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Duchess of Cambridge makes surprise visit to UCL to meet with neuroscientists

The Duchess of Cambridge made a surprise visit to the University College London on Wednesday afternoon, where she visited the Psychology and Language Sciences Division to learn more about their work, especially as it pertains to children.

Kate has been hard at work on an Early Years Initiative that is speculated to be revealed in the new year. References to the programme have appeared lately in the Court Circular, with Kate hosting a Steering Meeting on Tuesday.

Professor Eamon McCrory led Kate around the facilities during her visit and told the Evening Standard that, “Our cutting-edge neuroscience research is shedding new light on how the brain develops in the early years. What we are learning has the potential to significantly improve the lives of children and their families.

“I am delighted and truly honoured that Her Royal Highness has shown such interest in our work and is supporting vital research in this area.”

Professor McCrory showed Kate the MRI technology and learned how the researchers are studying how early experiences shape brain function in young people.

Kate was overheard asking, “Is the idea as well that you follow the child you are looking at into adulthood? It would be really fascinating. The research in general, have they [the children and their families] got much understanding of the bigger picture?”

Kate expressed an interest in the MRI technology and revealed to the researchers that she’d studied psychology at St. Andrew’s, where she ultimately graduated with an Art History degree.

“It’s trying to translate the amazing research you are doing here into something that parents can understand,” Kate said.

“The Duchess is fantastic,” Professor McCrory said. “Her level of interest is extraordinary and she has a genuine interest and hunger to understand the science and really think about how the science can help us re-frame our approach to early years and help parents and families, and society, to understand the crucial importance of the first few years of life.”

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