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Mr Nathan Beu

Nathan Beu
Higher Degree by Research Candidate
PhD Candidate
School of Psychology
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

I am undertaking a PhD in biological psychology and cognitive neuroscience under the supervision of Professor Nicholas Burns and Dr Irina Baetu.

The goal of my research is to highlight the neural substrate (neurogenetics and physiological structures and their pathways - particularly those connecting frontal regions to the basal ganglia) that underlie the cognitive and psychomotor mechanisms involved in higher-order cognition, intelligence, and motor control, and to test theoretical neural networks that might subserve these functions using computational modelling, genotyping, EEG, neurostimulation techniques (TMS/tDCS), and behavioural/cognitive testing. The cognitive processes that I target are those affected by psychiatric dysfunction or pathological degeneration, such as response inhibition and cognitive control.

Additionally, my research attempts to identify where such mechanisms can be separated into discrete psychonomic processes, and how those processes concatenate into the target mechanisms. Where existing psychometric tasks are limited in precision or ability to distinguish closely-related functions, we develop and program novel ones.

More broadly, I am interested in the biological processes and psychometrics of individual differences in intelligence, and investigating potential targets for interventions to enhance cognitive and motor functions in healthy individuals, and to offset cognitive and psychomotor decline associated with disease states.

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External Profiles

Mr Nathan Beu

I am undertaking a PhD in biological psychology and cognitive neuroscience under the supervision of Professor Nicholas Burns and Dr Irina Baetu.

The goal of my research is to highlight the neural substrate (neurogenetics and physiological structures and their pathways - particularly those connecting frontal regions to the basal ganglia) that underlie the cognitive and psychomotor mechanisms involved in higher-order cognition, intelligence, and motor control, and to test theoretical neural networks that might subserve these functions using computational modelling, genotyping, EEG, neurostimulation techniques (TMS/tDCS), and behavioural/cognitive testing. The cognitive processes that I target are those affected by psychiatric dysfunction or pathological degeneration, such as response inhibition and cognitive control.

Additionally, my research attempts to identify where such mechanisms can be separated into discrete psychonomic processes, and how those processes concatenate into the target mechanisms. Where existing psychometric tasks are limited in precision or ability to distinguish closely-related functions, we develop and program novel ones.

More broadly, I am interested in the biological processes and psychometrics of individual differences in intelligence, and investigating potential targets for interventions to enhance cognitive and motor functions in healthy individuals, and to offset cognitive and psychomotor decline associated with disease states.

Broadly, I investigate individual differences in cognitive functions and intelligence. Recently, this has taken the form of working toward a formal cognitive and biopsychometric model of response inhibition and cognitive control.

I use three primary methods to investigate such individual differences; to establish whether these cognitive mechanisms can be separated into constituent parts and how they relate to other, similar cognitive processes and psychological factors; and, to instantiate them in network and disease models of the brain and behaviour:

  1. The development and validation of novel tasks, and the use of well-established ones, to measure and assess performance
  2. The use of computational models and simulations
  3. Exploring the biological and neurophysiological substrate of these functions - such as genes, and through the use of neurostimulation and EEG - and how it modulates them

Appointments

Date Position Institution name
2016 Tutor University of Adelaide
2014 Lab Assistant University of Adelaide
2013 - 2015 Research Assistant University of Adelaide, Adelaide

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
2013 Scholarship University of Adelaide Undergraduate Research Scholarship University of Adelaide

Education

Date Institution name Country Title
2016 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
2012 - 2015 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons, First Class)

Postgraduate Training

Date Title Institution Country
2018 Investigating neural substrates of perception and cognition with large-scale data Allen Institute for Brain Science United States
2018 Computational Neuroscience Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin Germany

Research Interests

Journals

Conference Items

Year Citation
2018 Beu, N. D., Burns, N. R., & Baetu, I. (2018). Polymorphisms in dopaminergic genes predict proactive inhibition in a Go/No-Go task. Poster session presented at the meeting of Behavior Genetics Association Meeting. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Boston, USA.
2018 Beu, N. D., Burns, N. R., & Baetu, I. (2018). Polymorphisms in dopaminergic genes predict proactive inhibition in a Go/No-Go task. Poster session presented at the meeting of Forum for European Neuroscience Societies Forum of Neuroscience. Berlin, Germany.
2017 Beu, N. D., Burns, N. R., & Baetu, I. (2017). Polymorphisms in dopaminergic genes predict proactive inhibition in a Go/No-Go task. Poster session presented at the meeting of Experimental Psychology Conference. Newcastle, Australia.
2016 Beu, N. D., Burns, N. R., & Baetu, I. (2016). tDCS differentially modulates response inhibition processes disturbed by disease. Poster session presented at the meeting of Florey Postgraduate Conference. Adelaide, Australia.

2017 - Present
Individual Differences, Personality, and Assessment (Level 3)

Preparing and delivering tutorials; grading assessment pieces; consultation.

2016
Health and Lifespan Development Psychology (Level 3).
 
Preparing and delivering tutorials, SGDEs, workshops, and seminars; grading research proposals and reports; consultation.  

2016, 2018
Learning and Behaviour (Level 3).
 
Preparing and delivering tutorials and learning material; delivering a seminar on mathematical and neurological models of learning and attention; grading reports; consultation.  

2016 - Present
Psychology 1A (Level 1).
 
Moderating intelligence and psychometrics lectures and flipped classrooms; grading assessment pieces.  

Committee Memberships

Date Role Committee Institution Country
2017 - ongoing Director Adelaide Postgraduate Student Association University of Adelaide Australia
2017 - ongoing Board Member Health Sciences Postgraduate Association University of Adelaide
2015 - ongoing Representative School Committee University of Adelaide

Memberships

Date Role Membership Country
2017 - ongoing Member Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society Australia
2017 - ongoing Co-Chair Brain and Cognition Group Australia
2017 - ongoing Co-Founder EEG Club Australia

Presentation

Date Topic Presented at Institution Country
2018 - 2018 Age moderates the genetic effect of why we make simple errors and how we correct them The Laboratory of Neural Computation and Cognition Carney Institute for Brain Science, Brown University United States
2018 - 2018 Limitations and new directions for investigating response inhibition The Laboratory of Neural Computation and Cognition Carney Institute for Brain Science, Brown University United States
Position
PhD Candidate
Phone
83133401
Campus
North Terrace
Building
Hughes, floor 2
Room Number
2 06
Org Unit
Psychology

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