Humans exist within highly complex and dynamic environments, and thus require well-tuned neural and cognitive machinery to process, select and act upon different courses of action. CUBIC scientists have been at the forefront of work examining this machinery, through combining behavioural methods, computational modelling, and neuroimaging.
The ecological brain
One of the fundamental aims of human cognitive neuroscience is to understand and explain how the brain functions within an ecological context. At CUBIC, we combine MRI techniques with more naturalistic approaches (e.g., VR, AR, geo-tracking, spoken word) to understand how the brain supports perception, action, language, and memory within the real world.
Mental illnesses affect millions of people globally a year, causing significant disruption to everyday life and placing considerable burden on healthcare systems. CUBIC scientists use MRI alongside other approaches to better understand the precise neurocognitive and biological mechanisms underlying mental health and wellbeing, including risk factors for anxiety and/or depression, psychosis, and psychopathy.
Neural changes over the lifespan
The human brain changes considerably over the first 20 years of life, and continues to change across adulthood, with significant structural, functional, and metabolic changes seen in later life. CUBIC scientists use cutting edge neuroscience approaches and genetuic methods to better understand brain changes in early development, as as well as brain alteration in those at risk of poor later life cognitive health.