The Successful Ageing Group has expertise across a spectrum of areas that include (but are not limited to):
- Cognitive Ageing with a focus on how memory, learning and attention alters during the lifespan (Dr Richard Allen, Dr Waterman, Professor David Bunce, Dr Rachel Coats and Dr Melanie Burke).
- Interhemispheric interactions and how communication between the brain hemispheres change in normal and accelerated decline (Dr Jean-Francois Delvenne, Professor David Bunce and Dr Melanie Burke).
- How cognitive performance interacts with increased frailty and falls in the Elderly (Professor David Bunce)
- Early Detection of cognitive impairment in the elderly (Professor David Bunce, Dr Melanie Burke, Dr Jean-Francois Delvenne)
- Nutritional benefits of macro and micronutrients in older age (Professor Louise Dye, Dr Clare Lawton and Professor Marion Hetherington)
- Loss of appetite in older age and malnutrition (Professor Marion Hetherington)
- Behaviour change in eating habits and appetite control in older age (Professor Louise Dye and Dr Clare Lawton)
- How eye-hand coordination changes with age (Dr Melanie Burke).
- Visual changes including effects of cataract on motor performance (Dr Rachel Coats)
Below are some of the current research projects being conducted as part of the Successful Ageing group in the School of Psychology.
- Inducing plasticity in the ageing brain: This project investigates the nature of plasticity (adaptability of neurons) in parietal and frontal brain regions, and how brains stimulation techniques could improve cognition in individuals experiencing cognitive decline. It implements functional near-infra-red spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure brain activity and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to induce plasticity during cognitive tasks.
- Ageing and working memory: This project looks at how working memory changes across the life-course and considers strategies for better retention of information. The project looks at how re-enactment and/or verbal/written instruction can facilitate learning.
- The benefits of natural dietary supplements on cognition in ageing: The aim of this research project is to look at how phospholipids can influence memory, attention and information processing in individuals with self-reported memory problems.
- Ageing and appetite: ongoing research into improving appetite and nutrition in older adults in care homes.
- Inter-Hemispheric changes in ageing: This project aims to identify changes between hemispheres interactions in older age using EEG and behavioural measures.
Facilities and Resources
The School of Psychology has a wide range of specialised facilities and resources available for research projects. The Successful Ageing Group have access to:
- Eyelink 1000Hz eye-tracker (SR Research Ltd)
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS, MagStim Rapid2)
- Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) System (Artinis Ltd, Oxymon)
- Button boxes and touch-screens
- Cognitive/motor testing software
- BioSemi 64 Channel system
- Optotrac system for measuring limb motion