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BRAIN MATTERS SEMINARS

The past, present and future of 

Neuroscience in southern Africa

Professor Morten L Kringelbach runs the Hedonia Research Group based at 
the Universities of Oxford and Aarhus. His prize-winning research uses neuroimaging and whole-brain computational models of, for example, infants, taste, sex, drugs and music to find ways to increase eudaimonia (well-being). He has published fourteen books, and over 300 scientific papers, chapters and other articles and his research features regularly 
in newspapers, magazines, radio and television. He is a fellow of The 
Queen’s College, Oxford, of the Association for Psychological Science, on the advisory board of Scientific American and a board member of the world’s first Empathy Museum.

Aarhus and Oxford University

Prof. Morton Kringelbach 

SEMINAR

SUMMARY

The Parental Brain: New Insights from Brain Imaging

On 6 December 2017, the NRF Science for Society hosted a lecture entitled ‘The Parental Brain: New Insights from Brain Imaging’, by Professor Morten Kringelbach. It was held at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg.

The lecture was the last in the Brain Matters Seminar Series, funded by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development and the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS), and supported by the Wits Cortex Club and the Southern African Neuroscience Society. It was presented in partnership with SAfm and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

For many people, becoming a parent is one of life’s most rewarding and transformative experiences, yet until recently little was known about how this experience changes the brain. In this lecture, Professor Kringelbach of Aarhus and Oxford Universities shared new insights into how fast brain signatures (the rapid spread of neural activity) are evoked by the sight and sounds of babies.

He spoke about how the cuteness of infants – as a protective survival mechanism – shapes human lives. Lastly, he talked about cutting-edge research using new technologies in brain imaging that reveal specific areas in the brain that control the caregiving instinct. Professor Kringelbach’s prize-winning research uses neuroimaging and whole-brain computational models of, for example, responses to infants, taste, sex, drugs and music to find ways to increase eudaimonia (wellbeing).

Panel Discussion

Morton Kringelbach

Discussant

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Professor Morten L Kringelbach runs the Hedonia Research Group based at the Universities of Oxford and Aarhus. His prize-winning research uses neuroimaging and whole-brain computational models of, for example, infants, taste, sex, drugs and music to find ways to increase eudaimonia (well-being).

Linda Richter

Discussant 

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Prof Richter is a Distinguished Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa, a Research Associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford (UK), a Faculty Affiliate of the World Policy Centre at the University of California in Los Angeles, and an advisor to the World Health Organization in Geneva on early child development. 

Barack Morgan

Discussant 

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Barak Morgan is a biologist and medical doctor with clinical experience mostly in psychiatry. He also has a PhD in engineering. Based in Cape Town, he works as a researcher in human social – cognitive – affective neuroscience. Most of his research is in the field of early childhood development, focused on the enduring impact of early social experience, especially poverty, on brain structure and function in later life.

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Facilitator

Naledi Moleo
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SAfm Podcast

Give-and-take discussions with listeners and experts on issues that have or will have an impact on your life - With Naledi Moleo

7 Dec NRF Lecture

1 hr 41 min