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Otago researcher selected to contribute to Australian brain research think tank

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Wednesday, 17 July 2013 9:54am


Deputy Director of Otago University’s Brain Health Research Centre, Associate Professor John Reynolds, will travel to Australia next week to attend the 2013 Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank.

John_ReynoldsDr John Reynolds, Associate Professor in Neuroscience and Medicine at the University of Otago

Dr Reynolds is the only New Zealand researcher to be selected to attend the Think Tank, hosted by the Australian Academy of Science.

The Think Tank will comprise of sixty of the brightest early and mid-career researchers from around Australia and neighbouring countries to discuss this year’s topic ‘inspiring smarter brain research in Australia’.

Dr John Reynolds is an Associate Professor in Neuroscience and Medicine at the University of Otago, where he investigates the role of dopamine in learning and movement. Dr Reynolds’ research also looks at the normal function of the basal ganglia and cortex of the brain and how this is altered in Parkinson’s disease and stroke.

A critical issue facing neuroscience is finding ways to integrate several different areas relating to neuroscience that could interact with each other and progress research. This is the challenge before the Think Tank, as they look towards their contribution to an increasingly interdisciplinary and international future.

Dr Reynolds, along with other invited researchers, will be examining how we can improve our understanding of the human brain and aim for ambitious goals that require advances in science and technology.

The Think Tank will focus on four key areas:

  1. Cognition, intelligence and executive function
  2. Neurogenetics: inherited disease and developmental biology
  3. Artificial intelligence, maths and modelling
  4. Ageing, dementia, Alzheimer disease and end-of-life issues

Internationally renowned senior scientists, including keynote speaker Professor Steve Furber of University of Manchester, will provide insights into current perspectives in their fields.

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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