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Why can’t the brain forget missing limbs decades after amputation? Could treating hearing loss prevent dementia? Join us for a pint with world-leading brain scientists; discover the future of technological human enhancement and a new way of thinking about our risk of dementia, as well as the chance to win lots of Pint of Science goodies!
The Neural Fingerprints of a Missing Hand
Dr Tamar Makin (Associate professor)
Following arm-amputation, brain areas that previously operated the hand could potentially be “recruited” to work for other body parts. This 'brain reorganisation' results in the experience of phantom limb pain. I will present an alternative account, where brain representation of the missing hand persists decades after amputation. I will suggest that the brain resources of the missing hand can be used by body parts and artificial limbs. Finally, I will discuss opportunities and barriers towards technological augmentation, based on studies in non-amputees using a 3rd robotic thumb.
Hearing loss and dementia, from epidemiology to prevention trials
Dr. Sergi Costafreda (Associate Professor )
In the UK, over two-thirds of people aged over 65 experience hearing loss, but most do not get hearing aid treatment. In this talk I will discuss the mounting evidence of a strong link between hearing loss and dementia risk, and the work we are conducting on establishing if treating hearing loss can delay or prevent dementia. This is potentially a huge opportunity for us to tackle the growing impact of dementia and make a real difference to people's lives.