Brain & Cognition Lab (Nobre Lab)
I am a DPhil student in the Brain and Cognition Lab, supervised by Prof Kia Nobre and Dr Nahid Zokaei, and funded by the MRC.
I am broadly interested in memory and attention. More specifically, I am interested in how the striatum and the hippocampus contribute to different memory functions, and how these contributions change with the development of neurodegenerative conditions that cause memory disruptions, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. I use both behavioural and neuroimaging methods to investigate these topics.
I am currently working on a project that uses behavioural methods to investigate memory functions in healthy young and older individuals in relation to the apolipoprotein E gene. One variant of this gene is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. I am also developing behavioural tasks that use naturalistic objects and scenes to test working memory and long-term memory performance, and the effects of attention on memory. I hope to use these tasks for testing at-risk and clinical populations.
I hope that this research will help us to understand both early and longitudinal changes in memory functions in neurodegenerative conditions. This could lead to earlier detection and diagnosis of these conditions, which would allow for early treatment interventions to be more effective in slowing disease progression.
Prior to starting my DPhil I was a research assistant in the Brain and Cognition Lab working on studies investigating the effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on cognition and the brain in healthy and pathological ageing. I completed my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews, supervised by Prof Julie Harris.
I am interested in open science, public engagement, and in developing better ways of effectively communicating science.
Cognitive training in the elderly: bottlenecks and new avenues
Zokaei N. et al, (2016), Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience