Neuroscience

Domain Chair:

Prof. Trevor Smart

Domain Coordinator:

Dr Matt Wakelin

Communication and Events Officer:

Rachel Heatley

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Cognitive Neuroscience

Side Image - Cognitive

Cognitive neuroscience seeks to find out how higher mental functions such as perception, memory, attention, emotion and decision-making are related to neural activity.

UCL Neuroscience has one of the largest groupings of cognitive neuroscience researchers in the world. Their research on how mental processes relate to the human brain spans both health and disease and studies both children and adults. Progress in cognitive neuroscience research depends on the availability of specific tools and resources that allow researchers to provide converging evidence from different experimental techniques.

At UCL, many powerful and novel techniques are used to study mental processes in the human brain behavioral experiments to study perception, thought and action; functional imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or magnetoencephalograhy (MEG) to study the brain mechanisms underlying higher cognitive processes; transcranial magnetic stimulation to probe the effects of transiently disrupting brain function; and neuropsychological methods to investigate how brain damage can impair cognitive function.

Cognitive neuroscience research takes place in many locations and clinical settings around UCL but two particular foci of activity are the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging and the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, both in Queen Square. The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging is a large internationally recognized scientific centre of excellence for functional neuroimaging with three research-dedicated MRI scanners and an MEG suite used by researchers across UCL. The UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience is a thriving interdisciplinary research centre that brings together cognitive neuroscience researchers from many different backgrounds across UCL with a common interest in understanding human brain function.