International Flavour to 7th Visceral Mind Summer School

The Visceral Mind Summer School, in the School of Psychology at Bangor University this September again attracted a large number of very highly qualified and motivated applicants from all over the world for the 50 available places. The summer school, now in its 7th year, continues to be popular with ambitious young researchers keen to share in Bangor Psychology’s world leading expertise in the field of cognitive neuroscience. It was founded with the support of the James S McDonnell foundation and now runs with the support of Bangor’s School of Psychology. The primary aim of the course is to redress an inadequacy ofVM 2016 Participants & FacultyVM 2016 Participants & Facultyneuroanatomical knowledge in young neuroscientists and give students the opportunity to experience the working with directly with Human Brain specimens.

Course Director Prof Oliver Turnbull said: “This is now the 7th running of the Visceral Mind Summer School, bringing many excellent academics to Bangor to study neuroanatomy. Sharing this knowledge not only spreads scientific ability, but also puts the School of Psychology’s (and Bangor University’s) research excellence on the map. “

As well as contributions from several Bangor faculty (Inc. Visceral Mind founder and Bangor Emeritus Professor Bob Rafal), Prof Turnbull was also joined by visiting academics Dr Alan Watson (Cardiff University), Dr Nils Muhlert (Manchester University) and Dr Michel Thiebaut de Schotten ( L'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière, Paris), and Dr C. Harker Rhodes, MD, PhD, National Institute of Mental Health (US).

The course is structured to teach the functional neuroanatomy of the human brain, through demonstrations of the effects of brainParticipants paying close attention to Dr C Harker Rhodes during a practical sessionParticipants paying close attention to Dr C Harker Rhodes during a practical session lesions in neurological patients, and the integration of these observations with clinical neuroimaging and neuroanatomy labs. The programme included Hands-on Brain anatomy sessions, patient case conferences, lectures/presentations including illustrating the brain, the Brain in 3D and special dissection techniques. 

“Visceral Mind has been a unique an inspirational experience for me. Having the possibility to see the brain, touch it, orienting in its anatomy, and see clinical patients helped me in learning neuroanatomy and having insights about it. I really appreciated the drawing classes also”. (Sara Basso Moro, University of Padova, Italy)

Over the past 7 years this course has attracted students from many countries across the world including Malaysia, Argentina, Cuba, Italy, France, Spain, Lithuania, South Africa, Singapore, Canada, Israel, Germany, the Netherlands and the Slovak Republic with students from developing countries being given priority for admission. This has enabled graduates of the programme to learn cutting edge research techniques and knowledge developed at Bangor to their home countries to support research in these crucial neurological issues worldwide. We were particularly delighted that Dr Tsee Leng Choy from HELP University’s large School of Psychology in Kuala Lumpur was able to attend the course, deepening the relationship between the departments who already have articulation agreements in place.

“Visceral Minds was an unforgettable course! Holding a real brain, dissecting and trying to find all the structures – so interesting! The course being so international was also a fantastic opportunity to share the experience and see what people are up to at all the parts of the world!” (Margarita Blazevica, University of Hull). 

The School is already looking forward to organising the 8th Visceral Mind Summer School in 2017. If you would like to be placed on a priority mailing list for 2017 please email


Publication date: 16 September 2016