Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research centre focuses on development of brain and behaviour

28.03.2014

Why do some people become depressed under stress and others not? Why are some older adults mentally fit whereas others are afflicted by cognitive decline?

To provide answers to these questions, the Max Planck Society and University College London have launched the Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research.


What emotions have in common is that they affect different organisational levels in the brain, from from genes to protein synthesis on to neurons and neural networks. © MPG / iStock

Psychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, or autism often escape successful treatment. Some major molecular and structural changes in the brain have been identified, but viable accounts of how these changes link to behaviour are missing.

Likewise, the associations between changes in brain and behaviour in the course of normal and pathological cognitive aging are not well understood. The central goal of the newly established Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research is to better understand the causes of psychiatric disorders as well as the causes of differential cognitive development in adulthood and old age.

"At the Max Planck UCL Center for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, we bring together top international researchers in the fields of lifespan psychology and neurology, which enables us to bridge the gap between experimental and clinical research," says Peter Gruss, President of the Max Planck Society. "Such an outstanding cooperation is only possible between institutions of great international standing and prestige, such as the Max Planck Society and University College London."

The processes related to psychiatric disorders and to normal cognitive function alter the brain at multiple level of analysis, from genes to protein synthesis and on to neurons and neural networks. Computational models are a powerful means of bridging the gaps between these levels. Scientists can alter models of normally behaving younger adults to simulate the alleged causes of cognitive aging or psychiatric disorders (e.g., depression), and then check whether such alterations result in predicted behavioural   deficiencies that resemble those observed in older adults, or the disease state of interest (e.g., depressed patients)

Scientists at the Centre will relate data on the structure and functioning of the brain to detailed behavioural observations of individuals and deduce prognoses for their development. The Centre’s findings will provide information on how cognitive functioning can be maintained into old age, and on how psychiatric disorders can be better recognized and treated more efficiently.

Two Co-Directors form the Leading Team of the Centre: Ray Dolan for University College London and Ulman Lindenberger for the Max Planck Society. In addition, a Coordination Committee represents the four research institutions most directly involved in the Centre: the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit (Peter Dayan), the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences (Arno Villringer), the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Ulman Lindenberger), and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging (Ray Dolan). The Centre has two sites, one in London and the other in Berlin. The London site is located at Russell Square, in close vicinity to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging. The Berlin site is housed at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

The ceremony celebrating the opening of the new Centre will be held on April 1, 2014, at the Royal Society in London. Welcoming words will be spoken by Michael Arthur, the President and Provost of University College London, Peter Gruss, the President of the Max Planck Society, David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, United Kingdom, Rudolf Adam, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the German Embassy London, Ray Dolan, Director at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, and Ulman Lindenberger, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Nobel Prize laureate Eric Kandel, Director at The Kavli Institute for Brain Science, Columbia University, New York, will hold the keynote lecture.

Collaboration between the Max Planck Society and University College London

Contact 

Kerstin Skork

Public Relations

Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Phone: +49 30 8240-6211

 

Nicole Siller

Phone: +49 30 82406-284
Fax: +49 30 824-9939

Kerstin Skork | Max-Planck-Institute

Further reports about: Brain Development Human Neuroimaging Psychiatry Trust UCL behaviour behavioural cognitive disorders

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht An evolutionary heads-up – The brain size advantage
22.05.2015 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Endocrine disrupting chemicals in baby teethers
21.05.2015 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Basel Physicists Develop Efficient Method of Signal Transmission from Nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.

Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...

Im Focus: IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System

Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services

To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...

Im Focus: First electrical car ferry in the world in operation in Norway now

  • Siemens delivers electric propulsion system and charging stations with lithium-ion batteries charged from hydro power
  • Ferry only uses 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per route and reduces cost of fuel by 60 percent
  • Milestone on the road to operating emission-free ferries

The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...

Im Focus: Into the ice – RV Polarstern opens the arctic season by setting course for Spitsbergen

On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.

RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...

Im Focus: Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.

To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International symposium: trends in spatial analysis and modelling for a more sustainable land use

20.05.2015 | Event News

15th conference of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists

18.05.2015 | Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing health in Europe. Balancing priorities, sharing responsibilities

12.05.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Mesoporous Particles for the Development of Drug Delivery System Safe to Human Bodies

22.05.2015 | Materials Sciences

Computing at the Speed of Light

22.05.2015 | Information Technology

Development of Gold Nanoparticles That Control Osteogenic Differentiation of Stem Cells

22.05.2015 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>