Trainees

 

Nicola Taylor

I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology in Trinity College Dublin in June 2018. As a student I spent some time as a research assistant in Professor Richard Carson’s lab, assisting with projects investigating the connections between motor and cognitive functioning in old age, and the impact of brain stimulation on motor learning. My final year project focused on threat interpretation and attention in childhood worry. I will be starting my PhD in Dr. Naci’s lab in September 2018 – my research will involve using neuroimaging to gain insights into cognitive functioning in patients with disorders of consciousness. I also hope to investigate the effect of music therapy in this patient group, and to develop ethical guidelines around the sensitive issues of interpreting and communicating results from these paradigms in a clinical context. Broadly, I am interested in improving our understanding of the brain and the mind, and I’m excited to begin exploring these complex questions using novel techniques.

 

Julia Khaw

I graduated from Maastricht University in The Netherlands with MSc in Neuropsychology. I completed my master’s thesis at the University of Oxford where I worked on a project examining automatic imitation in elderly adults and stroke patients. I have also worked in an NHS acute mental health ward for women. I am presently working as an RA in Dr. Lorina Naci’s lab, investigating early biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. My research interests center on utilizing neuroimaging techniques in understanding neurodegeneration and brain injuries.

 

Feng Deng

I just finished my masters degree in School of Psychology, South China Normal University (SCNU). My previous research direction is applications of DTI technique on studies related to microstructural properties of brain white matter tracts and structure network of affective disorders and world class gymnasts. I am going to pursue my PhD study in Dr. Naci’s lab in Trinity College, Dublin starting from September, 2018. The future research for my PhD program involves finding the indicators of the dementia process in mid-life and identifying the targets of early intervention. I am also interested in computational psychiatry and I hope to be involved in some research in this field as well. Besides, I enjoy talking to other people to share some ideas.

 

Dawn Higgins

I recently completed my Masters in Psychological Science in UCD, having previously undertaken a BA in Psychology in Maynooth University. During my Masters I investigated older adult suicide prevention in conjunction with Pieta House. I am currently working as a research assistant in Dr. Lorina Naci’s lab, investigating early biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease. My research interests surround older adults and healthy aging generally. In the near future, I plan to undertake a PhD which is expected to focus on adapting neuropsychological assessment using a process based approach within individuals with dementia.

Mimma Anello

I’m Dr. Mimma Anello and I am currently a 2nd year resident in neurology at Western University. I completed my Bachelor of Medical Sciences with a honours specialization in physiology in 2013 and my medical school in 2017 both at Western University.  I started my research with Dr. Melvyn Goodale looking at size constancy in blind echolocators for my undergraduate thesis project.  Following this I worked with Dr. Lorina Naci and Dr. Adrian Owen where I helped with research that focused on discovering the neural correlates of consciousness. I was also involved with a project that investigated anesthesia induced unconsciousness. I am currently interested in movement disorders and have just joined the Dr. Penny MacDonald lab at the Brain and Mind Institute. In my spare time I love spending time with my dog Bravo and baking which is a passion of mine.

 

Leah Sinai

I completed my Master’s of Science in Psychology at the University of Western Ontario under the supervision of Dr. Lorina Naci and Dr. Adrian Owen from 2013-2015.  My thesis project, titled “Naturalistic paradigms for neuroimaging and bedside measures of conscious awareness” studied the brain’s response to audio and video clips, and compared the healthy brain’s response to the response of those with disorders of consciousness.  Both fMRI and Galvanic Skin Responses analysis were used in my thesis.  I am currently entering my 4th year of medical school at Schulich School of Medicine in London Ontario.  I plan to pursue family medicine as my future career path.

 

Tarun Daniel

I am a 4th year undergraduate student majoring in Biology and Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience at the University of Georgia. Under the supervision of Dr. Naci, I worked on a literature review regarding the diverging cognitive tracks of healthy aging and dementia. My current research at the Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at UGA involves analyzing anti-saccade task performance in schizophrenic patients using fMRI, as well as managing all data uploads and downloads to the central project server. After graduation, I hope to attend medical school and become a physician.

 

Katie Irwin

I am a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Georgia, studying Biology with a Neuroscience emphasis. I traveled to Dublin as an Honors International Scholar to work under Dr. Naci at the Global Brain Health Institute. Under Dr. Naci’s guidance and in collaboration with Tarun Daniel, I wrote a literature review concerning cognitive and structural neuroimaging markers that can potentially differentiate healthy brain aging and pathological Alzheimer’s disease-related processes in midlife. I plan to pursue an MD/PhD dual degree and conduct research on neurodegeneration, likely focusing on the molecular pathology of Alzheimer’s disease in order to identify new therapeutic approaches.

 

Amelie Haugg

I am a PhD student at the Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland and currently work on real-time fMRI neurofeedback and addiction. For my master’s thesis in Cognitive Neuroscience, I spent 9 months as a visiting graduate student at Western University, Canada. There, under the supervision of Lorina, I investigated functional connectivity during movie watching to identify patterns of conscious awareness in disorders of consciousness patients. Using a similar analysis approach, I was also involved in another project on functional connectivity under anesthesia.

 

Catherine Jordan

I am an experimental psychologist and an Atlantic Fellow at the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), Trinity College Dublin. I completed my BA in Psychology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. I then went on to complete a MSc in Human Cognitive Neuropsychology and PhD in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. Under the supervision of Professor Robert Logie, my PhD thesis explored two areas: working memory and music and the relationship between musical expertise and cognitive ageing. My research combine the areas of music and cognitive neuroscience. I am currently working with Dr. Lorina Naci to explore the brain mechanisms underlying the proposed benefit of personally meaningful music on the behavioural symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.

 

Niamh Duffy

I completed my undergraduate degree in psychology and English literature at Trinity College Dublin in 2018. I have been working for the summer with Dr. Naci to assist with the preparation of a grant proposal, reviewing literature in the areas of mindfulness, ageing and attention. In the future I hope to pursue postgraduate study in linguistics.

 

 

 

Vivian Jia

I graduated from Western University’s Bachelor of Medical Sciences program (class of 2012) with an Honors specialization in Physiology. I worked on a thesis project under Dr Naci’s and Dr. Owen’s supervision, during the final year of my undergraduate studies. We developed an fMRI paradigm to detect and measure attention in healthy participants. The ultimate goal was to measure attention and to communicate with patients who are behaviorally non-responsive. I am currently pursuing a medical degree at the University of Alberta School of Medicine. My work with Dr Naci has inspired me to continue along the neuroscience/neurology path during and after medical school.

 

Arnold Lee

I am a fourth year undergraduate student, about to embark on a journey to discover brain activation patterns in response to natural auditory stimuli. At the moment, I am interested in anything and everything as I have a lot to learn. One day I hope to climb a mountain, write a children’s novel, and most importantly, understand the brain a little better.

 

 

Ali El Hamouly

I am in my third year of my Biomedical Sciences program as part of the Honours specialization in Medical Sciences module at Western University. My current research involves studying whether or not patients (mis) diagnosed as vegetative state have the ability to orient themselves in space. My involvement in this project is part of my growing passion for the medical field and my aspirations to become a physician.