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.
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
Kerstin Skork | Max-Planck-Institute
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy