I am a NHMRC Dementia Research Leadership Fellow at UniSA. My work primarily relates to understanding how cognitive performance changes in late-life, and risk and protective factors for late-life dementia. Current projects include tracking cognitive consequences (including delirium) of cardiovascular procedures in older-adults; the neural implementation of cognitive reserve, whereby individuals are differentially susceptible to age- and dementia-related brain changes; and, assessing associations between cardiovascular health, cerebrovascular functioning and cognitive performance in older adults.
I am an NHMRC Dementia Research Leadership Fellow at UniSA. My research interests include the investigation of vision and attention-related aspects of ageing and dementia. I aim to understand how people at risk of dementia see and navigate the world and how this changes over time – with the prospects of translating the gained knowledge to the design of dementia-friendly environments and refinement of eye movement measures as a biomarker of cognitive decline.
I work across a wide variety of areas including electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (TCD) and behavioural studies. My main research focus is on sleep disorders in children, the associated effects on health and cognition and improving modes of treatment. I have a background in polysomnography and physiology.
I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and a clinical psychologist. My research focuses on reducing the incidence and impact of cancer. I am is particularly interested in understanding cancer-related cognitive impairment and developing ways to reduce the problems in memory, attention and executive functioning experienced by many cancer survivors.
I am a Research Fellow in the UniSA Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA) research group in the School of Health Sciences and a CAIN affiliate. As an early career neurophysiologist my research vision is to reduce age-related disability in older adults through applying novel sustainable and enjoyable interventions and exploring the nexus between physical activity, brain function, and cognitive health. I have a strong interdisciplinary track record spanning the fields of neurophysiology, exercise physiology, and cognitive neuroscience. I am currently investigating the role of physical activity for brain health in older adults at risk of dementia.
I am a postdoctoral fellow. The main focus of my research is uncovering the neural mechanisms of healthy ageing and dementia. I utilize a variety of advanced computational methods including biophysical modeling and graph theory and analyse electroencephalogram (EEG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) data. My current research projects are: (1) investigating the association of functional brain connectivity and cognitive reserve and (2) categorizing young and old resting-state functional brain networks.
I am a postdoctoral research associate responsible for developing CAIN’s eye-tracking and virtual reality research programme. My research spans several different projects, such as: examining eye movements in people that have cognitive impairments, using virtual reality to assess the transferability of real-world skills, and investigating the cognitive aftereffects of using virtual reality for extended periods of time. I also have an interest in the application of eye-tracking in virtual reality and developing new eye-tracking analysis software for complex environments.
Delirium is a serious neurocognitive disorder experienced by approximately 25% of older adults after popular cardiac procedures. It is characterised by acute and fluctuating disturbances in attention, arousal, and cognition; with consequences including 2-5 fold increased dementia risk, higher mortality and risk of cognitive impairment. Functional connectivity between brain regions are a requirement of cognition and consciousness, and whilst it is hypothesised that breakdown in connectivity precedes delirium, there is little supporting empirical data. Therefore, my PhD will use electroencephalogram (EEG) functional connectivity and other EEG measures including mismatch negativity to predict delirium presence and severity in older patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).
Supervisors: A/Prof Hannah Keage and Dr Bahar Moezzi
I am currently a first-year PhD student within the CAIN Lab and my main research interest centres on how cerebrovascular functions change with ageing and how they relate to cognitive functioning. Specifically, my research will focus on the link between blood pressure variability and cerebrovascular function in order to better understand cognitive ageing.
My research centres around the association between spatial attention and fatigue in the healthy brain. Specifically, I will be investigating the neural mechanisms that lead to a shift in spatial attention as a result of mental fatigue and under which conditions this shift is evident, through employing prolonged cognitive tasks and conducting sleep restriction studies. I will also use electroencephalography (EEG) to measure alpha band activity as an index of mental fatigue and eye tracking devices to measure the direction of eye movement.
Supervisors: Dr Tobias Loetscher, Dr Siobhan Banks and Dr Hannah Keage
I have a broad interest in how we change both cognitively and physiologically throughout ageing. My research investigates how we could decrease future dementia risk in older adults undergoing elective cardiovascular surgery. Specifically I will be using cognitive training regimes to attempt to minimise the cognitive deficits caused by post-operative delirium (occurring in up to 50% of patients), as delirium greatly increases future dementia risk.
Supervisors: Dr Hannah Keage and Dr Ashleigh Smith
Apathy is a commonly reported symptom in older adults residing in aged care and may be associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline. Reminiscence therapy, a powerful way of providing a connection with a person’s past, has demonstrated results in improving mood symptoms and quality of life. My research will focus on reducing levels of apathy, combining both reminiscence therapy and immersive virtual reality.
Supervisors: Dr Tobias Loetscher and Dr Hannah Keage
I am a clinician, interested in exploring the relationships between depression and dementia, particularly their neuropsychological profiles. I have just started and am currently writing my proposal.
Supervisors: Dr Hannah Keage and Dr Tobias Loetscher
Over 12,000 patients undergo cardiovascular surgery in Australia every year, with older patients increasingly undergoing these procedures. There is limited current evidence suggesting that these patients are more vulnerable to cognitive decline. My research investigates the short and long-term cognitive effects of cardiovascular surgeries in the older population, and what biomarkers (gait speed, rate of eye-blinking and electroencephalogram/EEG power spectrum) predict response.
Supervisors: Dr Hannah Keage and Dr Tobias Loetscher
I am interested in the link between nutrition and successful cognitive ageing. My research focuses on the Mediterranean diet, and its potential to improve cardiovascular health, protect cognitive function and reduce risk of dementia. To assess changes in cardiometabolic and cognitive function following adherence to a Mediterranean diet I will be conducting three randomised clinical dietary intervention trials at the Sansom Institute for Health Research, collaborating with CAIN and the UniSA Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA).
Supervisors: Dr Karen Murphy and Dr Hannah Keage.
Honours & Master Students 2019
I am undertaking my Honours year in psychology, with a focus on the after effects of Head Mounted Display Virtual Reality on balance. I am excited to be continuing the exploratory work of those in the CAIN laboratory using Virtual Reality systems.
I am also passionate about supporting young people's mental health through both direct support and advocacy.
My Honours project will involve participants from Danielle Greaves' current PHD project, who undergo Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) surgery and a 12-week home-based cognitive training intervention. My thesis will investigate factors that may influence adherence to this cognitive training intervention, which commences 1-month post-surgery. My supervisors are Dr Hannah Keage and Dr Amit Lampit (U Melbourne).
I am currently completing my fourth year in Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience) and am undertaking my Honours within the CAIN Laboratory at UniSA. For my Honours thesis I will be investigating the effect of cognitive reserve on brain structure and function, and will be looking at findings on neuroimaging (MRI).
I am in my final year of a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at UniSA, conducting my thesis with the CAIN group under the supervision of Dr Tobias Loetscher and Dr Ancret Szpak. My research will be examining cognitive after effects of being exposed to a virtual reality environment.
I am a fourth year Psychology student undertaking my Honours year in the CAIN research group. My project will focus on typeface in children and it’s relatedness to intellectual ability and reading fluency.
I am currently completing my Honours year of my Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) with CAIN. I will be working with Dr Tobias Loetscher and Dr Ancret Szpak to explore the use of Virtual Reality in mindfulness.
I am a student in the Master of Clinical Psychology program at the University of South Australia and a Research Fellow at Flinders University. I have been working with people with dementia for many years across clinical and research contexts. I am interested in the health services available for people with dementia, especially those with young onset dementia or psychiatric comorbidities, as well as dementia epidemiology. I have a particular interest in the role of psychological trauma and its ongoing impacts in late life and after the onset of dementia.
Research Assistants, Summer Scholars and Interns
We often have opportunities to be involved in our ongoing research projects. Please contact us if you are interested in gaining research experience in our lab.
I recently completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) during which I undertook a thesis that focused on motivated cognition in response to numerical data presented in mainstream online news articles. My interests span across a range of psychological areas including environmental psychology and neuropsychology, along with judgement and decision making. At the CAIN Lab I am involved in exploring the cognitive consequences of cardiovascular surgeries, with a particular focus on delirium prevalence rates following coronary artery bypass grafting
I have taken on a voluntary role within the lab to assist in CAIN laboratory projects, where I specifically use psychophysiological and cognitive measures to assess ageing processes and neurological impairment. I have a passion for clinical research and using science to help improve quality of life; volunteering within the CAIN lab allows me to be an active participant in this process.
In addition to this role I also work as a sleep scientist, both research and clinical, and I am currently studying a Masters in Public Health.