Participant Appreciation Day at Bangor

NeuroSKILL Hosts Research Participant Appreciation Day at Bangor University

Dr Mullins presenting the NeuroSKILL project to past and future research participants.

Dr Mullins presents the NeuroSKILL project to past and future research participants.

On August 29, the NeuroSKILL project team in Bangor hosted an appreciation day for the members of the public who had participated in psychology research at Bangor University.

After a warm welcome to the Brigantia building, Professor Robert Rafel, School of Psychology, and Dr Paul Mullins of the School of Psychology and NeuroSKILL thanked those present, “We really couldn’t do the work we do without your involvement, and your contribution goes beyond just helping a couple of researchers at Bangor get their studies done, and will lead to new techniques and treatments in clinical and cognitive sciences”.

Kristin Koller discussing her project on virtual dissection of nerve pathways in the brain.

Kristin Koller discusses her project on virtual dissection of nerve pathways in the brain.

The audience heard of the several research programs that their involvement had helped. Dr Mullins introduced the NeuroSKILL project and informed his listeners about studies that are underway in this program. PhD students Karolina Rusiak and Kristin Koller then spoke to the participants of their current research, and the results they have been getting.

Karolina introduced her work on neurochemistry and brain connectivity in ageing and dementia, showing recent results of decline in specific neurochemicals with ageing. Kristin discussed her work using diffusion tractography to identify and measure the white matter tracts involved with non-visual responses to visual stimuli. The audience then listened to an overview of The Wolfson Centre for Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience by Professor Rafal and an account of how the involvement of research participants has been responsible for the advancement of clinical research in North Wales.

“Taking part in the research studies being done at Bangor has been an extremely rewarding experience for me. I have learnt so much more about my stroke, and increased my understanding of what has happened to me greatly since taking part. I find participation fascinating, and would volunteer to take part in a new study every week if I could.”

One veteran’s opinion

After the final presentation of the day, from Therese Gilligan, who talked about her work in prism adaptation for stroke rehabilitation and other aspects of her work, patients and members of the Community Panel were invited to refreshments and had an opportunity to chat with the researchers, getting further information about future research programs and other opportunities to participate.

The NeuroSKILL program is a joint venture between Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and Bangor University, and the project has been part funded by the European Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Programme 2007-13.