We welcomed back Dr Sutton to deliver his highly informative and engaging neuroscience workshops to Upper Sixth Form (Year 13) Psychology and Biology students across two days.

I was particularly impressed with how engaged and inquisitive our Cranleighans were as they excelled in the rigours of higher education by diligently engaging in a full day of lectures. The psychologists listened attentively and were constantly challenged to consider the findings of contemporary scientific research in relationship to the material they have learnt. They ruminated on the effects of child abuse and how space travel affects the structures and processes of the brain. They engaged in lively discussions on the ethical issues of scientists growing cerebral organoids in petri dishes and at what point these cerebral organoids potentially develop consciousness.

The Academic Lecture Theatre was abuzz as Dr Sutton spent an hour performing a sheep brain dissection whilst emphasising which structures of the brain are responsible for specific functions and behaviours – it certainly wasn’t for the squeamish.

In addition to the workshops, Dr Sutton delivered an evening lecture to our Lower Sixth Form (Year 12) students on the effects drugs have on the brain. Students were provided with informative scientific evidence of how illegal substances affect the structures and functionality of the brain and how adolescents are at an increased risk to these harmful chemicals as a result of the developmental changes their brains are undergoing. Many students were fascinated by the talk and stayed behind to question Dr Sutton further and have an increased interest in their own health and well-being.