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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Spotlight on the brain

Published: 28 November 2011

Researchers from Biological Sciences, Medicine, Psychology, Health Sciences, Computer Sciences and Engineering came together to showcase their work in an outreach day for people interested in the workings of the brain and diseases such as dementia.

Postdoctoral researcher Ursula Puentener chaired the steering group, which organised and ran the event; around 30 early career researchers were involved.

Professor Lindy Holden-Dye from Biological Sciences says she was delighted that so many people wanted to find out more about this research at Southampton. “We have built on the success our first outreach day last year which was part of the BBSRC’s Excellence with Impact competition. Events like this help our postdoctoral researchers develop their communication skills as they explain their work to members of the public.”

Around 50 A level students from local schools and colleges were among the visitors. ‘Hands-on’ exhibits included opportunities for people to try out memory games, examine worms affected by alcohol under the microscope and see how new rehabilitation techniques can aid stroke patients. An innovative collaboration with Winchester School of Art called Changing Minds has encouraged scientists to work with fashion and graphic arts students to represent images for mental health. One dress, inspired by stroke, featured butterflies and prompted visitors to enquire about the links between science and art.

The day ended with a public lecture from Professor Nick Donnelly in Psychology on how research into perception is helping improve airport security systems.

Neuroscience researchers across the University of Southampton are members of the Southampton Neuroscience Group, known as SoNG.

Linking science and art

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