Brittany Child

Miss Brittany Child

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

PhD Candidate

School of Psychology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


I am a second-year PhD student in the Cognitive and Neural Sciences Lab. Broadly speaking, my PhD research investigates neurocognitive function in disorders characterised by abnormalities in dopamine, with a focus on Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. Currently, I am involved in several wider research studies that examine decision-making impairments in both disorders, with the aim of mapping these abnormalities to the basal ganglia model of action selection. I am supervised by Dr Irina Baetu, Dr Lyndsey Collins-Praino, and Professor Nicholas Burns.

During my undergraduate studies, I completed research internships at both the University of Adelaide (with Prof Martha Augoustinos) and the University of South Australia (with Dr Hannah Keage). Currently, I am employed as a tutor and marker in the School of Psychology and am a student representative on the School's Research Committee.

My academic and research skills have been recognised through multiple awards and scholarships, including the Australian Psychological Society’s Prize for Best Honours Thesis in 2017.

My current research focuses on decision-making impairments in Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia, with the aim of mapping these abnormalities to the basal ganglia model of action selection. I am particularly interested in the relationship between cognitive and motor dysfunction; to this end, my research also explores whether different patterns of motor dysfunction co-occur with and predict specific patterns of cognitive decline. This research may inform assessment tools and protocols used in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders known to have both cognitive and motor components (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, stroke, TBI, schizophrenia).

Poster presented at the 2019 Florey Postgraduate Research Conference.

Poster presented at the 2019 Annual Florey Postgraduate Research Conference (September 2019).

Poster presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (June 2019).

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2019 Tutor University of Adelaide
    2018 Marker University of Adelaide
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2019 Award School of Psychology Prize, Florey Postgraduate Research Conference University of Adelaide Australia $200
    2019 Scholarship WASAA Group Travel Scholarship Embassy of France, Australia France $3125
    2018 Scholarship Complex Human Data School Travel Scholarship University of Melbourne Australia $500
    2017 Award APS Prize in Psychology Australian Psychological Society Australia Nil
    2017 Scholarship Vacation Research Scholarship University of South Australia Australia $2400
    2017 Scholarship The University of Adelaide Honours Scholarship University of Adelaide Australia $5000
    2016 Award Roby Fletcher Munn Prize for Psychology III University of Adelaide Australia $200
    2016 Award The CB Martin Prize for a Philosophy Major University of Adelaide Australia $500
    2015 Award Norman Munn Prize for Psychology II University of Adelaide Australia $200
    2015 Scholarship Summer Research Scholarship University of Adelaide Australia $1200
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2014 - 2017 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Psychology (1A Honours)
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2019 - 2019 New Trends in Information Technologies IMT Atlantique France
    2018 - 2018 Complex Human Data Summer School University of Melbourne Australia
  • Research Interests

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  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2019 Child, B. D., Baetu, I., Collins-Praino, L., & Burns, N. (2019). Reinforcement learning in Parkinson’s disease: Do motor symptoms predict performance?. Poster session presented at the meeting of 28th Annual Meeting of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society. Cairns, Australia.
    2019 Child, B. D., Baetu, I., Collins-Praino, L., Salamon, J., & Burns, N. (2019). Reinforcement learning in Parkinson's disease: Do motor symptoms predict performance?. Poster session presented at the meeting of Florey Postgraduate Research Conference. Adelaide, Australia.
    2018 Child, B. D., Baetu, I., & Burns, N. (2018). Watch and learn: Identifying optimal conditions for learning. Poster session presented at the meeting of The University of Adelaide Undergraduate Research Conference. Adelaide, Australia.
    2018 Child, B. D., Baetu, I., & Burns, N. (2018). Watch and learn: The effects of time delays and interfering events on our ability to learn. Poster session presented at the meeting of Florey Postgraduate Research Conference. Adelaide, Australia.
    2018 Child, B. D., Baetu, I., & Burns, N. (2018). Individual differences in working memory capacity predict performance on an associative learning task. Poster session presented at the meeting of Australian Psychological Society Congress. Sydney, Australia.
  • Position: PhD Candidate
  • Phone: 83130012
  • Email: brittany.child@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Hughes, floor 2
  • Room: 2 45
  • Org Unit: Psychology

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