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Course content

The Institute for Neuroscience has clinicians and scientists working together to understand the brain and behaviour. From the basic biology of neurons through to complex processes of perception and decision-making behaviour, we address how the mind, brain, and body work together and translate this knowledge into clinical applications for patient benefit.

We offer MPhil supervision in the following research areas:

Motor systems development, plasticity and function

We conduct clinical and preclinical studies of normal and abnormal development and plasticity of the motor system. We run functional studies and computer modelling of motor system activity throughout the neuraxis. We also research the development and assessment of novel therapies for motor disorders/lesions including stem cell and brain-machine interface.

Visual system development, plasticity and repair]]
We research the development and assessment of novel neuro-technological approaches to retinal dystrophy repair including brain-machine interface and stem cells. We use in vitro approaches to look at retinal development and visual system wiring.

[[Neural computation and network systems
We conduct experimental and theoretical (computational) studies aimed at understanding how neurones throughout the brain interact in localised networks to compute complex tasks. Our research looks at the role of network activity in a wide range of neurological, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

Auditory neuroscience

We conduct clinical and preclinical studies aimed at understanding the brain mechanisms involved in detection, discrimination and perception of sound. We are interested in how these mechanisms are affected in individuals with brain disorders, including dementia, autism and stroke.

Pain

Our research focuses on:
-Understanding mechanisms underlying pain, analgesia, and anaesthesia
-The development of methods to assess pain and to alleviate pain in animals and humans

Psychobiology

We conduct studies in laboratory animals, healthy volunteers and patient populations investigating the mechanisms underlying mood, anxiety and addiction disorders and their treatment. Allied research looks at normal neuropsychology, and the physiology and pharmacology of neurotransmitter and endocrine systems implicated in psychiatric disorders.

Neurotoxicology

Our research focuses on delineating the effects and understanding the mechanisms of action of established and putative neurotoxins, including environmental and endogenous chemicals, and naturally occurring toxins.

Forensic psychiatry and clinical psychology

Our research covers:
-The assessment, treatment and management of sex offender risk
-Development and assessment of cognitive models
-Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for bipolar disorder, psychosis, anxiety and developmental disorders
-Developmental disorders of perception and cognition

Systems and computational neuroscience

We conduct theoretical (computational) and experimental studies aimed at understanding the neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology of vision, visual attention and episodic memory.

Behaviour and evolution

Many research groups take an evolutionary and comparative approach to the study of brain and/or behaviour, comparing brain function and behaviour among such disparate groups as insects, birds and mammals, and studying the ecological and evolutionary functions of behaviour. Much of our work is at the forefront of the fields of neuroethology, behavioural ecology and comparative cognition, and has important implications for the study and practice of animal welfare.

Visual perception and human cognition

We research:
-Colour and depth perception - perception of natural scenes
-Psychophysics and attention - memory
-Word learning in children
-Body image dysfunction
-Visual social cognition and face processing
-Advertising and consumer behaviour

Pharmacy

Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.

Visit the Neuroscience - MPhil page on the Newcastle University website for more details!

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