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 Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>