Archive of Latest Brain Sciences News

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How lying takes our brains down a 'slippery slope’

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Pinocchio puppets

Telling small lies desensitises our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger lies in future, reveals new UCL research funded by Wellcome and the Center for Advanced Hindsight.

Arousal exerts an unconscious influence on what we see

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Dilated pupil

A new study from UCL researchers finds that subtle, unconscious increases in arousal – indicated by a faster heartbeat and dilated pupils – shape our confidence for visual experiences. 

‘Middle England’ faces lowest psychosis risk

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East Anglia

The risk of developing a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia is highest for young people, men, ethnic minorities and people living in urban areas and poorer neighbourhoods, finds a new study by UCL and the University of Cambridge.

Scientists discover how we sense 'stiffness'

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Dr Marco Devero demonstrating the technique

Every day, people use their hands effortlessly to assess an object's stiffness, like the ripeness of a piece of fruit. For the first time an international team of scientists led by UCL, have discovered the area in the brain where stiffness perception is formed. The findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, could aid rehabilitation in patients with sensory impairments.

Prof Gill Bates appointed new Vice Dean (Research)

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Professor Gill Bates (IoN) has been appointed as the new Vice Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Brain Sciences, as of 1st October 2016, and we warmly welcome her to the Faculty senior leadership team.

Prof Bates joined UCL in May 2016 as Professor of Molecular Neuroscience and Co-Director of the Huntington's Disease Centre in the Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience (Institute of Neurology). The research of the Bates lab is focussed on understanding the molecular basis of Huntington’s disease and developing therapeutic interventions. You can read more about her research by clicking here.

Prof Bates will play a key role in shaping the Faculty’s research strategy and will work with Faculty leadership and the Office of the Vice Provost (Research) to ensure that Faculty and UCL objectives are aligned.  Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a genuine collegiate spirit and she is an inspiring role model to junior researchers. On her appointment, she said: “I am very excited to have been given this opportunity to play an active role in contributing to the Faculty and wider UCL research community.”

Prof Bates takes over this role from Prof Nick Wood, and will continue to build on the superb work that he has done over the past five years. Prof Wood skilfully aligned the Faculty research strategy with the UCLH/UCL BRC neurosciences themes, and contributed enormously to the successful renewal of the BRC funding. He has been a key member of the School Research Board, involved in the triage, peer review and mock interviews for large grant proposals, improving our success rate as a School, of these major grant applications. We are very grateful for all he has achieved.

UCL’s innovative retail coalition celebrates first anniversary

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UCL is today marking one year since the launch of the innovative retail coalition inspired by Malcolm Walker of Iceland Foods to address the dementia challenge. Since the coalition was created nine UK retailers have committed to support UCL in its fight against dementia, initially pledging in the region of £20 million. In the first year alone, the partnership has already raised around £10 million – equivalent to the sale of around 200 million carrier bags.

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