Latest Event Updates

CamBRAIN Launches #1in4 Challenge for the Mental Health Awareness Week 2015

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Approximately 1 in 4 of us will experience a diagnosable mental health problem each year such as anxiety or depression, and it is estimated that around 450 million people suffer from a mental health problem worldwide.

1in4_1MIND, a leading mental health charity, provides essential services to over 400,000 people including crisis helplines, supported housing, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending. During Mental Health Awareness Week (11th – 17th May), CamBRAIN, the Cambridge Neuroscience Society members, are showing their support to MIND charity by launching the #‎1in4 Challenge. Taking part in this challenge is quick and easy: Snap a photo of yourself with 3 others featuring a creative display of the caption #1in4 and donate £3 to MIND. Nominate those in the photo with you to do the same with 3 others.


1in4_2To make a gift, text SUPPORT to 70660 or go online at and give £3 – MIND will receive 100% of your donation! Add the following tags to your post to keep this going – #1in4, #mhaw15 ‬@CamBrainCNS, @MindCharity. Your donation will enable MIND to answer more calls for help, provide support in local communities and give people a place to turn to.

For more information about MIND and the support it offers visit their website: For more information on the 1 in 4 and other statistics around mental health visit:…/mental-healt…/UK-worldwide/

Empowering Women in Science Through Music…

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One does not meet a Cambridge University professor who is in an indie rock band everyday; or who, on top of that, uses his academic and musical influence to empower women in science. Have I mentioned that he paid for his education by playing the drums? It is difficult not to be impressed by Tim Bussey, a behavioural neuroscientist, musician and advocate for higher female representation in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) leadership positions. He jointly leads the Translational Cognitive Neuroscience Lab with Lisa Saksida and also happens to be the lead singer of ‘Violet Transmissions’.

TEDxCambridgeUniversity2015Tim recently gave a talk at this year’s TEDxCambridgeUniversity event, which was held on Saturday 14th March at St John’s Divinity School. As one of the lead organisers of this event, I was delighted when he accepted our team’s invitation to speak. Tim fitted our theme ‘By Other Means’ perfectly, addressing issues such as gender inequality in science via unconventional and creative ways. In collaboration with ScienceGrrl, an organisation supporting women in science, ‘Violet Transmissions’ released ‘She Blinded Me With Science’ last November. The music video features successful and passionate young women scientists, including a structural engineer, an experimental psychologist, a nanochemist and two laser physicists. This is a fantastic project that draws attention to the gender inequality in science by bridging the gap between the neurosciences and the arts! During his TEDx talk, he not only raised awareness and entertained the audience with an excerpt of his recent video, but encouraged the implementation of practical solutions, such as the ones proposed by the ScienceGrrl report ‘Through Both Eyes: the case for a Gender lens in STEM’. Read the rest of this entry »

Telepsychiatry – Skyping a Psychiatrist for Help

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“I lie in bed, motionless. Fixating on the wooden propeller of the ceiling fan turning in circles, I lie in bed, emotionless. I can hear the fishermen yelling at the top of their lungs, trying to sell their latest catch, and the relentless lapping of the waves against the shores of Lake Tanganyika. I haven’t been to the market in three months… or more. I can’t tell. The flies are now roaming freely around the house; I couldn’t care less. The place is filthy, but it’s the best my husband could do while his worthless wife was lying in bed. Another healer is at the door. Many have come and gone, trying to find the cure, to extract the demons that have sentenced me, my three beautiful children, and a devoted husband to a life fallen in depths of an unfeeling abyss. No need. I am not worth it. The razor by the mirror is calling my name: Aude. Aude. Aude…”

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The ‘Midwich Experiment’: immersive science events for secondary school students.

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The British Film Institute (BFI), with partners Cinelive, received a £30,000 Wellcome Trust People Award to run immersive science events across the country as part of the Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder Season. The project is called the ‘Midwich Experiment’ and enlists the expertise of several neuroscientists, including Cambridge PhD students and CamBRAIN members: Sally JenningsKatie ManningAndy McCombieDeniz Vatansever and Madeleine Walpert.

1. The Midwich ‘Cuckoos’.

The ‘Midwich Experiment’ uses John Wyndham’s novel about a village infiltrated by extraordinary children, The Midwich Cuckoos, as theatrical immersion for an educational experience. Cinelive provide the theatrical immersion by teaching local secondary school students to act the part of ‘cuckoos’ and ‘villagers’. The scientists then teach the key stage 3 audiences about their expertise in electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Some students pose as journalists and film proceedings so they can learn about filmmaking, from BFI experts. In this way, the ‘Midwich Experiment’ is an engaging and educational experience for all of the students involved.

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