Improving health and wellbeing

Improving health and wellbeing

All our programmes seek to advance fundamental understanding of human cognition, and we are world leaders in many of our research areas. We are also committed to combining excellence in basic science with applied work that translates theory into benefits for human health and well-being. Most of our programmes include strong translational elements focusing on disorders of health that impair quality of life and impose significant economic burdens on society. These range from deafness, learning difficulties and mental health problems, through to diseases of the brain including stroke, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.

Illustrations of some of our recent translational breakthroughs are provided below.


Cognitive therapies for depression and PTSD  – Tim Dalgleish

Improving hearing through a cochlear implant – Bob Carlyon

Translating from experimental results to a clinical service for people with brain injury – Tom Manly

Understanding how working memory problems impair classroom learning – Sue Gathercole

Treatment innovation for mental health: drawing on mental imagery – Emily Holmes



Translational research relevant to rehabilitation is central to the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit’s scientific programme. The Unit investigates fundamental human mental processes such as attention, memory, emotion and language. Using behavioural experiments, functional imaging and studies with neurological patients, our aim is to develop scientific understanding how these processes operate normally, what can go wrong when the brain is damaged and to aply these insights to improving outcome for patients and their families.  To find out more about our research then please visit the rehabilitation pages here.