Why do most mental health illnesses first manifest before adulthood? Our group has launched a new smartphone app to investigate how brain development is linked to mental health in a new citizen science project. The Brain Explorer app (www.brainexplorer.net) uses the latest state-of-the-art insights from neuroscience research to investigate brain functions in fun and entertaining games for young and old. By playing these games, people can learn about their own brain functions, and at the same time help the researchers to better understand how brain functions are related to the emergence of mental health problems. “We know that the brain changes substantially during adolescence”, says Dr Tobias Hauser, lead scientist on the project, “but we do not know how impaired brain development causes mental health problems. This app will help us understand why mental health problems arise during adolescence.” A better understanding of how abnormal brain development leads to mental health problems will allow researchers to build new models to predict emerging psychiatric illnesses and can help develop novel interventions. Everyone can contribute to research …
It is our great pleasure to announce that Tobias was awarded the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant to study the impact of endogenous brain fluctuations on decision-making. This will help us to undertake new and exiting research using a novel neuroimaging framework, which will strengthen the understanding in how the inner workings of the brain guide our behaviour.
In the light of today’s Youth Mental Health Day we discuss why it is important to study how and why mental health problems emerge during adolescents at Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging website. Three-quarters of mental health disorders arise before mid-20s. How is the emergence of mental health problems related to the rapid brain development during adolescents? This is what our group and many others are trying to understand. Please go and visit Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging website for the full discussion on the importance of studying mental health in development and how our team has contributed to better understand the relationship between brain development and psychiatric disorders.
We are excited to announce that Tricia Seow has joined our lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow. She has done some brilliant work on compulsivity during her PhD with Claire Gillan and we are thrilled to have her working with us. Welcome aboard Tricia!
We are happy to announce that our group has expanded and Vasilisa Skvortsova has joined us as a Postdoctoral Fellow. She is a talented addition to our team and we are so excited to have her working with us. Welcome aboard Vasilisa!
It is my great pleasure to announce that I was awarded a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship from Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society to establish my own group at the Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, and the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging. There will be opportunities for working with me – so please get in touch if you are interested in doing a PhD or PostDoc in decision neuroscience and computational psychiatry.
A friend of mine, Nora Raschle, recently launched an excellent website that provides lots of materials and facts around the brain and science in general. I have to say this is a brilliant resource, especially for children that want to learn about the brain. Please go and visit https://bornascientist.wordpress.com/. Part of the website also portrays scientists interviewing them why they do science. Here are my answers to these questions: https://bornascientist.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/decision-making-and-solving-the-unknown/
I am very happy that I received a Research Fellowship from the Jacobs Foundation. This Fellowship will allow me to investigate the mechanisms underlying curiosity during development. I will also become part of a great network of scientists that are interested in development during childhood and adolescence. If you want to know more about the project and the network, please have a look here: https://jacobsfoundation.org/en/activity/jacobs-foundation-research-fellows/