Brain, performance and nutrition research centre


Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre

The Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre (BPNRC) has earned an international reputation for its research into the effects of nutritional interventions on behaviour. Under the leadership of its director: Professor David Kennedy, and associate directors: Dr Crystal Haskell and Dr Emma Stevenson, the BPNRC has firmly established itself at the forefront of nutritional neuroscience research. Our huge portfolio of controlled trials include fundamental investigations assessing the neurocognitive effects of the most basic units of brain fuel – oxygen and glucose – as well as investigations of the cognitive mechanisms and mood effects of herbal extracts, nutraceuticals and food supplements and a range of projects that have examined the psychopharmacology of commonly consumed everyday substances such as caffeine, social drugs, and even chocolate!

The Research Centre is located in a new, purpose built, specialist unit with state-of-the-art testing facilities and provides a supportive environment for researchers and students. We encourage collaboration and have excellent links with departments in other universities both in the UK and abroad as well as connections with local, UK and global industry working together to conduct cutting edge research of broad relevance. The BPNRC has contributed to hundreds of peer-reviewed journal publications and our scientists are frequently invited to present work at major national and international conferences making this centre a world leader in nutritional neuroscience research.

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Facilities & Research

We’re housed in a specialist laboratory and office space that was purpose designed to allow the flexibility for conducting multiple simultaneous controlled trials of cognitive function and mood, including optional EEG and Near Infrared Spectroscopy. Our range of computerised cognitive assessment tools include our own COMPASS assessment battery, and Internet and mobile phone testing technology.

These capabilities are complemented by a range of ‘in house’ in vitro assays and access to specialist Performance, Energy Metabolism and Appetite labs.


Our policy throughout has been to conduct research to the very highest standards. This can be seen in our portfolio of publications in peer-reviewed journals and books. Many of these are in the highest impact Journals in the relevant fields.

Visit our publications sorter to view the publications and browse by author, topic or testing paradigm.


Our people include a number of full time research staff, PhD researchers, and technicians, and academics with a broad range of specialities in nutrition, neuroscience and exercise/metabolism. Of course, as part of a 4* psychology department, we can also call on a wealth of brain sciences expertise within the institute

Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
4th Floor, Northumberland Building
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

t: 44 (0) 191 243 7252

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