Photo 1 A team of students and staff from the School of Psychology and the Institute of Health and Wellbeing has won the MVLS 2019 Engagement award for their public engagement activity Connecting Through Music. The initiative, led by Dr Satu Baylan and funded by a Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship to 4th year Psychology undergraduate student Šimon Hanzal, focused on the therapeutic use of music in neurological conditions. The activities allowed visitors to learn how music is processed in the brain, to contribute to research on music preferences and the use of music to influence mood.
Photo 2 Dr Raphaelle Quillet will be hosting her seminar 'RFRP-3/NPFF1R is a pronociceptive system involved in the development of hyperalgesia induced by opiates and inflammatory pain' here on Thursday 23rd January at 4pm. This will be taking place in the Wolfson Link building, seminar room 361. All are welcome. Abstract: RFRP-3 and NPFF belong to the family of so-called RF-amide. In mammals they are involved in the modulation of several functions including pain and nociception. They target two different G-protein coupled receptor subtypes called NPFF1R and NPFF2R, respectively. However the respective role of these two receptors is unclear and the study of their functions in vivo is severely limited by the lack of highly selective antagonists. In this work, we describe the identification of small compounds that display high affinity and selectivity NPFF1R as well as potent antagonist activity in vitro. We then showed that one of them -RF3286- efficiently and selectively blocks RFRP-3 induced hyperalgesia, indicating that this compound is a useful pharmacological tool to study the in vivo functions of NPFF1R and its endogenous ligand RFRP-3. Pharmacological blockade of NPFF1R with RF3286 prevented the development of pain hypersensitivity and analgesic tolerance induced by chronic administration of morphine revealing that NPFF1R/RFRP-3 system is critically involved in neuroadaptation associated with administration of opiates. These results were further confirmed in NPFF1R knockout animals. Moreover, we observed the expression of NPFF1R and RFRP-3 transcripts by fluorescent in situ hybridization in the dorsal horn of spinal cord, indicating that this receptor/peptide system can modulate nociception in part by spinal mechanism. We further observed that cells expressing NPFF1R transcripts were also MOP positives (50%) and DOP positives (20%), suggesting a direct modulatory role of NPFF1R on the action of opioid. Finally, we observed an increase of NPFF1R positive cells in dorsal horn of spinal cord of CFA-treated animals compared to saline controls suggesting a potential role of this system in inflammatory pain. In agreement with these data, we further showed that pharmacological blockade of NPFF1R with RF3286 can efficiently reverse hyperalgesia induced by CFA injection. Altogether, our data allowed us to identify NPFF1R/RFRP-3 as a pronociceptive anti-opioid system and further suggest that antagonists of this receptor might represent interesting therapeutic tools to limit the development of OIH and analgesic tolerance associated with chronic opioid administration as well as hyperalgesia induced by inflammatory pain.
Photo 3 Congratulations to Phil McAleer who has been announced as one of just 18 new Software Sustainability Institute Fellows by The Software Sustainability Institute! These new research software ambassadors represent some of the best people working in – and advocating for – better research software. As well as University of Glasgow, the 2020 Fellows come from 16 research institutions across the UK, including the British Trust for Ornithology, Imperial College London, Lancaster University, Loughborough University, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, The Alan Turing Institute, The British Library, University College London, University of Bristol, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, University of Sussex and University of York. The new cohort includes representatives from ten of the research fields in the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) principal subject codes, including Medicine and dentistry; Biological sciences; Physical sciences; Mathematical sciences; Engineering and technology; Computer science; Mass communications and documentation; Historical and philosophical studies; and for the first time Veterinary science, Agriculture and related subjects.
Photo 4 University of Glasgow’s School of Psychology alumna Moa Schafer has been shortlisted as a finalist at the British Education Awards 2020 in recognition of her outstanding academic results and extracurricular success. Moa, who has been shortlisted within the ‘Degree’ category, graduated from the University of Glasgow with a first-class joint honours degree in Psychology and Business and Management in 2019. The British Education Awards distinguishes and celebrates individuals who have demonstrated excellence in the British education system and the award highlights how success comes down to personal endeavour and engagement. During her time at the University of Glasgow, Moa was acknowledged as one of the most disguised first-class students in Psychology and was nominated by the School of Psychology as the most outstanding graduate in the College of Social Science. Alongside her studies, Moa held various leadership positions in a number of societies, projects, and fundraisers. One of the stand-out contributions during her undergraduate degree was her head shave cancer fundraiser. Moa pledged that if she raised £1,000 for cancer research, she would shave off her 57cm long hair and donate it to a charity that makes wigs for children with chronic hair loss. By the end, she had doubled her initial target - raising a total of £2,296 in just a month. The fundraiser also led to Moa being recognised as one of the University of Glasgow’s official ‘World Changers’. This year’s British Education Awards ceremony will be held in Manchester on the 30th January 2020.
Photo 5 The next Mental Health and Wellbeing research group meeting will be on Wednesday 15th January at the Meeting Room from 13.00-14.00. We are delighted that Ms Betul Tatar will give us an overview of mindfulness and discuss recent findings from the Healthy Cognition Lab. This would be a great start to the discussions in the new year. Please see the abstract below. Mindfulness: A critical and practical introduction Over the past few decades, mindfulness has become a buzzword in daily conversations, a powerful tool in psychotherapy, and a popular topic for scientific investigation, especially in the context of mental health and wellbeing. But what exactly is mindfulness, and is there scientific evidence to back up the ‘hype’ around its effects? In this talk, I will outline background scientific information, with a focus on the challenges of defining and measuring mindfulness. I will provide an overview of recent evidence on the effects of mindfulness, also sharing findings from our lab on the mechanisms of a brief mindfulness-based technique. My talk will include practical mindfulness exercises that can be used in daily life.
Psychology at the University of Glasgow is rated very highly for research and teaching.
In the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework, Psychology at Glasgow was ranked #1 in research intensity (jointly with UCL) according to the Times Higher Education. We earned the highest grade possible (4*) for a very high proportion (44%) of research. For teaching, we are consistently ranked 1st in Scotland and in the top 5 in the UK in national league tables, such as #2 in the 2015 Guardian Universities Guide.
The Subject Area of Psychology spans two colleges:

-  the College of Science
   and Engineering

-  the College of Medical,
    Veterinary and Life Sciences
January 31st 2020, 15:30

Prof Stacy Marsella
from the Institute of Neuroscience & Psychology, University of Glasgow
(invited by INP/SoP)
February 7th 2020, 15:30

Professor Zoe Kourtzi
from the University of Cambridge
(invited by )