Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC)

The Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC) is the most advanced multi-modal brain research facility in the South West and represents a sea-change in research capability in the field of human neuroscience.
The integration of world-leading expertise and technology in our cutting-edge brain research laboratories places the University of Plymouth at the forefront of the exploration of human brain structure and function in health and disease.
The partnership between the University of Plymouth, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust and DDRC Healthcare is central to our wider aim of delivering rapid improvements to health and wellbeing from the regional to the global scale.
Postgraduate courses in Brain Research are now available: MSc Human Neuroscience 

Laboratories

BRIC has seven cutting-edge brain research laboratories, including the most advanced 3-Tesla MRI facility in the region. The facilities are co-located with a new DDRC Healthcare development, which includes lecture theatres to align research and teaching and the most advanced hyperbaric chamber technology in the UK. 

“A diverse range of internationally excellent researchers in the field of neuroscience underpins the University of Plymouth’s strong track record in brain research. We ask important questions that draw upon expertise from the single molecule to the whole human, explore the basic mechanisms of cognition and behaviour and apply advanced computational methods to improve our understanding of the brain in health and disease.

"I am confident that BRIC will enable us realise our aim of translating our world-leading research into outcomes that improve the lives of everyone, locally, nationally and internationally.”

Stephen Hall
Director of the Brain Research & Imaging Centre
Professor of Human Neuroimaging, University of Plymouth

<p>Professor Stephen Hall, Director of BRIC</p>

Research at BRIC

Discover some of the exciting research taking place in our cutting-edge laboratories. You can also view our research in action on our You Tube channel or sign up to participate in a study by completing the form in the participation section below.
<p>Home-based Parkinson's care - Getty Images</p>

Parkinson’s Disease Research

Researchers from the BRIC Motor Control Laboratory and the Faculty of Health are working together to develop new treatments for the motor-symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Professor Edgar Kramer leads the University’s Parkinson’s Research Group that looks at the development and maintenance of the nervous system at a molecular and cellular level. This is crucial to understanding Parkinson’s, a disease characterised by the premature death of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. Professor Kramer and his team are seeking to understand the causes and mechanisms that lead to nerve cell deaths.

Participate in our research

Volunteering for a study at the Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC) will put you at the forefront of brain research. You'll experience a scan using our cutting-edge neuroimaging equipment and contribute to the field of neuroscience by helping us to better understand the brain and underlying causes of neurological conditions.
If you would like to participate, please complete our sign up form here.
Completing the form does not obligate you to take part and our researchers will contact you directly when relevant studies begin recruitment. Please note that BRIC researchers are not medically trained and cannot offer any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment following participation in a research study, nor will you be provided with a copy of the images. All images are anonymised and stored on a secure database, which is accessible by our researchers for scientific research only.

<p>MRI&nbsp;</p>

Data protection privacy notice

The University of Plymouth will process your personal data in accordance with data protection regulations. By submitting your details you consent to the University processing your personal data in order to send you information in accordance with the preferences you indicated on the sign up form. 

You may withdraw this consent at any time by contacting BRIC here

For more information about our Data Protection Policy, your rights, and raising a concern about how your personal data is processed, click here.

Publications

  • Darmani G, Bergmann TO, Butts Pauly K, Caskey CF, de Lecea L, Fomenko A, Fouragnan E, Legon W, Murphy KR & Nandi T 2021 'Non-invasive transcranial ultrasound stimulation for neuromodulation' Clinical Neurophysiology 135, 51-73, DOI Open access

  • Abdulhamid H, Jäger N, Schnädelbach H & Smith A 2021 'Room to breathe: Using adaptive architecture to examine the relationship between alexithymia and interoception' Journal of Psychosomatic Research 153, DOI Open access

  • Folloni D, Fouragnan E, Wittmann MK, Roumazeilles L, Tankelevitch L, Verhagen L, Attali D, Aubry J-F, Sallet J & Rushworth MFS 2021 'Ultrasound modulation of macaque prefrontal cortex selectively alters credit assignment–related activity and behavior' Science Advances 7, (51), DOI Open access

  • Inkster A, Milton F, Edmunds CER, Benattayallah A & Wills A 2021 'Neural correlates of the inverse base-rate effect' Human Brain Mapping, DOI Open access

  • Smith A & De Lillo C 2021 'Sources of variation in search and foraging: A theoretical perspective' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, DOI Open access

  • Smith A, Priestnall G & Cross J 2021 'Supporting spatial orientation during route following through dynamic maps with off-screen landmark persistence' Spatial Cognition and Computation, DOI Open access

  • Anil K, Hall S, Demain S, Freeman J, Ganis G & Marsden J 2021 'A Systematic Review of Neurofeedback for the Management of Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease' Brain Sciences 11, (10) 1292-1292, DOI Open access

  • Schlegelmilch R, Wills A & von Helversen B 2021 'A Cognitive Category-Learning Model of Rule Abstraction, Attention Learning, and Contextual Modulation' Psychological Review, DOI Open access

  • Seabrooke T, Mitchell C, Wills A, Inkster A & Hollins T 2021 'The Benefits of Impossible Tests: Assessing the Role of Error-Correction in the Pretesting Effect' Memory and Cognition, DOI Open access

  • Pavlov YG, Adamian N, Appelhoff S, Arvaneh M, Benwell CSY, Beste C, Bland AR, Bradford DE, Bublatzky F & Busch NA 2021 '#EEGManyLabs: Investigating the replicability of influential EEG experiments' Cortex Publisher Site, DOI Open access

  • Mehesz E, Karoui H, Strutton PH & Hughes SW 2021 'Exposure to an Immersive Virtual Reality Environment can Modulate Perceptual Correlates of Endogenous Analgesia and Central Sensitization in Healthy Volunteers' The Journal of Pain 22, (6) 707-714, DOI Open access

  • Lopez-Persem A, Roumazeilles L, Folloni D, Marche K, Fouragnan EF, Khalighinejad N, Rushworth MFS & Sallet J 2020 'Differential functional connectivity underlying asymmetric reward-related activity in human and nonhuman primates' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117, (45) 28452-28462, DOI Open access

  • Baxter R & Smith A 2020 'Searching for individual determinants of probabilistic cueing in large-scale immersive virtual environments' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Publisher Site, DOI Open access

  • Trudel N, Scholl J, Klein-Flügge MC, Fouragnan E, Tankelevitch L, Wittmann MK & Rushworth MFS 2020 'Polarity of uncertainty representation during exploration and exploitation in ventromedial prefrontal cortex' Nature Human Behaviour 5, (1) 83-98, DOI Open access

  • Wittmann M, Fouragnan E, Folloni D, Klein-Flugge M, Chau B, Khamassi M & Rushworth M 2020 'Global reward state affects learning and activity in raphe nucleus and anterior insula in monkeys' Nature Communications 11, (1) 0-0, DOI Open access

  • Botvinik-Nezer R, Holzmeister F, Camerer CF, Dreber A, Huber J, Johannesson M, Kirchler M, Iwanir R, Mumford JA & Adcock RA 2020 'Variability in the analysis of a single neuroimaging dataset by many teams' Nature 582, (7810) 84-88, DOI Open access

  • Hughes SW, Basra M, Chan C, Parr C, Wong F, Gomes S & Strutton PH 2020 'Capsaicin-Induced Changes in Electrical Pain Perception Threshold Can Be Used to Assess the Magnitude of Secondary Hyperalgesia in Humans' Pain Medicine, DOI Open access

  • Hughes SW, Ward G & Strutton PH 2020 'Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation over the primary motor cortex attenuates capsaicin‐induced dynamic mechanical allodynia and mechanical pain sensitivity in humans' European Journal of Pain 24, (6) 1130-1137, DOI Open access

  • Ward E, Ganis G, McDonough KL & Bach P 2020 'Perspective taking as virtual navigation? Perceptual simulation of what others see reflects their location in space but not their gaze' Cognition 199, 104241-104241, DOI Open access

  • Hughes SW, Hellyer PJ, Sharp DJ, Newbould RD, Patel MC & Strutton PH 2020 'Diffusion tensor imaging of lumbar spinal nerves reveals changes in microstructural integrity following decompression surgery associated with improvements in clinical symptoms: A case report' Magnetic Resonance Imaging 69, 65-70, DOI Open access

  • Prokic E, Woodhall G, Williams A, Stanford I & Hall S 2019 'Bradykinesia is driven by cumulative beta power during continuous movement and alleviated by GABAergic modulation in Parkinson’s disease' Frontiers in Neurology, DOI Open access

  • Gaetz W, Rhodes E, Bloy L, Blaskey L, Jackel CR, Brodkin ES, Waldman A, Embick D, Hall S & Roberts TPL 2019 'Evaluating motor cortical oscillations and age-related change in autism spectrum disorder' NeuroImage 207, 0-0, DOI Open access

  • Hughes SW, Hellyer PJ, Sharp DJ, Newbould RD, Patel MC & Strutton PH 2019 'Diffusion tensor imaging reveals changes in microstructural integrity along compressed nerve roots that correlate with chronic pain symptoms and motor deficiencies in elderly stenosis patients' NeuroImage: Clinical 23, 0-0, DOI Open access

  • Fouragnan EF, Chau BKH, Folloni D, Kolling N, Verhagen L, Klein-Flügge M, Tankelevitch L, Papageorgiou GK, Aubry J-F & Sallet J 2019 'The macaque anterior cingulate cortex translates counterfactual choice value into actual behavioral change' Nature Neuroscience 22, (5) 797-808, DOI Open access

  • Folloni D, Verhagen L, Mars R, Fouragnan E, Constans C, Aubry J-F, Rushworth MFS & Sallet J 2019 'Manipulation of subcortical and deep cortical activity in the primate brain using transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation' Neuron, DOI Open access

Installation of the Siemens Prisma MRI scanner

As the centrepiece of one of seven laboratories based at BRIC, the MRI scanner is equipped with multiple additional brain imaging technologies, to provide the first multi-modal MRI facility in the region. It is capable of measuring signals simultaneously from more than one imaging technique – allowing researchers to gather more data more quickly than with just one scan. The scanner was installed in October 2020.
Read the related news article
 

The partnership

This project is a unique £9 million collaboration between the University of Plymouth, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHPNT) and the research charity DDRC Healthcare. This partnership represents an important commitment to advancing excellence and synergy between research, healthcare and education.

University of Plymouth

The University is a top-20 UK university for psychology, neuroscience and psychiatry with 83% of the University’s research output rated world-leading or internationally excellent in the REF2014.

DDRC Healthcare

With Care Quality Commission registration and a long-established reputation for delivering treatment, training and research in hyperbaric medicine, DDRC have an excellent track record of providing clinical services for the NHS, treating around 100 patients a year.

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHPNT)

UHPNT is the largest hospital in the south west peninsula, providing comprehensive secondary and tertiary healthcare and is fast becoming a leading centre for medical research, enabling patients to have access to the latest technologies, treatments and care by world opinion leaders in their respective fields.

Opportunities for commercial collaboration

BRIC’s cutting-edge research facilities and world-leading expertise across a range of disciplines will present attractive commercial opportunities, particularly in the areas of healthcare, sports and pharmaceuticals, to support the real-world application of advanced skills and techniques.

For enquiries or further information please contact: bric@plymouth.ac.uk

<p>Gary Smerdon</p>

“Every aspect of this project will allow DDRC Healthcare to grow and develop. It is a true collaboration that consolidates our many years of working with the University of Plymouth and the NHS. The co-location of neurological research excellence, state-of-the-art imaging facilities and a hyperbaric medical centre will move us to the forefront of international research and training.”

Dr Gary Smerdon
Chief Executive, DDRC Healthcare

<p>Dr Lucy Lee</p>

“Our patients will be scanned on a state-of-the-art 3T MRI scanner. This means improved diagnosis and treatment, and improved access to timely imaging. Moreover the project will allow our patients to participate in more clinical research trials than they have previously had access to.”

Dr Lucy McGavin
Consultant Neuroradiologist, UHPNT
  

<p>BRIC map with directions v6</p>

BRIC Contact Details

Brain Research & Imaging Centre, C/O Hyperbaric Medical Centre, Research Way, Plymouth Devon PL6 8BU. what3words: Bright.Green.Daisy