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UK DRI joins forces with cognitive and behavioural neuroscience research initiative, BrainsCAN

Touchscreen Ha Edits

We are delighted to announce a new partnership with the cognitive and behavioural neuroscience research initiative, BrainsCAN, to advance our understanding of higher cognitive processing in rodents through novel touchscreen technology and methods. The knowledge gained has the potential to assist our development of treatments for dementia.  

Based at Western University in Canada, BrainsCAN is a neuroscience research initiative that aims to transform the way brain diseases and disorders are understood, diagnosed and treated. Over the past four years, BrainsCAN-aligned trainees and researchers have made significant discoveries in dementia studies. BrainsCAN’s Rodent Cognition Core (RCC) is home to the Bussey-Saksida touchscreen chamber – a custom environment for targeted cognitive tests administered via touchscreen – which has played a critical role in neurodegenerative exploration.

Touchscreen technology is being combined with cutting-edge methods for modelling the neurochemistry and genetics of dementia, led by Marco and Vania Prado, to develop new platforms for understanding the brain basis of, and new treatments for, this devastating condition. Data and knowledge are being shared around the world via two open science platforms within the RCC, mousebytes.ca and touchscreencognition.org.

The shared interest in open-access science and studying cognition and neurodegeneration using similar models brought the two institutions together earlier this year. The RCC has already been working with the UK DRI, but by making the partnership official, there will be more opportunities for knowledge exchange, training opportunities, and sharing research materials.

Prof Tim Bussey, Director of the BrainsCAN Rodent Cognition Core, said:

“With this partnership, we will bring world-leading experts in dementia research together and combine our knowledge and resources to strengthen our work. This collaboration means transforming treatment for people living with dementia – one of the toughest medical challenges today – sooner.”

Dr Frances Wiseman, UK DRI Programme Lead for Animal Models, added:

“We are excited to be partnering with BrainsCAN – this collaboration will facilitate our work to deliver novel breakthroughs in the mechanistic understanding of dementia. Tim Bussey and Lisa Saksida are pioneers in the testing of higher cognitive processes in rodents and we are delighted that UK DRI researchers will have the opportunity to visit, train and collaborate with this centre of international excellence.”

Brains Canpeople

Article published: 01 October 2020
Banner image: Touchscreen Cognition Chamber at BrainsCAN

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