Based at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, our research investigates the impact of nutrients, extracts and whole foods on brain function and psychological health and well-being. A key question of our work asks how can diet and nutrition support optimal brain health across the lifespan.
Our lab facilities were purpose-built for the testing of nutritional interventions in humans and we do so in accordance with good clinical practice (GCP) guidelines. Our 4 large testing labs contain individual testing desks which are divided to allow visual isolation from other participants.
The Computerised Mental Performance Assessment System (COMPASS) is a user-friendly platform for delivering cognitive tasks. See further details about the system below.
Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)
NIRS is a non-invasive neuroimaging technique, using infrared light to monitor cerebral blood flow. We have 2 NIRS systems: Continuous wave and frequency domain 'quantitative' NIRS.
Observed Multitasking Stressor
The OMS combines observation (by two researchers) with multi-tasking (verbal serial subtraction and tracking task), to provoke a physiological response as assessed by heart rate and GSR, and increased subjective ratings of stress.
Oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide production can be measured from expired pulmonary air using our on-line gas analysis system and this data used to calculate total energy expenditure, fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
Trans-cranial dopplersonography (TCD)
TCD is a non-invasive method of measuring cerebral blood flow velocity from the basal intra-cerebral vessels through the intact skull. TCD can be combined with other neuroimaging devices such as NIRS.
Our key area of expertise is assessing the effects of nutritional supplements on cognitive function in humans; from children through to older adults. We do this using our own task delivery system COMPASS.
COMPASS currently comprises over 20 cognitive tasks; many based on traditional assessments, which measure attention, vigilance, working-, spatial- and secondary memory, executive function, mood and tasks which induce cognitive demand. COMPASS tasks have been well validated, with hundreds of published journal articles evidencing their sensitivity to a range of nutritional interventions.
A smart-phone cognitive and mood assessment application, which allows participants to complete assessments outside of the laboratory during nutritional supplementation period.
Our excellent facilities and resources are designed to meet the high demands required for fully auditable controlled-trial research.
We store all information in accordance with GDPR regulations and will remove your details, at any time, upon request. We will only use the information you provide to contact you about Northumbria University research studies and will not pass on these details to any third party organisations.
recent KEY PAPERS
The BPNRC has an extensive publication history, encompassing the last 20 years, below is a selection of some of our recent key papers. Our full publication list is also included below.
Haskell CF, Kennedy DO (2013) Vitamins, Cognition, and Mood in Healthy Nonelderly Adults. In Scholey AB (Ed) Advances in Natural Medicines, Nutraceuticals and Neurocognition. Taylor Francis, pp 105-136
Kennedy DO (2009) Herbs affecting the Central Nervous System. In (Eds) Mukherjee PK, Houghton PJ. Evaluation of Herbal Medicinal Products – Perspectives of Quality, Safety and Efficacy, Pharmaceutical Press, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London, UK