‘Dubai chosen as centre for more brain research’ - GulfToday

‘Dubai chosen as centre for more brain research’


Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

An academic who has authored over 50 studies on human long term memory said more has to be done with picking the brain.

“There are still unanswered questions about how our brains support our mental abilities. Ongoing research is important, as by providing answers to these questions, we can help people who have brain damage or who have illnesses affect the brain,” Prof. Ed Wilding told Gulf Today.

Wilding is the University of Birmingham-School of Psychology (UK Campus) head.

With his research on how memory retrieval works and how the brain supports the process, metacognition (awareness and understanding of one’s thought processes), and brain imaging (the use of technology for the visual representation and understanding of the brain and the nervous system), Wilding was a recent visitor of the University of Birmingham at the Dubai Academic City for two reasons.

He lectured on “Measuring Brains—From Phrenology to the Present Day” complete with illustrative historical characters for the “Dubai Provost’s Distinguished Lecture Series.”

Wilding also oversaw the progress of the School of Psychology as administration deemed that as an extensively research-based and led university, the 120-year-old institution with 11 Nobel Prizes thus far, could complement the vision of the UAE and Dubai “for the future development of the knowledge economy.”  Both campuses are envisioned to be “working collaboratively and closely on research (for) the best research comes about by bringing together researchers and scholars with different skills and knowledge.”

In his lecture, Wilding said: “We do not think that Phrenology (a pseudoscience which theorizes that brain bumps indicate one’s character and mental faculties) is a useful way of understanding how our brain and our mind (are wired to each other).” He also said: “Brain memory is distinct from one person to another. One may have more capability for memory than others.”

In the prior interview, Wilding said the brain is the organ that controls the mind. It is important that man knows well how the brain functions, how memory retrieval works so that man would come to see and perceive, get a better perspective of what is and how to look forward to the future.

On the relationship between the brain and the development of mental faculties, he said: “The brain supports our mental faculties, and our mental abilities develop as our brains develop.”

Wilding defined memory retrieval process as that which “allows us to remember the past.” He identified specific parts of the brain which “support our ability to remember the past” and which have the capability to “store and retrieve memories.”

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