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‘Heroes of Neurons’ host thought-provoking events about the brain and mind

 PhD students mark Brain Awareness Week with series of interactive seminars

by Nicola Ranson

A project entitled Heroes of Neurons developed by two PhD students at City University London has secured the prestigious support of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS). The project will see Albert Barque-Duran and Alejandro Galvez-Pol, from the Department of Psychology’s Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit, host a series of thought-provoking scientific events to mark Brain Awareness Week which takes place between Monday 16th and Friday 20th March.

The series, held on campus this week, includes a talk with Dr Beatriz Calvo-Merino entitled Drawing Neurons, Writing Brains, Painting Minds, followed later in the week by a Speed Science Q&A session with four leading neuroscientists. The final session will see neuroscientist Stefano Sandrone and world-renowned scientist Professor Semir Zeki take a journey through the 130-year history of the field, with their talk titled The Heroes of Neurons.

The human brain is the centre of each individual’s world. Each thought, feeling or colour is created by the brain

Albert and Alex say that there are several reasons why the topics covered as part of the Heroes of Neurons project hold such an interest. Alex said: “Firstly, the human brain is the centre of each individual’s world. Each thought, feeling or colour, is created by the brain, or even more intricately, by the human mind. When we advance our understanding of the brain, we also advance the comprehension of ourselves." 

Albert said: “Secondly, a major goal for neuroscientists is to explore human behaviour further in health and disease. A large number of disorders of the brain await to be understood and effective cures to be discovered. These advances in brain research will reduce the burden of the devastating diseases of the brain - neurology and psychiatry - the suffering of patients and their families and the economic costs to society.”

Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign that aims to promote brain research and the progress in diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s and depression.

In 2015, FENS allocated funding to 29 projects across Europe including Heroes of Neurons to promote brain awareness events.

For more information, view the Heroes of Neurons programme.

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