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Satnavs 'switch off' parts of the brain

Using a satnav to get to your destination 'switches off' parts of the brain that would otherwise be used to simulate different routes, reveals new UCL research.

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Most effective vocabulary learning technique revealed

UCL and language learning app Memrise have announced the winner of the first 'Memprize', a competition to find the world’s most efficient and effective vocabulary learning technique.

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MRI scans can help spot HIV in the brain

Scientists at UCL have developed a way to use MRI scans to help identify when HIV is persisting in the brain despite effective drug treatment.

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UCL professors win The Brain Prize for 2017

The Brain Prize for 2017, worth €1m, has been awarded to Professor Peter Dayan (UCL Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit), Professor Ray Dolan (UCL Max Planck Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research) and Professor Wolfram Schultz (University of Cambridge) for their analysis of how the brain recognises and processes reward. The capacity to link reward to events and actions is the foundation of human and animal survival, and problems with processing rewards can lead to neurological and psychiatric disorders.

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Evidence of brain damage found in former footballers

Evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a potential cause of dementia caused by repeated blows to the head, has been found in the brains of former association football (soccer) players examined at the UCL Queen Square Brain Bank.

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Delirium could accelerate dementia-related mental decline

When hospitalised, people can become acutely confused and disorientated. This condition, known as delirium, affects a quarter of older patients and new research by UCL and University of Cambridge shows it may have long-lasting consequences, including accelerating the dementia process.

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New £250m UK Dementia Research Institute to be led from UCL

UCL has been selected as the 'hub' of the new £250m UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI), to be led by Professor Bart De Strooper, current leader of the Laboratory for the Research of Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Leuven and scientific director at VIB (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie) in Belgium.

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Women with dementia receive less medical attention

Women with dementia have fewer visits to the GP, receive less health monitoring and take more potentially harmful medication than men with dementia, new UCL research reveals.

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Pain sensors specialised for specific sensations

Many pain-sensing nerves in the body are thought to respond to all types of ‘painful events’, but new UCL research in mice reveals that in fact most are specialised to respond to specific types such as heat, cold or mechanical pain.

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Blood vessels control brain growth

Blood vessels play a vital role in stem cell reproduction, enabling the brain to grow and develop in the womb, reveals new UCL research in mice.

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Older dogs better at learning new tricks

Older adolescents and adults can learn certain thinking skills including non-verbal reasoning more effectively than younger people, finds new UCL research.

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How lying takes our brains down a 'slippery slope’

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.

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Arousal exerts an unconscious influence on what we see

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. 

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‘Middle England’ faces lowest psychosis risk

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.

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Scientists discover how we sense 'stiffness'

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.

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UCL receives largest share of NHS research funding

UCL’s three biomedical research centres (BRCs) have won more than £167 million in funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to further world-leading biomedical research conducted with partner hospitals. UCL has received more funding than any other UK university, followed by King's College London and Oxford University, which received £133m and £127m respectively.

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