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.