Understanding Neuroscience #290

November 07, 2014

Image from Woutergroen

This week we're looking at the ways we try to understand the inner workings of the brain. We'll talk to University College London researcher Cliodhna O'Connor about patterns in the way the public interprets neuroscience news. And we'll ask Duncan Astle, Program Leader at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, about "neuromyths," popular misconceptions about the way the brain functions, and the strengths and weaknesses of modern brain imaging techniques.


  • Cliodhna O'Connor
  • Duncan Astle

Guest Bios

Cliodhna O'Connor

Dr. Cliodhna O'Connor is a Post Doctoral researcher in psychology and language sciences at University College London. Her research focuses on public engagement with science, and she was a co-investigator on a grant awarded by the Faraday Institute of St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge, which explores the popularization of neuroscientific knowledge and its implications for social life and common-sense beliefs.

Duncan Astle

Dr. Duncan Astle works at the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. He is also a Research Associate at St. John’s College, Cambridge. Duncan leads a programme that explores cognition and neuroscience in childhood. He and his team are exploring mechanisms like memory and attention in typically and atypically developing children, attempting to understand how the brain gives rise to such marked differences in cognitive ability across children, and whether anything can be done to support children with cognitive difficulties. He has previously held posts at the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway, University of London.

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