Clinical Neurophysiology & Memory
GROUP LEADER - Prof. Emrah Düzel
Address: Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AZ
Episodic memory enables humans to think back in time and re-experience particular events of their past. Our aim is to better understand how the neocortex and the limbic system interact during episodic memory formation and retrieval. We investigate this cortico-limbic cross-talk using brain imaging techniques such as magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencephalography (EEG), and magnetic resonance imaging and complement these studies with neuropharmacology. We are also interested in how biologically salient aspects of stimuli, such as their novelty, their emotional valence or their reward value, modulate cortico-limbic cross-talk and long-term storage. Finally, we study how local structural and/or metabolic brain dysfunction in the elderly and in patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders affect these aspects of episodic memory.
One clinical emphasis of this group is neurophysiological research in patients with epilepsy. Our goals are to characterize structural and functional reorganisation caused by epileptogenic lesions, to identify mechanisms of cognitive impairment and of functional compensation, and to develop new tools for the non-invasive characterization of epileptogenic zones. This work is closely integrated with existing projects of the Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy Unit at the Institute of Neurology.
This group also collaborates with the Centre for Advanced Imaging of the Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg , Germany . These collaborations include studies on memory-related plasticity in the limbic system on a newly acquired 7 Tesla MRI system in Magdeburg and the impact of genetic polymorphisms (for instance in dopamine inactivation pathways) on encoding and long-term plasticity.
- Dorothea Hämmerer
I studied Psychology and Musicology in Trier, Paris and Freiburg. In my PhD at the MPI for Human Development in Berlin, I investigated ERP indices of lifespan age differences in performance monitoring. In my current research I am trying to understand age-specific challenges in memory and decision making by examining age differences in concurrent brain processes related to neuromodulation. I employ midbrain imaging, pattern analyses on fMRI data, time frequency analyses on electrophysiological data and transcranial direct current stimulation. My current research interests are: - Lifespan age differences in performance monitoring and decision making - The role of dopamine and noradrenaline in cognitive ageing - Selective alteration of cognitive functions with non-invasive transcranial brain stimulation
- Clare Loane
Description of research: My research interests revolve around the combined use of high-resolution neuroimaging, cognitive paradigms and clinical neuropsychology to understand the underlying mechanisms of cognitive decline in neurodegenerative processes such as Alzheimer's disease. My current work on the MRC funded LiDO study, aims to assess the neuromodulatry role of the locus coeruleus in cognitive decline in early Alzheimer's disease and healthy ageing.