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UCL receives over £1m for research on link between the brain and behaviour

20 December 2017

Leverhulme Trust

UCL has been awarded £1,050,000 by the Leverhulme Trust to fund a Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) for 15 researchers to explore and understand the link between the brain and behaviour.

Ecological Brain will be an international first that will equip doctoral graduates with the crucial cross-disciplinary skills that are necessary to deal with the plentiful and complex data that the natural environment provides. Its unique approach will see researchers from UCL’s faculties of Social & Historical Sciences, Brain Sciences, Bartlett School of Architecture, Engineering and the Institute of Education (IOE) work together to explore the ecological niche in which the brain has evolved.

A first for UCL

This award marks a first for UCL for Doctoral Training funding from the Leverhulme Trust. Speaking about the project, Professor Gabriella Vigliocco (Department of Experimental Psychology) who will be managing the Programme, said:

“The Leverhulme Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) for the Ecological Study of the Brain will train the next generation of scientists in the study of the brain and behaviour in real-world contexts.

“While the need for an ecological approach has long been advocated and acknowledged across disciplines, it is only now that methodological and technological developments make it feasible to conduct studies under naturalistic conditions without forfeiting experimental control.”

Professor Vigliocco will be joined by Professor Mirco Musolesi (Data Science, Geography FSHS), Professor Hugo Spiers (Experimental Psychology, FBS), Professor Eirini Flouri (Psychology & Human Development, IoE), Professor Andrew Hudson-Smith (CASA, Bartlett), Professor Yvonne Rogers (UCLIC, FBS/FES), Professor Anthony Steed (Computer Science, FES), and Professor Nick Tyler (Civil Engineering, FES) who will supervise and support the 15 researchers taken on to the project.

UCL is in the unique position to deliver this DTP with its world-class researchers, research facilities, including advanced virtual reality labs, and its technologies. 

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