Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Mental Health Awareness Week: 17-20 May

In conjunction with the Mental Health Foundation's Mental Health Awareness Week, Middlesex University presents a week-long programme of activities and talks to raise awareness of mental health issues.

The Mental Health Foundation states ‘Healthy and supportive relationships reduce the risk of mental ill-health. This Mental Health Awareness Week we are celebrating the connections, the relationships, the people in our lives that add to our wellbeing and protect and sustain our mental health. From family and friends, to colleagues and neighbours; taking notice of those connections that make you feel safe and supported.

At Middlesex University we support and actively promote this through our work and MDX Let’s Talk events and the many awareness weeks and days are on the national calendar. Middlesex University’s involvement is influential in a growing community of staff, students, partners and public who make vital contributions to the cultural and social wellbeing of the societies in which we live and work. Built upon the success of MDX Let’s Talk and Mental Health Awareness week 2015 we hope you enjoy these events for 2016.



Tuesday 17th May

Start
End
Subject
Facilitators
Location
11:00
12:00
Mental health stigma and relationships
MANDOWN is a short film written by Alan Bradley and Francis Quigley to raise awareness of the shockingly high rates of suicide amongst young men.  It aims to help men better support each other through mental health problems such as depression.  It’s a powerful and moving film with a simple message on the importance of being available to talk to our mates when they’re feeling down.
The film showing will be followed by a talk / Q&A by the film-makers on their journey making the film and their hopes for its impact.
(School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University)
College Building CG09
12:00
14:00
Chill Out Space

MDXSU will be providing a comfortable space for  students to relax, listen to music, eat their lunch,  take a break from studying or chill out  between exams. Students will be able to get advice and support for their course including planning for the year ahead.
MDXSU
Located on the green space between the College Building and the Grove
12:00
14:00
Yoga Session

Free yoga and meditation sessions of will also be offered to help relieve stress.

Located on the green space between the College Building and the Grove
12:00
13:00
The Psychoanalytic Relationship
(School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University)
College Building CG11
13:00
14:00
The value of empathy
(School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University)
College Building CG09
14:00
15:00
Gratitude, compassion, resilience and relationships
Ruxandra Anghel and Leonie Cachie
(School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University)
College Building CG11



Wednesday 18th May

Start
End
Subject
Facilitators
Location
10:00
11:00
Transcultural Mental Health  ‘’Culture matters!’’
What effect does culture have on beliefs and behaviours, and how is this connected  to the relationship of how health care is provided? The session will encourage participants to explore cultural stereotypes and myths using their own culture as a backdrop.
(School of Health and Education, Middlesex University)
College Building CG51
11:00
12:00
The First (Dysfunctional) Family
Genesis, the first book of the Bible is one great big family saga. We meet people dealing with the tensions of being a couple, learning to parent their children, and messily acting out the love - and hate - we all feel towards our families. In this session we will look at the story of Cain and Abel and use it to consider sibling rivalry, and existential angst.
Zahavit Shalev
College Building CG51
12:30
13:30
Filming showing: CALM – a short film tackling depression in young men
Alan Bradley & Richard Barry
College Building CG51
14:00
15:00
Facebook, social media and the meaning of relationships
Aaron Balick (Registered Psychotherapist)
College Building CG51
18:00
19:00
Dementia and Relationships
Mohammad Siab
TBC



Thursday 19th May

Start
End
Subject
Facilitators
Location
10:30
11:30
An introduction to relational thinking
Ariel Nathanson
(Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist,  Portman Clinic)
College Building CG51
12:00
13:00
How to find the perfect partner – matters of relationship satisfaction
Dr Mark Coulson
(School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University)
College Building CG51
13:00
14:00
Attachment and relationships
(School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University)
College Building CG48
14:00
15:30
They F*** you up
Ivor Baddiel
(Scriptwriter, author, comedian) in conversation with Dr Fiona Starr (School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University)
College Building CG51
15:00
17:00
Stigma's impact upon the mental health among autism caregivers

You will be introduced to different forms of autism-related stigma, moving to "courtesy-stigma" and, in particular, "self-stigma" which is a powerful psychological phenomenon with implications for mental health and relationships yet frequently overlooked. You will then hear about a planned study that the speaker will be leading later this year on protecting autism caregivers from the impact of stigma and will be given the opportunity to put forward your ideas and thoughts upon what might make the planned intervention more successful.
Dr Chris Papadopoulos
(Senior Lecturer in Public Health at the University of Bedfordshire, and founder of the 'London Autism Group' and 'London Autism Research Advisory Group’)
College Building CG48



Friday 20th May

Start
End
Subject
Facilitators
Location
11:00
12:00
Sexual violence
(School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University)
College Building CG48
12:00
13:00
Relating to and through Dyslexia
(School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University)
College Building CG10
13:00
16:00
Diversity Jam

MDXSU will be building on the theme of relationships by celebrating some of the diverse groups we have on campus. Our student-led societies and assemblies represent unique cultural, religious, and lifestyle-oriented groups. They will be creating awareness about their group with a presentation, performance or stall in the Quad.
MDXSU
Quad
13:00
15:00
Mental Health and the Community

Local voluntary mental health services and information on their expertise

14:30
16:00
What is therapy and how does it work?
Professor Brett Kahr
(Author, Senior Clinical Research Follow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health, Chair of the British Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counsellors) in  conversation with Andrea Oskis (School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University)






























Sunday, 24 April 2016

Research Seminar: Dr Britta Osthaus (Canterbury Christ Church University)

*** Everyone Welcome! No need to book in advance ***

Date: Thursday 5th May
Time: 12:00-13:00
Room: CG09

Dr Britta Osthaus (Canterbury Christ Church University)

"Dogs are stupid: What science knows about dog cognition"

Abstract: Dogs are employed in a variety of roles to support humans and also as social companions. The internet is full of clips of seemingly intelligent performances of dogs, but also of behaviours that seem to be lacking common (human) sense. Over the last two decades there has been a renewed interest in psychology in the scientific study of the cognitive abilities of dogs and also on dog-human interaction and communication, with some surprising findings. This lecture will present studies on the visual identification of humans by dogs, and their attempts to solve detour problems. The speaker will attempt to demonstrate some of her findings with a real dog during this talk.

Biography: Dr Britta Osthaus did her PhD on Na├»ve Physics in Dogs from the University of Exeter. Since then she has added to the literature by showing the limits of canine understanding of the physical world. She has also upset a large number of cat owners by demonstrating that felines are no better. Her current focus is on cognition in donkeys, horses and mules (they rule!). She currently owns two gerbils, which have not taken part in any scientific study and prefer to doze under their heat lamp instead. She is a senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent, and the favourite part of her job is to take students to Lundy Island, to teach ecological methods hands-on. 




Theory of Computing and Artificial Intelligence (ToCAI) Seminar

*** Everyone welcome no need to book in advance***

Date: Friday 6th May
Time: 14:00-16:00
Room: Town Hall Committee Room 2

Dr. Ed Awh (University of Chicago)

"Rhythmic brain activity tracks the content and timing of online spatial representations"

Abstract:A substantial body of evidence suggests that neural activity in the alpha frequency band (8-12 Hz) covaries with the locus of covert spatial attention, such that attention to one visual field yields a sustained decline in alpha power at contralateral electrode sites. In our work, we have exploited this covariation by using an inverted encoding model to reconstruct spatial response profiles (termed channel tuning functions, or CTFs) based on the topography of alpha activity on the human scalp. Thus, in a task that required the storage of locations in working memory, we observed a graded profile of activity across spatial channels that peaked at the stored location during both the encoding and delay periods of the task. These spatial CTFs provide an opportunity to quantify the basic tuning properties of online spatial memories to examine how the precision of neural representations changes with manipulations of the probability of storage or the number of items stored. In addition, I'll show that the same method can be used to track the locus and timing of covert attention following the presentation of symbolic orienting cues and during active visual search. Moreover, we demonstrate that dynamic changes in the selectivity of spatial CTFs provide a sensitive measure of the latency of covert orienting during visual search. These findings demonstrate the integral role that alpha band activity plays in the online representation of space, and provide a powerful new approach for tracking these representations during online storage and covert orienting.

Biography: Ed Awh is a professor in the Department of Psychology, The Institute for Mind and Biology, and the Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology and Human Behavior. His laboratory focuses on behavioral and neural studies of memory and attention. Dr. Awh’s lab employs psychophysics, EEG, and functional MRI to learn about the neural mechanisms underlying these basic cognitive processes and the relationship between these processes and other cognitive functions. Recent work has focused on the use of neural decoding techniques to track the contents of online memories and the locus of covert attention.

Friday, 22 April 2016

SAT Cross-Disciplinary Research Seminar: Dr Eduardo Coutinho

*** Everyone Welcome! No need to book in advance***

Date: Wednesday 27th April
Time: 15:00-16:00
Room: HG09

Dr Eduardo Coutinho
Department of Music, University of Liverpoool
Department of Computing, Imperial College London

"Automatic recognition of emotion in music and speech: Predicting second-by-second subjective feelings of emotion from psychoacoustic features and physiological responses" 

Abstract After a century of manifold developments in psychological research on the emotional power of music, during the last decade, research on how music pieces are associated with the communication and induction of affective states (emotions and moods) has increasingly become a central topic in the Computer Sciences and Affective Computing. The computational analysis of music has allowed to develop models that estimate the emotional impact of music, not only with the goal of finding new ways for indexing and recommending music from personal or shared libraries, but also for understanding how music creates emotion, and especially the links between music structure and emotional responses. In this talk, I will present a series of empirical and computational studies and attempt to demonstrate that spatiotemporal dynamics in (psycho)acoustic features can be used to predict the variations in the emotions perceived in music, as well as patterns of activity in the peripheral nervous system (e.g., changes in heart rate, skin temperature, respiration). Furthermore, together with the theoretical basis that permits to establish such link, I will demonstrate the existence of shared acoustic codes that allow listeners to perceive emotional meaning in both music and speech prosody. Finally, I will discuss the potential of automatic emotion recognition in music for applications in Healthcare and other everyday life circumstances that may benefit from the emotional power of music as a mediator for achieving specific therapeutic and cognitive goals. This talk will cover topics from the Affective Sciences, Music Psychology, and Computer Sciences, and will be generally accessible to both students (at all levels) and faculty. 

Bio Dr Eduardo Coutinho received his diploma in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of Porto (Portugal, 2003), and his doctoral degree in Computer and Affective Sciences from the University of Plymouth (UK, 2008). He is currently a Lecturer in Music Psychology at the University of Liverpool, and Research Associate in Affective Computing at Imperial College London. Previously, he was a Research Fellow in Music Psychology at the University of Sheffield and the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, and a Research Associate in Affective Computing at the Technical University of Munich. Coutinho works in the interdisciplinary fields of Music Psychology and Affective Computing, where his expertise is in the study of emotional expression, perception and induction through music, and the automatic recognition of emotion in music and speech. He has contributed to a broader understanding of the emotional impact of music on listeners, namely on the link between music structure and emotion, the types of emotions induced by music, and individual and contextual factors that mediate the relationships between music and listeners. Coutinho pioneered research on the computational analysis of emotional dynamics in music, and made significant contributions to the field of music emotion recognition, setting the new standard approach for recognition of emotional dynamics in music. Currently his work focuses on the application of music in Healthcare. For more information about Eduardo Coutinho and his work, please visit: http://www.eadward.org

 

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Research Seminars: Prof Andy Field (Sussex University) and Dr Chris Askew (Kingston University)

*** Everyone welcome! No need to book!*** 

Date: Thursday 21st April  
Time: 14:00-16:00 
Room: Committee Room 2 

Prof. Andy Field (Sussex University) 
"Why I don't believe anything in Psychology" 

Abstract: A century ago, unknown to humankind, the Daemons came to Earth and bestowed upon us the power to investigate ourselves. It was called NHST. 
They told us it stood for Null Hypothesis Significance Testing. Having given us this power, they have watched us use it to discover things about the human mind. Now they have returned to use this knowledge to destroy us. Our only hope is if I can convince them that all psychological knowledge to date is in fact likely to be wrong. This talk describes my attempt to do this by looking at flaws in NHST, gaps in researchers knowledge about NHST, the way that psychologists probably mis-apply statistical methods, how psychology research follows a pattern likely to make it untrue, and how the incentive structures in academia promote unhelpful attitudes to knowledge. I don’t plan to offer any solutions, just a litany of misery. We’ll need a stiff drink afterwards. 

Biography: Andy Field is Professor of Child Psychopathology at the University of Sussex, UK. He researches the emotional development in children and dabbles in statistics when the mood takes him. He has published 86 research papers, 29 book chapters and 17 books mostly on the development of fear and anxiety in children or statistics. He authored the bestselling textbook ‘Discovering Statistics using SPSS: and sex and drugs and rock n’ roll’, for which he won the British Psychological Society book award in 2007 and is now in its fourth edition and has been cited over 26,000 times in scientific papers. He has subsequently written versions of the book for SAS and R. His new book ‘Discovering Statistics: The Reality Enigma’ is due out in May 2016 and promises to be ‘different’. You can decide for yourself at the time whether that’s a good thing. His uncontrollable enthusiasm for teaching statistics to psychologists has led to teaching awards from the University of Sussex (2001 and 2015), the British Psychological Society (2006) and a prestigious National Teaching fellowship (2000). He is currently co-editor-in-chief for the Journal of Experimental Psychopathology and Psychopathology Review, serves on the editorial boards of Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review and Research Synthesis Methods. He’s done other academic things too but he finds it tedious trying to remember what they might have been. None of them really matter because in the unlikely event that you’ve ever heard of him it’ll be as the ‘Stats book guy’. In his spare time, he plays the drums very noisily in a heavy metal band, which he finds therapeutic. 

Dr. Chris Askew (Kingston University) 
"Learning fear from observing others" 

Abstract: Self-report studies and experiments with animals and adults suggest that fear of a stimulus can be learned vicariously by observing someone else with that fear. However, until relatively recently there was little experimental evidence that this process occurs in people at an age when fears and phobias are known to develop.  This talk will outline an experimental paradigm demonstrating that fears can be vicariously learned during childhood and that, like Pavlovian conditioning, this type of learning is underpinned by associative learning processes. I will also discuss how the procedure has been used to investigate fear prevention and reversal interventions/mechanisms. 

Biography: Chris Askew is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Kingston University. His research area is child psychopathology and most of his work focuses on investigating the development of dysfunctional fear, anxiety and disgust during childhood. Chris’s recent research projects have included testing interventions that can be used to prevent negative dysfunctional emotions from developing during vicarious learning.