Review: How the Brain Works Workshop

In September, I was lucky enough to attend the ITIMedNet workshop that took place at Royal Holloway College near London. This location had a very special meaning for me on a personal level, as my grandmother read biochemistry at Royal Holloway at a time when very few women had access to higher education.

Royal Holloway College

The workshop took place over two days, with presentations by leading scientists in the field of neuroscience, practical workshops and plenty of time for networking.

This was the first ITIMedNet workshop that I attended, and I was particularly impressed by the calibre of the speakers. Despite neuroscience not being one of my areas of expertise, I was able to follow all three presentations and learnt a great deal. Subjects covered included how we comprehend speech, what happens when areas in the brain dedicated the speech understanding and production are damaged, and the effect external influences have on our ability to produce speech (ever lose your train of thought because someone else started speaking?). Sandra has a more detailed discussion of the presentation on The Deep End blog.

I also felt that the practical translations sessions were very beneficial. As someone who is still relatively new to the world of translation, I found it very interesting to listen to more experienced colleagues discussing the finer points of the texts that we were given to work on. The texts themselves were carefully selected, with plenty of technical terminology and interesting phrases for us to unpack.

The areas of the brain we focused on

Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area are key for producing and understanding speech

The organisers also put together a rich social programme, which allowed us to make the most of the weekend with colleagues. The visit to Holloway Sanatorium, now converted into luxury housing, led by former nurse who had worked there, was a particular highlight. The gala dinner, held in the Royal Holloway picture gallery, was also very enjoyable and a great opportunity to network with colleagues.


There are very few translation events geared towards medical translation specifically, and one of the major benefits of the ITIMedNet workshops, in addition to the excellent CPD, is the opportunity to meet other medical translators at different stages of their career. I am already looking forward to the next one!


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