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Childhood is a time of tremendous cognitive evolution. How does the infant brain learn to make sense of our complex, dynamic environment? And how can we study brain development?
A blooming buzzing confusion? Origins of multisensory perception in human infancy
Dr Andy Bremner (Reader in Psychology and Developmental Psychologist, University of Birmingham)
The human infant develops in a startlingly complex sensory world where its central nervous system is bombarded with information from touch, taste, smell, proprioception, vestibular input, audition, and vision, all of which provide information about objects and events in very different ways. Over the last 40 years, it has become apparent that even from the first days of life infants are able to perceive some multisensory inputs in a coherent way. And yet, as Andy will relate in this talk, recent research indicates some intriguing differences between adults’ and infants’ multisensory brains.
Looking inside the developing brain with MEG
Dr Caroline Witton (Neuroscientist and Reader in the Aston Brain Centre, Aston University)
The human brain is one of the most complex dynamical systems in nature, with 80 billion interconnected neurons. In her talk, Caroline will explore how we can gain insights into the developing human brain through measuring the very tiny magnetic fields that are produced by networks of neurons as they work. She will discuss some of the challenges associated with working with children’s brains, and some of the success stories where they have helped children recover from brain disorders such as epilepsy.