Cooperating brain systems in attention and control

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge

Abstract

One of the most exciting scientific developments of the last two decades is our increased understanding of how higher mental functions such as perception, language and memory arise from the neural activity of the brain. One central topic is how humans pay attention to important information in the world around them, constructing coherent and effective thought and behaviour. In this project, attention and control are studied at multiple levels, including measurements of normal human behaviour, impairment after brain damage, brain imaging, and neural activity at the cellular level. We aim for increased fundamental understanding of human brain function,with applications to many kinds of clinical disorders.

Technical Summary

One of the most exciting scientific developments of the last two decades is our increased understanding of how higher mental functions such as perception, language and memory arise from the neural activity of the brain. One central topic is how humans pay attention to important information in the world around them, constructing coherent and effective thought and behaviour. Although a complex mental function, involving interaction of higher sensory processing with current goals and task demands, the basic process of selective attention and cognitive control is probably similar across different species, allowing productive interaction of work in humans and other animals. In this project, attention and control are studied at multiple levels, including measurements of normal human behaviour, impairment after brain damage, local cerebral activity during different kinds of mental activity using functional brain imaging, and neural activity at the cellular level. By understanding these basic neural mechanisms underlying attention and control, we hope to improve diagnosis and management of crippling attentional impairments following stroke and other brain diseases.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Fractionating the human frontoparietal cortex: combining meta-analytic and real-time optimization approaches
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 209139/Z/17/Z 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2022
 
Description Large scale neuronal recording and stimulation
Amount £350,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 202871/Z/16/Z 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2016 
End 06/2021
 
Description fMRI-compatible TMS stimulation equipment for concurrent brain stimulation and measurement
Amount £255,147 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/S019170/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2019 
End 06/2020
 
Description Aphasia therapy 
Organisation University College London
Department Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Advising on test development for comparing language-specific and domain-general cognitive improvement.
Collaborator Contribution Wellcome award for understanding brain mechanisms in aphasia therapy.
Impact None as yet.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ECOG-Copenhagen 
Organisation University of Copenhagen
Department Department of Psychology
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of task and software for collection of ECOG data in presurgical epilepsy patients
Collaborator Contribution Provision and testing of patients
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2015
 
Description Fluid intelligence and book-sharing 
Organisation University of Reading
Department Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developing coding methods of attentional control during carer-child interaction
Collaborator Contribution Nuffield grant delivering large corpus of videos of carer-child interaction during book-sharing, before and after training
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Intraoperative recording and stimulation during tumour surgery 
Organisation Addenbrooke's Hospital
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Provision of research questions, software, scientific personnel
Collaborator Contribution Access to neurosurgical patients
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2015
 
Description OxfordStrategicAward 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Experimental Psychology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a new collaboration between 11 investigators at the University of Oxford to develop joint recording/intervention in NHP neuroscience. I am leading the group.
Collaborator Contribution All partners will contribute to experimental design, data collection, analysis etc.
Impact None as yet.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Advice on intelligence to New Scientist 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Replied to approach from New Scientist writer
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Advisor: Egyptian organizing committee, International Brain Bee 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Moataz Assem served on the organizing committee and selection panel for the Egyptian entry to International Brain Bee
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Assist in TV production on intelligence 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Arranged for use of CBU scanner by TV production company
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description CBU science night 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Project demonstration, annual CBU science night
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Contribution to school visit (BrainBus) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Sharon Erzinclioglu assisted with presenting CBU science on a school visit
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Egyptian Brain Bee 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Moataz Assem: Advisor/Chaperon for the Egyptian Brain Bee competition participating in the international neuroscience competition for high school students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Interview for The Scientist 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview concerning neural basis for intelligence
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Interview for new Scientist 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Response to enquiry concerning brain basis for intelligence
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Mentor, Egyptian entry, International Brain Bee 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The International Brain Bee is a competition for high school students interested in neuroscience. Moataz Assem acted as mentor to the Egyptian entrant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Participation in MRC Festival of Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Project presentation at MRS Festival of Science (by Sharon Erzinclioglu)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Sharon E - Festival of Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Preentation at Cambridge Festival of Science
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Sharon E - Science Night 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation at CBU Science Night
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Sneha Shashidhara - talk to Indian schoolchildren 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A presentation of research to a group of Indian schoolchildren
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Taiwan-Oxford conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk on research by Tanya Wen, PhD student to a mixed audience of academics and government representatives
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk on intraoperative recording at patient-carer day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact Yaara Erez gave a talk on intraoperative recording at a Cambridge patient and carer day
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Tumour surgery - BBC 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC programme on recordings during tumour surgery
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Tumour surgery - Business Weekly 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article in Business Weekly
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Tumour surgery - HealthCare Business 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article in HealthCare Business
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Tumour surgery - Medical View 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article in Medical View
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Tumour surgery - press release 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact U of Cambridge press release on tumour surgery research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Yaara Erez - Science Night 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Yaara Erez gave a presentation at the CBU Open Evening, Cambridge Science Festival
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Yaara Erez - community talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk on research to local community group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Yaara Erez - elderly care home 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk to elderly care home, Israel
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018