Seminars

Members of the general public are welcome to attend our seminars. However space is limited so if you would like to attend, please ring Sandra Smith at least 24 hours prior to the seminar on 0115 823 2634 to reserve a place. If Sandra Smith is unavailable contact Jan Kelly on 0115 823 2617 or contact reception on 0115 823 2600.

10 July 2017

Plasticity in the neural representation of language: Insights from hearing infants with Deaf mothers

Presenter(s): Dr Evelyne Mercure
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Hearing infants with Deaf parents (HoD) have a very different experience of language to that of hearing infants with hearing parents (HoH). They are generally exposed to language both in the auditory and visual modality, and are likely to experience a reduction in auditory spoken language. This study investigates the impact of language experience on brain representation for spoken and sign language in infancy. Three groups of hearing infants (4-7 months) were recruited: 31 HoD infants, 34 monolingual HoH infants and 28 bilingual HoH infants. Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) was used to study brain activation in response to sentences in infant-directed English and French (familiar and unfamiliar spoken languages), BSL and French Sign Language (familiar and unfamiliar sign languages). Results suggest strong activation to spoken language in the temporal cortex, which is influenced by language experience. In general spoken language elicit stronger/more left lateralised activation in monolinguals than HoD and HoH bilinguals, with a familiar language eliciting a stronger response than an unfamiliar language. Activation to sign language was found in a more restricted area of the cortex and was also influenced by experience. These results suggest early experience-dependent plasticity in the neural representation of language.

Bio

Evelyne Mercure is a research fellow at UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. She is interested in the early development of the brain representation for language and social perception. She is currently holding an ESRC Future Research Leader fellowship to investigate brain and cognitive development in hearing infants with a Deaf mother. She completed a PhD at Birkbeck with Mark H. Johnson and Fred Dick, as well as an MSc in Neuroscience and a BSc in Speech and Language pathologies from Universite de Montreal (Canada).

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05 July 2017

Lifestyle risk factors and impacts of sensorineural hearing loss in older adults

Presenter(s): Dr Bamini Gopinath
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Sensorineural age-related hearing loss is a frequent yet under-recognised health problem in older adults. Identification of risk factors and development of preventive strategies are needed to reduce its disease burden. In a large population-based cohort of adults aged 55+ years, we investigated lifestyle risk factors (smoking, diet and noise exposure) contributing to sensorineural hearing loss risk and its progression. Further, we determined the adverse impacts associated with hearing loss in the long term, including on quality of life, mental wellbeing, and functional independence. Our study findings show that we need to be cognisant of older adults who will experience hearing loss that may predispose them to various negative health outcomes. Findings from our study also suggest possible strategies to diminish the public burden of age-related hearing loss.

 

Bio

Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath is a Principal Research Fellow in Sensory Loss Epidemiology at the Centre for Vision Research, Westmead Institute, University of Sydney. Using large population datasets, Bamini has provided novel community-based evidence on the health determinants and health outcomes associated with sensory impairments, including hearing and vision loss. Her ongoing research in the public health field aims to translate key study findings into health policy and practice, with the intention of targeting current gaps that exist in Australian healthcare.

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14 June 2017

Tea for Tinnitus (12.30-1.30)/Deb Hall (1.30-2)

Presenter(s): Professor Deborah Hall
Time: 12.30-14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Please join us for Tea for Tinnitus between 12.30 and 1.30. Tea for Tinnitus is a fundraising campaign for the British Tinnitus Association, more details are available via their website: http://www.teafortinnitus.co.uk.

 

Tea for Tinnitus will be followed by Deb Hall’s Tanndorf Lecture, originally presented at the 1st World Tinnitus Congress and the XII International Tinnitus Seminar in Warsaw, Poland on 22 May 2017. The Tonndorf Lectures are a tradition of the International Tinnitus Seminars representing an occasion for reflection upon the present and future progress of tinnitus research and treatment and what the field needs to do in order to achieve success. The lecture recognises Professor Hall's contribution is the fact that she has made people think about tinnitus in an organised, systematic way.

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12 June 2017

Young people’s experiences of conductive hearing loss

Presenter(s): Dr Carmel Capewell
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Although the NHS promotes involving young people in their treatment options and ensuring that they understand their condition, the realities of clinical practice do not always make this easy or practicable. My area of research is on those children with ongoing Otitis Media (OM) and the ways in which research methods can be developed to gain insight into understanding their experience of the condition. In this seminar, two studies are discussed.

The first was a qualitative study aimed at encouraging young people (aged 10-14) to highlight the issues of importance to them in dealing with chronic OM. An adaptation of the Photovoice methodology was used for data gathering with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) providing an analysis tool. The decision was made to recruit through social media and personal networks to avoid linking the research with a particular context. As mothers are often the parent interfacing between healthcare professionals and their child their experience was also of relevance.  In the seminar the development of the methodology and the findings will be discussed with a specific focus on the themes relevant to clinical practice.

The second study was a mixed methods feasibility study involving children aged 3-7 years with OM with an aim of quantifying their understanding of speech in their daily life. Part of the impetus for this study was that there is a lack of empirical data from the child’s perspective (and the adults around them) as to the extent to which the fluctuation hearing loss effects their interaction with others. The project was called Hearing Maps with the intent that a pie chart could be constructed showing the percentage time a child spent in one of three conditions: Being able to understand all/most of what was said to them; Being able to understand some of what was said to them; Being able to understand little or nothing of what was said to them. This is a perceptual tool.

These are small scale studies but do demonstrate that by using novel methods, young people can provide surprising insights into their experience and what they would like to happen in dealing with their condition.

 

Bio

My interest in this topic is partly based on my own experience as a mother of two children, now adults, who continue to have episodes of OM with long-term hearing loss. The condition is usually perceived as being temporary so there are no support groups and very limited advice as to how parents can manage the condition. The first study was the basis of my PhD: The lived experience of Glue Ear: The voices of young people and mothers.

I am a Chartered Psychologist with an interest in the emotional and social aspects of hearing loss. Patient participation in health research is a growing area. Having spent more than 20 years in education, I am aware that health issues are often dismissed by educational professionals as outside of their remit. The new Special Educational Needs Code of Practice requires greater co-operation between educational and healthcare professionals, but lacks clarity as to how this will happen. Providing young people with self-advocacy tools and encouraging them to express their views is an area I wish to develop

 

 

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05 June 2017

Engagement with digital behaviour change interventions: conceptualisation, measurement and promotion

Presenter(s): Dr Olga Perski
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Although evidence suggests that digital behaviour change interventions (DBCIs) can help people change a range of different health behaviours, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and self-management of chronic conditions, “engagement” with DBCIs is typically low. This is accompanied by the observation of a positive association between engagement and, for example, successful smoking cessation, weight loss and increased fruit and vegetable intake. Although it is currently unclear whether or to what extent this relationship is confounded or subject to reverse causality, some form of engagement is considered necessary for DBCIs to be effective. As engagement is itself a behaviour, it is expected to respond to techniques found to be effective in changing other kinds of behaviours; however, an evidence-based model of how to promote engagement in practice is currently lacking. Progress in this area of research is hindered by the existence of multiple definitions and measures of engagement; this limits our ability to combine data from multiple studies to draw conclusions about what behaviour change techniques or design features are most effective in promoting engagement with DBCIs. Using smartphone applications for smoking cessation and alcohol reduction as case studies, the aim of my research is to gain a better understanding of how to conceptualise, measure and promote engagement with DBCIs through the use of a range of different methods (e.g. systematic reviews, think aloud methodology, focus groups, psychometrics, factorial randomised controlled trials). This talk will provide an overview of my research findings to date and next steps.

 

Bio

Originally from Stockholm, Sweden, Olga Perski obtained a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Bristol in 2014 and an MSc in Health Psychology at University College London in 2015. Due to a keen interest in the role of technology within health promotion and behaviour change, Olga sought the opportunity to write her MSc thesis about patterns of “engagement” with a novel smoking cessation smartphone application, which was awarded the British Psychological Society’s prize for Outstanding Thesis in MSc Health Psychology. Funded by Bupa under its partnership with University College London, Olga started her PhD in 2015 under the supervision of Professor Susan Michie, Professor Ann Blandford and Professor Robert West. Her PhD research is focused on the conceptualisation, measurement and promotion of “engagement” with digital behaviour change interventions, with a specific focus on smoking cessation and alcohol reduction smartphone applications.

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15 May 2017

Feasibility and Pilot Randomised Clinical Trials

Presenter(s): Trish Hepburn
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

The talk will discuss considerations when determining whether a feasibility/pilot trial is needed.  It will look at potential outcomes for such studies and whether they can be incorporated in larger trials.

 

Bio

Trish is statistician in the Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit, and has been in position for about a year and a half.  Prior to that she worked as a statistician in the pharmaceutical industry for many years.

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