Neuropsychology

About the Group: 

The Neuropsychology Group was established as part of the Neuropsychiatric Institute in 2001 and has become an important part of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing. We are actively involved in research investigating the associations between memory and other areas of cognition with brain structure, genetics, bilingualism, medical comorbidities, inflammatory markers and falls in the older adult population.

The Neuropsychology Group has grown into a major resource for the investigation of various cognitive disorders, and the expertise of the specialist neuropsychologists is sought by clinicians and researchers. We are equipped with an extensive range of neuropsychological test materials, including traditional paper-and-pencil tests and computerised formats.

We have collected extensive neuropsychological data from three large cohorts of older adults – The Memory and Ageing Study (MAS), The Sydney Centenarian Study (SCS) and The Older Australian Twin Study (OATS). More than 2000 subjects ranging in age from 65 to 100+ have undergone longitudinal assessments using a large number of well-validated psychometric measures.  These unique datasets will be used to create much needed normative data for older adults which will be extremely valuable in clinical and research settings by enhancing diagnostic accuracy of mild neurocognitive disorders and dementia. We have developed our own in-house computerised test battery called ‘Sensus’ which is being validated as a brief cognitive assessment tool. Sensus includes Simple and Complex Reaction Time tests, the well-known Stroop Test with an additional set-shifting trial, and a visuospatial associative memory test. Sensus can be self-administered with minimal supervision required. Scoring is automatic for most tests and the test data is generated by the computer program.

Aims

Our research aims to advance scientific knowledge in relation to the cognitive changes occurring in the brain in normal ageing, mild neurocognitive syndromes and dementia using neuropsychological methods.

Opportunities

Research projects using our rich, neuropsychological database are available for ILP, Medicine (Hons), Masters or Doctorate in Clinical Neuropsychology, or PhD Studies.

Staff

Dr Nicole Kochan

Dr Teresa Lee

Professor Perminder Sachdev

Dr John D Crawford

Dr Amanda Miller-Amberber

Dr Ilana Hepner

Collaborators

Professor John R Crawford, University of Aberdeen, School of Psychology, UK

Professor David Bunce, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, UK

Associate Professor Julie D Henry, School of Psychology, Queensland University

Professor Kaarin J Anstey, Centre for Research on Ageing, Australian National University

Associate Professor Greg Savage, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University

Students

Kelly Jeng, Clinical Doctorate Student, Macquarie University

Premilla Chinnappa-Quinn, PhD student, UNSW

Funding acknowledgements

Dementia Collaborative Research Centre, UNSW
NHMRC Early Career Research Fellowship (Dr Nicole Kochan)

 

 

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