Dr Pascal Molenberghs
Research Field: Psychology
Our brain as the most complex of human organs, is involved in everything we think, feel and do. But as usual, it is only when things go wrong – for example, as a result of a brain injury – that we appreciate the magic of our brain and what it does for us. The last few decades have seen significant progress in our understanding of basic brain process involved in vision, attention, and language. But when it comes to complex social processes such as empathy and understanding others mindsets, there is still a lot we do not know. Dr Molenberghs uses brain-imaging methods, to study the “social brain” and how it can fail in patients with brain injuries. By learning more about the underlying neural causes, he hopes to ultimately guide new strategies for improved social functioning after brain injury.
Pascal is passionate about engaging the general public with brain research. He has initiated press releases and engaged with the business community in neuroscience research. He is currently collaborating with the company Neuresource which translates fundamental neuroscience research into practical applications for businesses. This year he has also developed the Australasian Social Neuroscience Society website and currently organising a scientific meeting for Australasian Social Neuroscience. Pascal has also been involved in research fundraising for the stroke unit at the Royal Brisbane Hospital.