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Thu 28 Jan 12:30: Title to be confirmed

Psychology talks and events - Wed, 13/01/2021 - 22:59
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Thu 18 Feb 12:30: Towards better interoceptive biomarkers in computational psychiatry chair: Dr Valerie Voon

Psychology talks and events - Wed, 13/01/2021 - 22:59
Towards better interoceptive biomarkers in computational psychiatry

Empirical evidence and theoretical models both increasingly emphasize the importance of interoceptive processing in mental health. Indeed, many mood and psychiatric disorders involve disturbances of feelings and/or beliefs about the visceral body. However, current methods to measure interoceptive ability are limited in a number of ways, limiting the utility and interpretation of interoceptive biomarkers in psychiatry. I will present some newly developed measures and models which aim to improve our understanding of disordered brain-body interaction in psychiatric illnesses.

chair: Dr Valerie Voon

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Thu 18 Mar 12:30: Title to be confirmed

Psychology talks and events - Wed, 13/01/2021 - 22:59
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

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Fri 15 Jan 16:30: - Towards a Translational Neuroscience of Consciousness

Psychology talks and events - Tue, 12/01/2021 - 20:45
- Towards a Translational Neuroscience of Consciousness

The cognitive neuroscience of conscious perception has seen considerable growth over the past few decades. Confirming an influential hypothesis driven by earlier studies of neuropsychological patients, we have found that the lateral and polar prefrontal cortices play important causal roles in the generation of subjective experiences. However, this basic empirical finding has been hotly contested by researchers with different theoretical commitments, and the differences are at times difficult to resolve. To address the controversies, I suggest one alternative venue may be to look for clinical applications derived from current theories. I outline an example in which we used closed-loop fMRI combined with machine learning to nonconsciously manipulate the physiological responses to threatening stimuli, such as spiders or snakes. A clinical trial involving patients with phobia is currently taking place. I also outline how this theoretical framework may be extended to PTSD , chronic pain, and hallucinations (for example in schizophrenia, as well as in cases without psychosis, such as in Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia). Ultimately, a truly meaningful understanding of the fundamental nature of our mental existence should lead to useful insights for our colleagues on the clinical frontlines. If we use this as a yardstick, whoever loses the esoteric theoretical debates, both science and the patients will always win.

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Cambridge academics recognised in 2021 New Year Honours

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre and a Fellow of Trinity College, has been knighted for services to people with autism research and autistic people. He is one of the top autism researchers in the world, and is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the British Psychological Society. He served as Chair of the NICE Guidelines for autism and is Director of the charity the Autism Centre of Excellence and Vice President of the National Autistic Society. He was President of the International Society for Autism Research. He created the first clinic worldwide to diagnose autism in adults and championed the human rights of autistic people at the UN. He is author of The Essential Difference, Zero Degrees of Empathy, and The Pattern Seekers, which have captured the public imagination.

Professor Baron-Cohen said: “This honour came as a complete surprise, and I accept it on behalf of the talented team of scientists at the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, and on behalf of the Autism Research Trust, the charity that has supported us. The basic needs and human rights of autistic people and their families are still not being met by statutory services, due to insufficient funding, so we are creating a new charity, the Autism Centre of Excellence, to address this gap.”

Professor Usha Goswami, Director for the Centre for Neuroscience in Education, Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience and Fellow of St. John’s College, becomes CBE for services to educational research.

Her research focuses on children’s cognitive development, particularly the development of language and literacy. Her world-leading work on dyslexia led to the discovery that children with the disorder hear language differently, showing it to be a language disorder and not a visual disorder as previously thought. This significant finding is enabling the development of transformative new educational interventions, which will benefit millions of children with dyslexia worldwide.

“I am deeply honoured to receive this award,” said Professor Goswami. “I have been interested in children’s development since training as a primary school teacher and it is wonderful to have my research recognised in this way.

Professor Val Gibson, Professor of High Energy Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, University Gender Equality Champion and Fellow of Trinity College, has been made OBE for service to Science, Women in Science and Public Engagement.

Her research interest is the search for new phenomena using particles containing heavy quarks, which are produced in copious amounts at the Large Hadron Collider, and hold the key to our understanding of the matter-antimatter imbalance in the Universe. From 2004-2008, she was the UK Spokesperson and PI for the LHCb experiment and had ultimate responsibility to deliver the UK contributions to the experiment. She is currently the Chair of the LHCb Collaboration Board, the decision-making body for the experiment, with representatives from 78 institutes across the world.

Professor Gibson said: “It is an honour to be recognised for all three of my passions: research into the most fundamental particles and forces of nature, including the mystery of why we live in a Universe made of matter and not antimatter; support for gender equality and diversity in science; and the public engagement activities I have undertaken over many years.”

Dr Michael Weekes from the Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease (CITIID) has been awarded the British Empire Medal for or services to the NHS during COVID-19. He developed a comprehensive COVID-19 screening programme for Cambridge University Hospitals healthcare workers, Cambridge University staff and students.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have been recognised in the 2021 New Year Honours, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to society.

L-R: Simon Baron-Cohen, Usha Goswami, Val Gibson


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Categories: News

Teaching Associate in Experimental Psychology, Statistics and Research Design(Fixed Term)

We are seeking a dynamic and enthusiastic person to join the Department of Psychology as a Teaching Associate. The purpose of the role is to support and maintain the University's national and international reputation for excellence in teaching. The successful candidate will demonstrate a willingness to contribute to undergraduate education within the Department of Psychology and an ability to teach effectively at undergraduate level.

Reporting to the Director of the Psychological and Behavioural Sciences Tripos, the post-holder will support the Department of Psychology's teaching in Experimental Psychology, including Statistics and Experimental Design, across relevant first- and second-year courses. The post-holder will work in collaboration with relevant Course Organisers and the Deputy Head of Department for Teaching, conducting teaching sessions for undergraduate students, creating and marking informal quiz-style assessments to monitor student progress, and contributing to marking of Part I examinations. The post-holder will also run introductory or refresher technical skills sessions in statistical software packages for Part II project students. The post-holder would be expected to run sessions online in the first instance but in person when possible, in full accordance with governmental and university guidelines for in-person teaching. The role will involve liaising with lecturers, students and administrative staff.

It is essential that the post-holder has a background in Experimental Psychology, and has competence and confidence in programing. The candidate should demonstrate a commitment to teaching and will ideally have experience of teaching at university level. It is essential that the post-holder is self-motivated, can work independently as well as part of a team, and has good organisational and communication skills.

Ideally, the successful candidate will be able to take up the post of Teaching Associate as soon as possible after the interview process.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance for full time or 4 years part-time (0.5fte).

We welcome applications from individuals who wish to be considered for part-time working or other flexible working arrangements.

We particularly welcome applications from candidates from a BAME background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented at this level in our institution.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Lee de-Wit (lhd26@cam.ac.uk)

Please note the closing date for applications is Thursday 28th January 2021. Applications received after this time will not be considered.

Information about the Department and the research interests of members of staff can be found at www.psychol.cam.ac.uk.

Please quote reference PJ25271 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Categories: Jobs and Studentships

Thu 18 Mar 14:00: Talk title tbc

Psychology talks and events - Tue, 15/12/2020 - 10:30
Talk title tbc

Abstract not available

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Cambridge game ‘pre-bunks’ COVID-19 conspiracies as part of the UK Government’s fight against fake news

Go Viral! is a new game developed in partnership between the UK Government and the University of Cambridge to help fight the ‘infodemic’: the deluge of false information about COVID-19.

Categories: News

Thu 18 Feb 12:30: Towards better interoceptive biomarkers in computational psychiatry chair: Dr Valerie Voon

Psychology talks and events - Thu, 03/12/2020 - 15:31
Towards better interoceptive biomarkers in computational psychiatry

Empirical evidence and theoretical models both increasingly emphasize the importance of interoceptive processing in mental health. Indeed, many mood and psychiatric disorders involve disturbances of feelings and/or beliefs about the visceral body. However, current methods to measure interoceptive ability are limited in a number of ways, limiting the utility and interpretation of interoceptive biomarkers in psychiatry. I will present some newly developed measures and models which aim to improve our understanding of disordered brain-body interaction in psychiatric illnesses.

chair: Dr Valerie Voon

Add to your calendar or Include in your list