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Niall Mcloughlin


  • Honorary Senior Lecturer (Teach and Res), Optometry
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Personal profile

Research interests

Brain Imaging

The cerebral cortex of the human brain is required for conscious recognition of the world and appreciation of the richness of sensory input that the sense organs, eyes, ears, touch and smell provide. The cortex is also essential for reacting to such inputs. Our understanding of how the cerebral cortex functions is growing rapidly as research on the brain has increased in recent years; however, much remains unclear. Continued research is essential if we are ever to try and combat the many devastating diseases of the cerebral cortex of man.

My research is designed to increase our knowledge of the visual areas of the cerebral cortex by determining how patterns of neuronal activity in these regions relate to physical stimulation. We have already found that small regions of the cortex can be affected by stimuli presented far away from their preferred locations.

My current research examines how other cortical areas may be involved in this effect and we hope that this work will advance our knowledge on how different parts of the brain talk to one another. We can now construct computer models that mimic the responses of units within the cerebral cortex; these models will be used to explore what features are critical for the cortex to function normally. Many of the findings will help us to understand the organisational principles of the cerebral cortex as a whole.

Once a clear understanding of normal cortical function is achieved, it will be easier to define what factors lead to cortical malfunction in particular disease states and to determine what therapeutic approaches can be used to correct or compensate for the diseased elements.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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