Lab Talk: Microbes on the Mind

Home > Lab Talks > Lab Talk: Microbes on the Mind

Louise Whiteley & Adam Bencard
25th March at 9.30
IxD Lab

Associate Professor Louise Whiteley from the University of Copenhagen, Medical Museion and the National Institute of Public Health, and Adam Bencard, co-curator of the Mind the Gut exhibition at the Medical Museion will join us to discuss the implications of emerging research on the mind/gut connection. This is part of our Gut Feeling project where we’re attempting to design self-tracking tools that can reflect the new knowledge that our mental states are influenced by the bacteria in our gut.

Louise has just begun the project: “Microbes on the Mind: Public Perceptions of the Implications of Microbiome Research for Mental Illness”, funded by the Velux Foundation Group Awards. “Over the past decade, a new health science research area has emerged along with a spectacular insight; the trillions of bacteria living in our intestines seem to play an important role in the brain’s development and condition. The research results have prompted researchers to examine the role of intestinal bacteria in several mental conditions and disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, stress, and autism. Research has already been ‘released’ by the laboratories and attracts great media attention as well as among patients and therapists. Therefore, there is also a need for humanistic based research and researchers that ask: how does this research change our cultural perception of mental disorders and the treatment? ‘Microbes on the Mind’ explores cultural perception across three analytical domains; science, culture/media and personal experiences. The project also includes a series of open, experimental workshops at the ‘Mind the Gut’ exhibition at the Medical Museion, designed to test and further develop the analysis.”