Early Career Researchers in Neuroimaging Day

Our Charlotte Rae and Charlotte Clarke organised a very successful event for early career researchers in neuroimaging.  Charlotte R chaired the PhD talks – The role of glutamatergic neurotransmission in social drinking: evidence from Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, The neural basis of prosocial decision making: A meta-analysis, Construction and elaboration of autobiographical…

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Could an overactive immune system cause depression

Dr Neil Harrison’s work has received considerable media attention.  The BBC reported ‘Scientists in the UK are investigating whether some cases of depression could be triggered by an overactive immune system.
It’s a theory which is rapidly gaining ground – and there are now a number of trials testing whether some anti-inflammatory drugs might help some patients with depression.
Anti-depressants don’t work in a third of patients so if this new approach works it may offer them hope of an effective treatment.’

Science combined with powerful storytelling

Jude Rogers’ father died suddenly when she was five, and she remembers every, vivid detail of the morning before she found out: the book she was reading in school, her walk through the school hall to meet her grandmother, the sun in her hair.

What happens when we go into shock? Anyone who has undergone a trauma remembers the strange mental and physical feelings such a moment brings, unlike any other. It may be triggered by an accident, a loss, death, devastating news, or lost love.
The feelings that came over us, the way the world changed shape, speed and sometimes colour, the superhuman strength we can feel, the incidental, insignificant details we notice and remember for years to come. What are the evolutionary reasons for this, and how do our brains change as a consequence?

In ‘The Shock’, writer Jude explores what happens when our brains go into survival mode during and after traumatic events.
War correspondent for The Times, Anthony Loyd, recalls the pin sharp focus of his senses which helped him escape his kidnappers, even after a severe punishment beating. John Samuel recalls the moment when he discovered he had 2 sisters, and a half brother, he never knew about (a good shock!) And Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore recalls the moment of discovering her daughters faced life threatening trauma.

Professor Sarah Garfinkel of Brighton and Sussex Medical School, explains the way the brain changes size and shape following trauma; Dr Gillian Forrester of Birkbeck University gives the evolutionary explanation for our instinctive reactions, and Jude heads out to an Essex airfield to meet ‘flying trauma doctor’ Simon Keane, at Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, who has to deal both with his own shock, and that of patients on a daily basis. Marc Wittman, psychologist and author, helps Jude understand why time speeds up, or slows down when we have a shock.