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.
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.
Research projects using our rich, neuropsychological database are available for ILP, Medicine (Hons), Masters or Doctorate in Clinical Neuropsychology, or PhD Studies.
Dr Ilana Hepner
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
Kelly Jeng, Clinical Doctorate Student, Macquarie University
Premilla Chinnappa-Quinn, PhD student, UNSW