UCL and Max Planck Society invest €5m to open world’s first computational psychiatry centre
3 April 2014
The world’s first centre for computational psychiatry was launched on Tuesday 1st April, following a €5m investment from the Max Planck Society and UCL.
The Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research will develop computational methods to understand how human cognition works and how it becomes disrupted in psychiatric disorders, such as depression, and how it changes with normal cognitive ageing.
Computational approaches aim to bridge the gap between neuroscience and the phenomena seen in psychiatric disorders, by developing models of how the brain works. The models will then be linked to measurements of behaviour and changes in brain function. This will help to identify the causes of a range of mental health problems so that personalised treatments can be developed.
The Centre will be based between UCL (University College London) and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. It will be led by Professor Ray Dolan FRS, Director at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL Institute of Neurology, and Professor Ulman Lindenberger, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.
The opening event at the Royal Society on 1st April featured welcome speeches from key figures including UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur, Max Planck Society President Peter Gruss, Science Minister David Willetts, Professor Ray Dolan and Professor Ulman Lindenberger. The keynote lecture was delivered by Nobel laureate Professor Eric Kandel, Director at The Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University.