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Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

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Clinical Neurophysiology & Memory

Clinical Neurophysiology and Memory group investigates how the neocortex and the limbic system interact during episodic memory formation and retrieval. The group is led by prof Emrah Düzel.

Emrah Düzel

Group Leader

 

e.duzel@ucl.ac.uk

+44 20 7679 1148

Emrah Duzel

Clinical Neurophysiology & Memory Research

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.

Epilepsy

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.

Collaborations

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.

Group Members

Post-Doctoral Research Fellows

Elif Kurt

Elif Kurt

I work on the project “Assessing the role of the noradrenergic locus coeruleus in healthy ageing and early Alzheimer's disease” which is investigating age- and dementia-related changes in cognitive functions. Specifically, the project acquires neuroimaging data and neuropsychological as well as behavioral test data which examine functional changes in brain structures first affected in dementia. 
 

PhD Students 

Snehal Pandya

 

snehal.pandya.13@ucl.ac.uk


I was awarded my BSc Honours degree in Psychology from Brunel University London, and MSc in Clinical Neuroscience from UCL Institute of Neurology.  Since completing these degrees, I have worked at Imperial College London on numerous interventional and observational research studies investigating Alzheimer's disease, dementia prevention, and healthy ageing.  These were single-site and multi-site studies sponsored by leading pharmaceuticals. I have worked on all trial aspects, including trial set-up and close-out, regulations, patient recruitment, clinical and cognitive assessments, data monitoring, coordination, and management.  

My research interest is in the neuropsychology and neuroscience of memory in disease.  My PhD project compares retrospective MRI data from the DZNE DELCODE initiative on Alzheimer's disease, with prospective MRI data from cognitive-COVID patients.  I will use graph theory to test the hypothesis that brain network topology is altered in pre-dementia Alzheimer's disease and in cognitive impairment as part of long-COVID.  The possibility that COVID-19 infection may be a risk factor for future dementia emphasises the importance of studying both conditions together.  This project is supervised by Dr. Dennis Chan and Prof. Emrah Duzel.