Dr Eva Feredoes presents Stimulating thoughts: using magnets and electricity to explore how our brains work
Cognitive neuroscience is concerned with understanding what goes on inside our head in order to understand behaviours such as perception, memory, emotions, problem-solving etc. We have many sophisticated tools at our disposal, to visualise and manipulate the workings of the brain. One powerful set of techniques, known as neurostimulation, allows us to apply electric currents or magnetic fields to specific parts of the brain to change how they function, and then to view the effects of such manipulation on behaviour. In the right hands, we can make definitive statements on many brain behaviours, for example, how our brains try to protect short-term memories from being rapidly forgotten (my area of research). The hope is that by understanding the brain mechanisms underlying cognitive functions, we’ll be able to improve them in both normal healthy brains, and in disease states.
Eva Feredoes is a Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience, in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading. She is interested in how short-term memory is achieved by the brain, in the hope of being able to improve her own ability to remember people’s names. She uses cutting-edge investigative techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation, in order to peer inside heads and manipulate brain areas. She is also quite a nice person.
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