Higher Degree by Research 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
Language Competency English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
Date Institution name Country Title 2018 - 2018 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences (Honours) 2015 - 2017 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Psychological Science
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)
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