News Archive

Intelligence Over Time - The Association for Psychological Science

Posted on: Wed, 9 Mar 2016

A talk given by Professor Ian Deary has featured in an article titled 'Intelligence Over Time' on the The Association for Psychological Science (APS) website. This was Ian's 'James McKeen Cattell Fellowship Award' address for the lifetime achievement in phychological research. You can read the full article and view the video of the talk here: Intelligence Over Time

Mr Scott Meets his Brain

Posted on: Wed, 3 Feb 2016

The National Museum of Scotland have unveiled a new exhibit, John Scott's brain. 


LBC1936 participant, Mr John Scott saw his brain for the first time yesterday at the National Museum of Scotland's Collections Care Centre. STV and the LBC team were there to witness Mr Scott seeing a 3D print of his living brain, taken from MRI data captured as part of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (LBC1936) study.  The 3D print will go on display in the museum this summer, along with a stunning representation of Mr Scott's white matter (tractography) etched in crystal glass.  When asked how he felt about having his brain on display in the National Museum, Mr Scott said "It's great, I told my grandchildren, when I'm not here, you can go and see my brain!"


Dr Simon Cox, MRC Imaging Fellow on the LBC1936 study, said "I am used to looking at brain images on the computer day-to-day, but seeing a real model of the brain’s white matter connections in glass and the outer surface of the brain like this is a unique experience – they are incredibly striking objects". 

The brain imaging in LBC1936 is overseen by CCACE Group Leaders Professor Joanna Wardlaw and Dr Mark Bastin of Edinburgh Imaging and suported by funding from Age UK and the MRC.  The 3D models of the brain surface and white matter were developed by Dr Mark Bastin and Dave Liewald in collaboration with Sophie Goggins, Assistant Curator of Biomedicine at the National Museum of Scotland and the Edinburgh College of Art (3D printed model).  

You can learn more about the exhibit and Mr Scott in an NMS blog by Sophie Goggins


Fast Facts at Your Fingertips

Posted on: Mon, 25 May 2015

The DMind study is highly complex. It has a compelling background. It has achieved a large number of highly noteworthy outputs for both scientific and lay audiences, has run across decades and multiple waves, and still has a huge amount of potential. Explaining all this to someone who has never heard of it before can be no mean feat. In order to make it easier to convey the scope of the study, we have developed a Fast Facts Card; a credit card-sized concertina leaflet containing study information over 12 panels, appropriate for interested scientists and lay-people.

If you would like copies of the Fast Facts Card to distribute at conferences or public engagement events, please get in touch by email: lbc1936 at

A Fast Facts PDF file is also available for download (pdf).


Posted on: Tue, 4 Nov 2014

A new study led by CCACE member Dr Thomas Bak (pictured right, with his daughter), reveals that bilingualism has a positive effect on cognition later in life. See the story on the BBC.

The study, examining 835 participants, shows that those who speak two or more languages were better on some cognitive tests than would be predicted from their performance in such tests at age 11.

A positive effect of bilingualism (including a delay in the onset of dementia) has been reported in previous studies, however it has proven difficult to determine whether people improve their cognitive functions through learning new languages or whether those with better baseline cognitive functions are more likely to become bilingual. The Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 allowed the CCACE researchers to address this question for the first time. This study shows the effect of speaking more than one language is independent of age 11 cognition.

No negative effects of bilingualism were observed in any group. “These findings are of considerable relevance”, says Thomas Bak. “Millions of people around the world acquire their second language later in life. Our study shows that bilingualism, even when acquired in adulthood, may benefit the aging brain.”