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 Breaking through a double wall with a sledgehammer
29.06.2015 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie

nachricht Lean but sated: Molecular Switch for a Healthy Metabolism discovered
29.06.2015 | Leibniz-Institut für Altersforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Iron: A biological element?

Think of an object made of iron: An I-beam, a car frame, a nail. Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and a half billion years ago.

Think of an object made of iron: An I-beam, a car frame, a nail. Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and...

Im Focus: Thousands of Droplets for Diagnostics

Researchers develop new method enabling DNA molecules to be counted in just 30 minutes

A team of scientists including PhD student Friedrich Schuler from the Laboratory of MEMS Applications at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of...

Im Focus: Bionic eye clinical trial results show long-term safety, efficacy vision-restoring implant

Patients using Argus II experienced significant improvement in visual function and quality of life

The three-year clinical trial results of the retinal implant popularly known as the "bionic eye," have proven the long-term efficacy, safety and reliability of...

Im Focus: Lasers for Fast Internet in Space – Space Technology from Aachen

On June 23, the second Sentinel mission was launched from the space mission launch center in Kourou. A critical component of Aachen is on board. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and Tesat-Spacecom have jointly developed the know-how for space-qualified laser components. For the Sentinel mission the diode laser pump module of the Laser Communication Terminal LCT was planned and constructed in Aachen in cooperation with the manufacturer of the LCT, Tesat-Spacecom, and the Ferdinand Braun Institute.

After eight years of preparation, in the early morning of June 23 the time had come: in Kourou in French Guiana, the European Space Agency launched the...

Im Focus: Superslippery islands (but then they get stuck)

A simple reversible process that changes friction in the nanoworld

(Nano)islands that slide freely on a sea of copper, but when they become too large (and too dense) they end up getting stuck: that nicely sums up the system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig: Last chance to submit abstracts until 2 July

25.06.2015 | Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine: Abstract Submission has been extended to 24 June

16.06.2015 | Event News

MUSE hosting Europe’s largest science communication conference

11.06.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking through a double wall with a sledgehammer

29.06.2015 | Life Sciences

Lean but sated: Molecular Switch for a Healthy Metabolism discovered

29.06.2015 | Life Sciences

Spintronics Advance Brings Wafer-Scale Quantum Devices Closer to Reality

29.06.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>