Science Interviews


Fri, 14th Dec 2012

What keeps a Professor up at night?

Professor Barbara Sahakian, Cambridge University

Part of the show The Genetics of Brain and Behaviour

And finally, we present closing this month’s show, I find out what areas of neuroscience are keeping a professor excited and up at night…

Barbara -   I'm Barbara Sahakian.  I'm Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge. 

Well, there's many exciting things about the brain, but I suppose two areas that really excite me is the fact that learning is so fast that children especially are just programmed to learn and pick up everything and imitate, and I find that really exciting that the brain is just so essentially programmed to learn new things about the environment and how to interact with it. 

The second thing that I'm very excited about is really resilience in terms of brain function because we go through life and many of us have very unfortunate experiences from time to time, and there are many people who experience really horrific environmental circumstances and yet, we can frequently overcome that. 

So, the emotional brain can be quite resilient in many ways and I find that remarkable and I think we need to understand more about resilience, and how we overcome these things so that people who end up unfortunately with post-traumatic stress disorder, we’re able to help them and we’re able to instil resilience in young people.

Hannah - That was Professor Barbara Sahakian from Cambridge University.


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