Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

On Thursday 3 August, our Department hosted a visit from the London International Youth Science Forum, a two-week residential event that attracts more than 500 of the world’s leading young scientists from more than 75 countries.

The 25 students enjoyed an interactive session on breathlessness with Sarah Finnegan and Lucy Marlow, who are both part of the Breathe Oxford project.The students were asked to exercise while breathing through a straw wearing nose clips. On the first occasion they were asked to think negative thoughts about getting out of breath and on the second positive thoughts e.g. reaching the top of a mountain).They then wrote down their breathlessness feelings, which clearly showed how the brain can manipulate the way breathing feels.

The whole day was eye-opening and enjoyable. My favourite part would have to be the session where we looked at different parts of the human brain. It was such an enlightening experience.
- 18-year-old Jeninna Cruz from Australia

Olaf Ansorge gave the students a tour of the neuropathology labs. They had the opportunity to look at real human brains from the Oxford Brain Bank with Margaret Esiri. They looked at dissected sections under the microscope, and saw advanced scanning techniques.

Martyn Ezra and Desiree Spronk then talked about subarachnoid haemorrhage and how aneurysms are being treated. They discussed how they are trying to find brain markers to predict secondary strokes in the future. The students saw a real-time EEG demonstration on the screen and learned about different MRI techniques. Particular topics of interest among the students were why do aneurysms burst, can blood be toxic to the brain and why are neurosurgeons treating aneurysms from the groin instead of an artery closer to the brain.

Lastly, Matthew Tompkins from the Department of Experimental Psychology demonstrated behavioural visual experiments, based on sleight of hand magic tricks, which he uses to investigate inattentional blindness and illusory perceptions.

This event was supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.


Similar stories

New Public Engagement Ambassadors 2023

We're delighted to introduce our new cohort of public engagement ambassadors for 2023.

The Symphony of the Brain - new video about brain waves

Scientists in our Medical Research Council Brain Network Dynamics Unit have been working with Oxford Sparks to produce this engaging video about their research.

Jaideep Pandit honoured with RCoA Gold Medal

Congratulations are in order for Professor Jaideep Pandit, Professor of Anaesthesia and consultant anaesthetist, who has received the rarely awarded prestigious Gold Medal of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. Professor Pandit was a student and research fellow at DPAG and is now an Academic Visitor in the department; he is also a Fellow and Tutor in Medicine at St John's College.

Study reveals association between diagnosis of a neuropsychiatric condition and severe outcome from COVID-19 infection, and other severe acute respiratory infections

New research from the University of Oxford has shown an increased risk of severe illness and death from both COVID-19 and other severe respiratory infections, such as influenza and pneumonia, among people with a pre-existing mental health condition.

How to use the science of the body clock to improve our sleep and health

Professor Russell Foster has written a new book about circadian neuroscience which is published by Penguin this week. This book review by Jacqueline Pumphrey was first published on the University of Oxford website.