UCL Psychology Summer School

21st July 2016

Recently, a select few Year 12 students from around the country stepped through the doors of University College London.

Hearing from specialised professors on a range of topics including ‘the importance of early development’ which explored the effect that development has on learning languages. A child’s brain is like a sponge; it is highly neuroplastic but as you get older you undergo synaptic pruning whereby the connections in your brain that aren’t used are trimmed off to make the connections that are used stronger. This influential psychological research has had real life application within government policy making language lessons compulsory for children aged 7-11 in all primary schools.

We were also actively involved in a live research experiment investigating lateralization of the brain. Using a Doppler ultrasound machine we measured the rate of blood flow in particular areas of the brain; higher levels of blood flow suggests there are higher levels of synaptic transmission therefore you can identify the area of the brain that is more active by monitoring the blood flow in specific areas.

Lastly it was a great opportunity to collaborate within groups on an area of psychology we were particularly interested in, to formulate our ideas and have them cross examined by our peers. The prize giving at the end is always something to look forward to!

The week long psychology summer school programme is an invaluable experience for anyone in Year 12 who seeks to immerse themselves in knowledge, prepare for what life is like in university and would also be a great addition to your personal statement.

I would definitely recommend!

Anna Main (Year 12)

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