Dr Duncan Astle from the University of Cambridge delivered the second Salvesen Lecture, in November 2020:
Beyond the Label – Mapping Brain Diversity in Childhood
It’s common for many children to find learning difficult. But progress toward understanding the brain mechanisms associated with these difficulties has been slow. This is because the samples are often too small or the children are grouped somewhat arbitrarily. This lecture showcases the experiences of young people who took part in a large study at the Centre for Attention Learning and Memory (CALM). This unique study set out to capture the full range of children who find learning difficult. Duncan, one of the scientists working on the project, focuses on what this project has taught us about the developing brain and how this can give rise to such diversity. A key result is that the contribution of different brain areas is less important than how those areas are connected.
You’ll hear about the scientific and practical implications of this cutting-edge work, as well as the views of some of the young people who took part in the project.
Duncan is a Programme Leader at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow and Director of Studies at Robinson College. The 4D research group that he leads captures a broad programme of developmental cognitive neuroscience. A hallmark of this science has been using innovative methods to study the developing brain, and the diversity of that development. Their work has been supported by the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Medical Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and multiple charitable foundations.
Below is a recording of the lecture with audio and subtitles.