Research Highlights

 

Professor Ole Jensen, Co-Director of the Centre for Human Brain Health, describes his research into the influence of brain oscillations, as can be measured using the latest magnetoencephalography (MEG) system. This research, combined with data from EEG-fMRI, EEG-TMS, intracranial recordings and computational modelling, is used to understand the basis of attention problems in ADHD patients and the elderly, and to guide diagnosis and intervention.

 

Dr Andrew Bagshaw, Co-Director of the Centre for Human Brain Health, is interested in developing and applying non-invasive neuroimaging methods to questions in clinical and behavioural neuroscience. Current work focuses on using EEG-fMRI to understand the influence of ongoing brain activity on evoked and behavioural responses, and examines the localisation and functional significance of electrophysiological discharges in epilepsy and sleep. His group are working on methods to combine structural and functional brain networks in order to shed light on how sleep and epilepsy affect the brain.

Professor Matthew Broome conducts research into the onset of mental disorders focusing particularly on schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, and mood instability. With approximately three quarters of problems manifesting before the mid-20s, it is crucial that we understand how these disorders develop in young people. This knowledge will allow the team to inform the development of services for those with mental ill health, and help to indicate how early these services should be provided, as well as suggest new avenues for treatment. Research has demonstrated that early intervention in the course of a mental health disorder can prevent the illness from developing altogether or improve prognosis.

Dr Rachel Upthegrove investigates early intervention into what are often still considered ‘severe’ mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, and questions how we define ‘mental illness’, how early is ‘early’ when it comes to intervention, and what these interventions should be. With depression considered one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in society today, Rachel focuses on its role in the development of psychosis. Research has shown that whereas in the past much of the focus within psychosis has been on symptoms such as hallucinations, the development of depression is one of the most significant symptoms requiring intervention, and one of the most significant initial indicators of poor outcomes, including self-harm and suicide.

Professor Suzanne Higgs' research is focused on the role of cognitions such as learning, memory and attention in eating behaviour and the biological mechanisms that underpin these processes. In her research group they assess emotional and cognitive responses to foods in adults and children, using both behavioural and brain imaging techniques.