Sabrina Sghirripa

Miss Sabrina Sghirripa

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

PhD Candidate

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

PhD Candidate (Medicine), Lifespan Human Neurophysiology Group

My research involves using non-invasive brain recording techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the neurophysiological changes that underlie cognitive ageing. I am particularly interested in the role of neural oscillations during complex cognitive processes such as working memory and attention, as well as how lifestyle factors influence cognitive and neural function in late life.

Research Project 1

Title: Brain Rhythms, Lifestyle and Cognitive Performance in Normal Ageing

Project Description: Advancing age is associated with a progressive decline in cognitive performance, even in the absence of pathology such as Alzheimer’s disease. However, much less is known about the neurophysiological underpinnings of cognitive performance in normal ageing and how lifestyle factors mediate this change. The neurons of the brain communicate via synapses, and when large populations of neurons fire in synchrony, this can be measured as rhythmic activity using electroencephalography (EEG). These brain rhythms subserve a range of cognitive and behavioural processes, and change in power and frequency with age. In particular, brain rhythms in the alpha frequency band (~8-12Hz) are thought to play an important role in orchestrating neural activity during cognitive processes such as working memory and attention. Although alpha rhythms tend to slow down and reduce in amplitude with increasing age, little is known about how these changes, along with lifestyle factors, contribute to cognitive decline. Therefore, this project will examine the association between the alpha brain rhythm, lifestyle influences and cognition in healthy older adults.

Projects available for: Third year
Location: SAHMRI; AHMS (Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building, North Tce)
Research project start: Semester 1 and 2

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2020 Sghirripa, S., Graetz, L., Merkin, A., Rogasch, N., Ridding, M., Semmler, J., & Goldsworthy, M. (2020). The role of alpha power in the suppression of anticipated distractors during verbal working memory. bioRxiv.
    2019 Sghirripa, S., Graetz, L., Merkin, A., Rogasch, N., Semmler, J., & Goldsworthy, M. (2019). Load-dependent modulation of alpha oscillations during working memory encoding and retention in young and older adults.


2019: Research Training Program Stipend

2018: Adelaide Medical School Honours Scholarship. $4000

2015: The University of Adelaide Principal's Choice Award. $5000

Tutor, Marker and Practical Demonstrator for HLTH SC 3201: Human Motor Behaviour and Learning (2019, 2020)

Placement Supervisor for Research Placement Part 1: HLTH SC 3009A (2020)

Placement Supervisor for Research Placement Part 2: HLTH SC 3009B (2020)

Lab Demonstrator for ANAT SC 1120 : Human Anatomy and Physiology IA (2020)

Lab Demonstrator for ANAT SC 1130: Human Anatomy and Physiology IB (2020)

  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - ongoing Co-Supervisor How Brain Oscillations Shape Working Memory Capacity The University of Adelaide Bachelor of Health and Medical Science (Honours) Honours Jay Manion

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External Profiles