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Translating the Lab to Life

Researchers involved in this theme use multidisciplinary approaches to understand the brain and the mind and how this information can be used to address important real-world challenges.



We have expertise in the assessment of cognition and behaviour, eye tracking, hormone analyses, non-invasive brain stimulation, brain organisation, and health behaviour change. Our expertise also includes the various methods by which psychological measurement and testing can be undertaken, adopting robust psychometric and allied behavioural assessment protocols.We use both quantitative and qualitative methods, draw upon a range of biopsychosocial theories, and collaborate with those working in applied contexts to ensure that we are addressing contemporary challenges with research that has the potential for maximum real-world impact.

Many theme members are affiliated with National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) initiatives such as Fuse (the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health), the North-East and North Cumbria Applied Research Collaboration and involved in collaborative research projects with local NHS Foundation Trusts.

Interests within this theme are varied. These include stroke recovery, autism and child development, sex/gender differences, psycho-neuroendocrinology, behavioural and substance addictions, attention, memory, language acquisition, the effect of concussion on brain organisation, and links between video gaming and cognition, behaviour, and mental health, including the impact of COVID-19. For example, research focuses on how sex hormones effect behaviour, with implications for clinical applications of oestrogen as a neuroprotective factor across the schizophrenic spectrum and the role of testosterone in male development across the lifespan.

Other work in this theme has focused on how HPA-axis activity and early life trauma relates to mental health vulnerability and higher-order cognitive processes. Further research is focussed on spatial and temporal attention, as well as how these processes can be studied to help us learn more about brain health and disease.