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Mayneord Phillips Summer Schools


Summer School 2001 - Physics and the Brain - Introduction


This Summer School will explore ways in which applications of physics are helping in the understanding of brain function, particularly sensory input and integration. It will approach the topic through the various techniques of measuring brain function (if you cannot measure it, you cannot know it . . .), moving on to embrace work in computer modelling,, and to devices which mimic brain function, such as sensory implants and robots. Despite the "physics" in the title, it is recognised that this field is essentially multidisciplinary and it is intended that the Summer School should reflect and encourage multidisciplinary synergy.

For such endeavour there is no finer location in the world than the scholarly environment of Oxford in summer.

Course Structure and Content

The Summer School will run from Sunday evening of the 8th July through to lunchtime Friday 13th July. As a fully residential course, some events will be scheduled in the evening. The fundamental characteristic of the course is involvement. Everyone will be encouraged to participate fully:from a brief "Hello, this is who I am and this is what I do" on the opening evening, through short presentations during the week, to a final "Look to the Future" presentation, which will be generated during the course. The basic structural element is a 90-minute session led by an Invited Speaker, with a lecture, that shades into discussion.Participants are encouraged to bring thoughts, ideas and problems arising from their own work, in addition to a 5-minute PowerPoint presentation.

Further details of the Course Programme are available here.

Who Should Attend?

The course will be given at postgraduate level, and we envisage the course being of primary benefit to two groups: One includes PhD students and new post-docs whose research area falls somewhere within the broad sweep of measurement, modelling or mimicking of brain function. The other comprises practising clinical scientists, active in one or more areas of the field, who want a better understanding of current techniques and progress, and wish to anticipate new developments. This is a broad and complex topic in which the synergy of a multidisciplinary approach is particulary valuable. The Summer School will encourage this approach. Each topic will be covered by an Invited Speaker who is a world authority in the field.

Objectives and Pre-requisites

The objectives of the Summer School are to provide a current overview of the field as a contextual background for the work of individuals participating; to encourage discussion and shared consideration of different approaches to understanding brain function; to generate a view on future developments in the field.Participants will be expected to have a sound basis in their own subject at honours degree level or equivalent, and to be active in the study of brain function in the broadest sense.

School Organisers and Facility

This is the fifth Mayneord Phillips Summer School. It is organised by Professor Colin Barber. Other faculty members will be:

  • Dr Gareth Barker (London, UK)
  • Dr Jack Belliveau (Boston, MA, USA)
  • Ms Rita Carter (UK)
  • Dr Tim Fryer (Cambridge, UK)
  • Dr Maati Hamalainen (Helsinki,Finland)
  • Prof Hanspeter Mallot (Tubingen, Germany)
  • Dr Roger Orpwood (Bath, UK)
  • Dr Harm-Jan Wieringa (hannover, Germany)
  • Prof Eberhart Zrenner (Tubingen, Germany)

St Edmund Hall

Named after St Edmund of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury (1234-40), who had taught there. St Edmund Hall is Oxford's only remaining medieval hall. From its ancient beginning, the Hall has become one of the largest and most distinguished colleges of the university.


The fully inclusive cost will be £795, to cover lecture notes, accommodation, breakfast, lunch, light refreshments and dinner Sunday evening through to Friday afternoon, including the formal Summer School Dinner on Wednesday evening. Accommodation for the previous Saturday and following Friday and Saturday nights can be arranged at modest additional cost if required.


The Mayneord Phillips Trust, through the generous sponsorship of IPEM, BIR and IoP, is able to offer a number of bursaries (maximum of up to 50 % of costs) to assist attendance at the school. These will be awarded by the Trustees on the basis of proffered contribution and need.


Applications must be received by April 30th, 2001. Numbers will be limited, so early application is encouraged. Applications from outside the UK are very welcome. To apply, download a PDF or Word 6 version of the application form and mail the completed form to Professor Colin Barber, Medical Physics Department, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, England

Our Sponsors

The Trustees of the Mayneord-Phillips Trust gratefully acknowledge financial support from Advanced Bionics Ltd, Grain House, Mill Court, Great Shelford, Cambridge CB2 5LD

Previous Summer Schools

Four Summer Schools have been held so far :

  • 1993 Medical Radiation Detectors
  • 1995 Lasers in Medicine
  • 1997 Ultrasound in Medicine
  • 1999 Medical Image Processing, Visualisation and Analysis
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