Cambridge Neuroscience Event

This event profile is in the events archive.

ExhibitingContact UsAbstracts

The Educated Brain at School: Late Childhood and Adolescence


Thursday October 27th 2016


Murray Edwards College


On 18 April we launched a series of ESRC-funded research seminars on The Educated Brain. The series is unique in that it is supported and coordinated by three University of Cambridge Strategic Research Initiatives (Cambridge NeuroscienceCambridge Public Policy and Cambridge Language Sciences

The first seminar covered Infancy and Early Childhood. Registration is now open for the second seminar in the series on 27 October, led by Dr Michelle Ellefson (Faculty of Education), which will focus on The Educated Brain at School - Late Childhood and Adolescence.


Back to top


Back to top

Programme at a Glance


Venue: Buckingham House, Murray Edwards College

8.30: Registration

9.00-9.20 Introduction (Dr Michelle Ellefson, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge)

9.20-10.00 The effect of poverty on cognition, the brain and education Dr Duncan Astle (Programme Leader, Executive Processes Group, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit)

10.00-10.40 The (still) developing adolescent brain Dr Kirstie Whitaker (Research Associate, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge)

[10.40-11.10 refreshment break]

11.10-11.50 Can people with developmental disorders function successfully as bilinguals? Dr Napoleon Katsos (Reader in Experimental Pragmatics, Dept. of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge)

11.50-12.30 The primary-to-secondary school transition for children on the autism spectrum Liz Pellicano, Professor of Autism Education and Director of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at UCL Institute of Education, University College London

12.30-13.10 Dyslexia and the brain: the role of rhythm Professor Usha Goswami, Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, and Director of Centre for Neuroscience in Education

[13.10-14.15 lunch]

14.15-17.00: Workshop - by invitation/application


Venue: Bateman Auditorium, Gonville & Caius College

18.00-19.00: Public lecture  

The effects of early psychosocial deprivation on brain and behavioral development: findings from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project

Professor Charles A. Nelson, Professor of Paediatrics and Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School and Professor of Education, Harvard University 

Many aspects of postnatal brain development depend on experience that occurs during relatively narrow windows of time (i.e. critical periods) for development to proceed normally.  In this talk I will discuss what happens to children whose postnatal experience violates what we have come to expect as a species; specifically, infants who experience profound early neglect. The Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) is a randomized controlled trial of foster care as an intervention for early institutionalization. A total of 136 children who had been abandoned at birth and placed in various institutions in Bucharest, Romania were targeted for study, along with a sample of 72 children who lived with their biological parents in the greater Bucharest community. Following an extensive baseline assessment (average age 22 month), half the institutionalized children were randomly assigned to high quality foster care created by the research team and the other half to care as usual (institutional care). This sample has been carefully studied through the first 16 years of life. Key findings covering a variety of domains (including but not limited to IQ, attachment, and brain development) will serve as the focus of my talk. This work will be situated into the broader framework of the 100 million children around the world who have been abandoned or orphaned, 8 million of whom are being raised in institutional settings.

19.00-19.45: Drinks reception 

Keynote speaker

Charles Nelson   FField 2 8x10k

Charles A. Nelson III is Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Education at Harvard University.

Professor Nelson’s research interests are concerned with the effects of early experience on brain and behavioural development, particularly the effects of early biological insults and early psychosocial adversity. He studies both typically developing children and children at risk for neuro-developmental disorders (particularly autism), and he employs behavioural, electrophysiological (ERP), and metabolic (fNIRS and MRI) tools in his research. He leads the Nelson Laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital in carrying out research on many aspects of infant and child development.

Back to top


08:30-17:00 Talks, Lunch & Workshop @ Murray Edwards College

Directions to Buckingham House at Murray Edwards College can be found here.

18:00-19:45 Public Lecture & Drinks reception @ Gonville & Caius College

Directions to Bateman Auditorium at Gonville & Caius College can be found here. please note that the Bateman Auditorium is located in the Old Courts on Trinity Street.

Back to top


Registration is now closed and we are operating a waiting list system.

Please contact contact Jane Walsh to be added to the list.


Please enter N/A when prompted to enter grant code information.

Please note that registration is open for the morning session and the public lecture but attendance to the afternoon policy workshop is on an invitation/application basis. Please tick the box if you wish to be considered for this part of the seminar.

Back to top


This seminar is supported by the ESRC, Cambridge Neuroscience, Cambridge Language Sciences and Cambridge Public Policy.

Back to top



Back to top


Please contact Jane Walsh for further information.

Further events

Go to the events index page.