London, United Kingdom

University College London
London, United Kingdom

University College London , formerly styled University College, London, is a public research university in London, England and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1826 as London University, UCL was the first university institution established in London and the first in England to be entirely secular, to admit students regardless of their religion, and to admit women on equal terms with men. The philosopher Jeremy Bentham is commonly regarded as the spiritual father of UCL, as his radical ideas on education and society were the inspiration to its founders, although his direct involvement in its foundation was limited. UCL became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London in 1836. It has grown through mergers, including with the Institute of Neurology , the Eastman Dental Institute , the School of Slavonic and East European Studies , the School of Pharmacy and the Institute of Education .UCL's main campus is located in the Bloomsbury area of central London, with a number of institutes and teaching hospitals elsewhere in central London, and satellite campuses in Adelaide, Australia and Doha, Qatar. UCL is organised into 11 constituent faculties, within which there are over 100 departments, institutes and research centres. UCL has around 36,000 students and 11,000 staff and had a total income of £1.02 billion in 201315 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. For the period 1999 to 2009 it was the 13th most-cited university in the world . There are 32 Nobel Prize winners and three Fields Medalists amongst UCL's alumni and current and former staff. UCL alumni include the "Father of the Nation" of each of India, Kenya and Mauritius, the inventor of the telephone, and one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA. All five of the naturally-occurring noble gases were discovered at UCL by William Ramsay.UCL is part of three of the 11 biomedical research centres established by the NHS in England and is a founding member of the Francis Crick Institute and UCL Partners, the world's largest academic health science centre. UCL has hundreds of research and teaching partnerships, including a major collaboration with Yale University, the Yale UCL Collaborative. UCL is a member of numerous academic organisations including the G5, the League of European Research Universities and the Russell Group and forms part of the 'golden triangle' of British universities. Wikipedia.

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Haggard P.,University College London
Nature Reviews Neuroscience | Year: 2017

In adult life, people normally know what they are doing. This experience of controlling one's own actions and, through them, the course of events in the outside world is called 'sense of agency'. It forms a central feature of human experience; however, the brain mechanisms that produce the sense of agency have only recently begun to be investigated systematically. This recent progress has been driven by the development of better measures of the experience of agency, improved design of cognitive and behavioural experiments, and a growing understanding of the brain circuits that generate this distinctive but elusive experience. The sense of agency is a mental and neural state of cardinal importance in human civilization, because it is frequently altered in psychopathology and because it underpins the concept of responsibility in human societies. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Dolphin A.C.,University College London
Nature Reviews Neuroscience | Year: 2012

The voltage-gated calcium channel α 2 δ and β subunits are traditionally considered to be auxiliary subunits that enhance channel trafficking, increase the expression of functional calcium channels at the plasma membrane and influence the channels' biophysical properties. Accumulating evidence indicates that these subunits may also have roles in the nervous system that are not directly linked to calcium channel function. For example, β subunits may act as transcriptional regulators, and certain α 2 δ subunits may function in synaptogenesis. The aim of this Review is to examine both the classic and novel roles for these auxiliary subunits in voltage-gated calcium channel function and beyond. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

The anatomy of language has been investigated with PET or fMRI for more than 20. years. Here I attempt to provide an overview of the brain areas associated with heard speech, speech production and reading. The conclusions of many hundreds of studies were considered, grouped according to the type of processing, and reported in the order that they were published. Many findings have been replicated time and time again leading to some consistent and undisputable conclusions. These are summarised in an anatomical model that indicates the location of the language areas and the most consistent functions that have been assigned to them. The implications for cognitive models of language processing are also considered. In particular, a distinction can be made between processes that are localized to specific structures (e.g. sensory and motor processing) and processes where specialisation arises in the distributed pattern of activation over many different areas that each participate in multiple functions. For example, phonological processing of heard speech is supported by the functional integration of auditory processing and articulation; and orthographic processing is supported by the functional integration of visual processing, articulation and semantics. Future studies will undoubtedly be able to improve the spatial precision with which functional regions can be dissociated but the greatest challenge will be to understand how different brain regions interact with one another in their attempts to comprehend and produce language. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Olafsdottir H.F.,University College London
Nature Neuroscience | Year: 2016

Hippocampal replay has been hypothesized to underlie memory consolidation and navigational planning, yet the involvement of grid cells in replay is unknown. During replay we found grid cells to be spatially coherent with place cells, encoding locations 11 ms delayed relative to the hippocampus, with directionally modulated grid cells and forward replay exhibiting the greatest coherence with the CA1 area of the hippocampus. This suggests grid cells are engaged during the consolidation of spatial memories to the neocortex. © 2016 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Allen J.F.,University College London
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Chloroplasts and mitochondria are subcellular bioenergetic organelles with their own genomes and genetic systems. DNA replication and transmission to daughter organelles produces cytoplasmic inheritance of characters associated with primary events in photosynthesis and respiration. The prokaryotic ancestors of chloroplasts and mitochondria were endosymbionts whose genes became copied to the genomes of their cellular hosts. These copies gave rise to nuclear chromosomal genes that encode cytosolic proteins and precursor proteins that are synthesized in the cytosol for import into the organelle into which the endosymbiont evolved. What accounts for the retention of genes for the complete synthesis within chloroplasts and mitochondria of a tiny minority of their protein subunits? One hypothesis is that expression of genes for protein subunits of energy-transducing enzymes must respond to physical environmental change by means of a direct and unconditional regulatory control - control exerted by change in the redox state of the corresponding gene product. This hypothesis proposes that, to preserve function, an entire redox regulatory system has to be retained within its original membrane-bound compartment. Colocation of gene and gene product for redox regulation of gene expression (CoRR) is a hypothesis in agreement with the results of a variety of experiments designed to test it and which seem to have no other satisfactory explanation. Here, I review evidence relating to CoRR and discuss its development, conclusions, and implications. This overview also identifies predictions concerning the results of experiments that may yet prove the hypothesis to be incorrect. © 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Riccio A.,University College London
Nature Neuroscience | Year: 2010

The development and function of neurons require the regulated expression of large numbers of very specific gene sets. Epigenetic modifications of both DNA and histone proteins are now emerging as fundamental mechanisms by which neurons adapt their transcriptional response to developmental and environmental cues. In the nervous system, the mechanisms by which extracellular signals regulate the activity of chromatin-modifying enzymes have just begun to be characterized. In this Review, I discuss how extracellular cues, including synaptic activity and neurotrophic factors, influence epigenetic modifications and regulate the neuronal transcriptional response. I also summarize additional mechanisms that induce chromatin remodeling events by combinatorial assembly of multiprotein complexes on neuronal gene promoters. © 2010 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Friston K.,University College London
Neuron | Year: 2011

This article poses a controversial question: is optimal control theory useful for understanding motor behavior or is it a misdirection? This question is becoming acute as people start to conflate internal models in motor control and perception (Poeppel et al., 2008; Hickok et al., 2011). However, the forward models in motor control are not the generative models used in perceptual inference. This Perspective tries to highlight the differences between internal models in motor control and perception and asks whether optimal control is the right way to think about things. The issues considered here may have broader implications for optimal decision theory and Bayesian approaches to learning and behavior in general. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Silver R.A.,University College London
Nature Reviews Neuroscience | Year: 2010

The vast computational power of the brain has traditionally been viewed as arising from the complex connectivity of neural networks, in which an individual neuron acts as a simple linear summation and thresholding device. However, recent studies show that individual neurons utilize a wealth of nonlinear mechanisms to transform synaptic input into output firing. These mechanisms can arise from synaptic plasticity, synaptic noise, and somatic and dendritic conductances. This tool kit of nonlinear mechanisms confers considerable computational power on both morphologically simple and more complex neurons, enabling them to perform a range of arithmetic operations on signals encoded in a variety of different ways. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Friston K.,University College London
Nature Reviews Neuroscience | Year: 2010

A free-energy principle has been proposed recently that accounts for action, perception and learning. This Review looks at some key brain theories in the biological (for example, neural Darwinism) and physical (for example, information theory and optimal control theory) sciences from the free-energy perspective. Crucially, one key theme runs through each of these theories optimization. Furthermore, if we look closely at what is optimized, the same quantity keeps emerging, namely value (expected reward, expected utility) or its complement, surprise (prediction error, expected cost). This is the quantity that is optimized under the free-energy principle, which suggests that several global brain theories might be unified within a free-energy framework. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Kullmann D.M.,University College London
Annual Review of Neuroscience | Year: 2010

Inherited ion channel mutations can affect the entire nervous system. Many cause paroxysmal disturbances of brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve or skeletal muscle function, with normal neurological development and function in between attacks. To fully understand how mutations of ion channel genes cause disease, we need to know the normal location and function of the channel subunit, consequences of the mutation for biogenesis and biophysical properties, and possible compensatory changes in other channels that contribute to cell or circuit excitability. Animal models of monogenic channelopathies increasingly help our understanding. An important challenge for the future is to determine how more subtle derangements of ion channel function, which arise from the interaction of genetic and environmental influences, contribute to common paroxysomal disorders, including idiopathic epilepsy and migraine, that share features with rare monogenic channelopathies. © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

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