufferers, their physical health and psycho-social functioning. Given the high prevalence and extent of impairment inflicted on affected individuals, the economic cost to public health is substantial. Professor Christine Larson at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA, seeks to identify new and more effective targets for intervention by better understanding the relationship between brain function, cognitive processing, and emotion.

Dr Korbinian Moeller – The Brain, the Body and Mathematics

Dr Korbinian Moeller – The Brain, the Body and Mathematics

Dr Korbinian Moeller and a team of researchers at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien are endeavouring to identify the cognitive and neuronal processes underpinning an individual’s mathematical ability, by exploring the concept of embodied numerical training.

Professor Etienne Sibille | Professor James Cook – Lifting Brain Fog

Professor Etienne Sibille | Professor James Cook – Lifting Brain Fog

Effective treatments for cognitive dysfunction, such as declines in memory and other mental faculties often associated with depression or old age, may be within reach, according to Professor Etienne Sibille at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the University of Toronto, Canada. Professor Sibille has shown for the first time that newly synthesised compounds targeting GABA receptors improve specific types of memory in mice, opening the door to the development of effective new pharmacological options.

Dr Elizabeth Nance – The Role of Nanoparticles in Neuroscience

Dr Elizabeth Nance – The Role of Nanoparticles in Neuroscience

Dr Elizabeth Nance has an impressive track record. Now a Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington, USA, Dr Nance’s work centres around the use of nanoparticles to deliver therapeutic agents to the brain, a seemingly simple operation which is confounded by a highly regulated blood brain barrier which prevents access to the brain and a complex brain environment which prevents access to diseased cells. Her current work also investigates the potential use of nanoparticles to probe tissue environments to map tissue structure, and how tissue structure changes in the presence of a disease.

Professor Mark D’Esposito – Everyday Miracles: Unravelling the Mysteries of Working Memory

Professor Mark D’Esposito – Everyday Miracles: Unravelling the Mysteries of Working Memory

To accomplish even a simple goal, our brain must coordinate thousands of pieces of information, remember which parts are relevant, and ignore anything that is extraneous. Dr Mark D’Esposito of the University of California, Berkeley, studies how different parts of the brain work together to create working memory, the cognitive system that temporarily and actively holds information in mind allowing us to complete complex tasks.

Professor Mark D’Esposito – Leveraging New Technologies to Treat Brain Injury

Professor Mark D’Esposito – Leveraging New Technologies to Treat Brain Injury

The brain is the most mysterious organ in the human body – despite decades of research, we have just begun to scratch the surface in understanding how the brain works and how we can help it to heal following an injury. Professor Mark D’Esposito of the University of California, Berkeley, uses advanced imaging technology to illuminate how the connections in our brain function in order to find new ways to aid brain healing after injury.

Dr Mary Logan | Dr Sean Speese – Protecting the Brain

Dr Mary Logan | Dr Sean Speese – Protecting the Brain

Our nervous system has such an important function in our body that neurons have their own bodyguards. Known as glial cells, they protect brain cells against injury and prevent damage. Dr Mary Logan and Dr Sean Speese, both based at the Jungers Center for Neuroscience...

Outcomes of Gender Summit 11, Co-hosted by NSERC

Outcomes of Gender Summit 11, Co-hosted by NSERC

From November 6 to 8, 2017, more than 675 advocates of gender equity from across many different fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) took part in Gender Summit 11, in Montreal, Quebec. Co-hosted by the Natural Sciences and Engineering...

MQ: Transforming Mental Health

MQ: Transforming Mental Health

Our mental health is important at every stage of our lives, from childhood to adolescence and throughout adulthood. MQ: Transforming Mental Health is an international charity dedicated to researching the causes of mental health conditions and the development of...

COBRE – Raising the Bar in Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation

COBRE – Raising the Bar in Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation

Despite the high number of stroke survivors worldwide, research to help those with chronic disabilities after stroke has long been underemphasised. The Medical University of South Carolina’s Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Stroke Recovery aims to...

Professor Sylvain Baillet – Brain Training

Professor Sylvain Baillet – Brain Training

Gaining insight into the brain and its inner workings improves our understanding of behaviour and our knowledge of the diseases and treatments of our most complex organ. Professor Sylvain Baillet and his research team at the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre of the...

The Stroke Foundation, Australia

The Stroke Foundation, Australia

The Stroke Foundation, Australia has for the last two decades worked to support stroke survivors and their families. As ‘the voice of stroke’ in Australia, the national charity is working to increase community awareness and understanding of how stroke can be...

Dr Detlef Wegener – Investigating How the Brain Shapes Perception

Dr Detlef Wegener – Investigating How the Brain Shapes Perception

Neuroscientist Dr Detlef Wegener and his colleagues at the University of Bremen’s Brain Research Institute in Germany study how cognitive processes influence the way we perceive the world in which we live and act. How Does the Brain React to Keep Us Alive Minute by...