Cognition and brain connectivity in psychosis
- Research Opportunity
- PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
- Number of Honour Places Available
- Royal Melbourne Hospital
|Prof Christos Pantelisemail@example.com||Personal web page|
|Ms Cassandra Wannanfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Summary The aim of this project is to determine whether impairments in episodic memory, attentional set-shifting, and spatial working memory are related to disrupted brain connectivity (as measured by MRI-derived structural covariance; see Wannan et al, 2019) in key regions associated with performance on these tasks in individuals with first-episode psychosis.
Individuals with schizophrenia typically experience cognitive deficits that impact on their ability to function independently (Pantelis, Wannan, et al, 2017). It has been hypothesized that the cognitive deficits observed in individuals with schizophrenia are related to disruptions in the brain regions and neural circuits that underpin higher-order cognitive abilities, involving memory and executive abilities. The brain regions implicated involve especially the frontal and temporal lobes (including medial temporal structures) and their connections. The aim of this project is to determine whether impairments in episodic memory, attentional set-shifting, and spatial working memory are related to disrupted brain connectivity (as measured by MRI-derived structural covariance; see Wannan et al, 2019) in key regions associated with performance on these tasks in individuals with first-episode psychosis. Given that cognitive deficits are one of the strongest predictors of functional impairment in schizophrenia, identifying the particular networks involved in these abilities may be an important first step towards identifying potential underlying mechanisms or treatment targets for cognitive deficits that lead to impaired functioning in psychosis.
The student will be responsible for conducting a literature review of the area, the development of the proposal and generation of specific study hypotheses, as well as segmentation of cortical and subcortical brain structures, and statistical analysis.
- Pantelis, C.*, Wannan, C.*, Bartholomeusz, C. F., Allott, K., & McGorry, P. D. (2015). Cognitive Intervention in Early Psychosis – Preserving abilities versus remediating deficits. Current Opinion in Behavioural Sciences, 4(Themed issue on Cognitive Enhancement (Ed. B. Sahakian & A. Kramer)), 63-72. doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2015.02.008
- Wannan, C. M. J., Cropley, V. L., Chakravarty, M. M., Bousman, C., Ganella, E. P., Bruggemann, J. M., Weickert, T. W., Weickert, C. S., Everall, I., McGorry, P., Velakoulis, D., Wood, S. J., Bartholomeusz, C. F., Pantelis, C.*, & Zalesky, A.* (2019). Evidence for Network-Based Cortical Thickness Reductions in Schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry, 176(7), 552-563. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.18040380
Faculty Research Themes
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PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
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Research NodeRoyal Melbourne Hospital
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