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The Psychological Brain


Barclay Theatre

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Mind over matter: the neuroscience of motivation

Every wonder why you quit something? Or start something difficult but don't always finish?

Dr Blake Porter, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Otago Psychology Department, provides an overview as to what's going on in our brains that makes us work hard at something difficult, or quit when the going gets tough.

Getting the right answers depends on asking the right questions

Psychiatric diseases have many aspects that appear uniquely human. Is it possible to model these in animals?

Dr Ryan Ward, University of Otago Psychology Department, describes an approach recently taken to model psychosis, one of the most baffling and difficult aspects of schizophrenia.

Through recent work, they’ve demonstrated that a specific risk factor for development of schizophrenia, the activation of the maternal immune system, produces an comparable state of psychosis in rats.

Their results show that with careful and innovative approaches, uniquely human aspects of psychiatric disease may be able to be studied in animals.

5.30pm, Wednesday 11 March
Barclay Theatre