British Neuroscience Association Festival highlights Psychology research

Posted on 17/04/2013

A large cohort of staff and students from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway were actively involved in the British Neuroscience Association Festival of Neuroscience event last week: BNA2013: (7th – 10th April at the Barbican Centre).

Dr Narender Ramnani was on the organising committee and Dr Jonas Larsson, Dr Manos Tsakiris, Professor Johannes Zanker and Dr Szonya Durant were all involved in organising and presenting symposia based on their research. Many other postdoctoral researchers and PhD students from the department also presented their work.  The Lab of Action and Body headed by Dr Manos Tsakiris was also involved in running interactive exhibits for the public, including demonstrations of the 'rubber hand illusion' - a distortion of our sense of self.  

Produced by the Wellcome Trust and 18 associated partners, the topical festival featured 56 scientific sessions exploring and celebrating Neuroscience, featuring British and international speakers, over 1,000 poster presentations representing all aspects of brain research and a major trade exhibition with over 100 commercial representatives.

Some of the highlights in a packed public programme of events emphasising the growing relationship between the arts and neuroscience included Ruby Wax talking about her battle with depression and the research that it has inspired, mathematician Marcus du Sautoy and DJ James Holden exploring consciousness through an audiovisual spectacular, and a brain-inspired flash mob dance. Visitors explored the relationships between the city and their brains, found out how urban living drives impulsive behaviour and the impact our 24/7 culture has on our sleep patterns. Neuroscientists also competed against each other to win over the hearts and minds of the public in a special live version of 'I'm a Neuroscientist, Get Me Out of Here'.    

In addition, eight students from Royal Holloway participated in work experience placements at the meeting.

The event was a great success, helping to raise public awareness of ongoing research in neuroscience.  

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