This month we feature research project work by Dr Genevieve Rayner of the Austin Node. Dr Rayner is a clinical neuropsychologist focused on mood and memory problems in people with epilepsy.
Genevieve, briefly tell us about your research.
I am a clinical neuropsychologist, so am interested in the relationships between brain and behaviour. I am linking traditional pen-and-paper neuropsychological techniques to fMRI data to try and map how diseased brain networks contribute to mood and memory problems in people with epilepsy. In particular, we are using a fMRI task that I designed during my PhD candidature that asks people to try and recall memories from across their life (autobiographic memories), so that we might activate the so-called ‘autobiographical memory network’, which we know functions abnormally in people with mood and memory problems as well as people with epilepsy. This task is also being used by my colleagues in populations with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Psychogenic Non Epileptic Seizures.
Who are your research colleagues?
I am lucky enough to work in a very diverse research group at The Florey. In particular, my colleagues include neurologists, physicists, mathematicians, clinical neuropsychologists, radiologists, and various experts in neuroimaging technologies, as well as group of highly trained research assistants who keep the programme ticking along. This means that when a problem arises in my work, I have a highly expert group of people to seek advice from, who can offer a diverse range of insights that I might not have thought of.
What imaging equipment are you using?
I use the Siemens 3T MAGNETOM Skyra here at the Melbourne Brain Centre at the Austin.
How did you find accessing and using the equipment?
Accessing booking times has been relatively easy with the ARIN booking system, and once we arrive with a participant we are in the capable hands of our radiographers. The Skyra has given us beautiful images in both structural and functional modalities.
Did you work across sites? If so, how did you find accessing the equipment across sites?
Thanks for inviting me to contribute.
If you or a PhD student you know has been using equipment provided by VBIC, contact us. We’d love to hear about your experience!