The Neural Engineering Group within the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering and the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience invites applications for a Post-Doctoral Researcher with specific neuroimaging skills and an research interest in speech.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease, which affects more than 46 million people worldwide. Progressive loss of cognitive function includes deficits in episodic memory, executive skills, working memory, attention, speech and language abilities, visuospatial and orientation skills. Many studies have shown that cognitive deficits in AD may be apparent years before diagnosis is made. Detecting these changes at an early stage is therefore critical, particularly for the development and establishment of early interventions and to make effective treatment decisions.

Speech and language impairments have been extensively documented in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and AD. It has been recently suggested that these deficits may stem from reduced working memory capacity and attention deficits rather than to a loss of linguistic knowledge. Few studies have investigated the extent to which deficits in working memory and attention processes impact communication functioning in MCI and AD. With reduced working memory capacity, limited attention, altered search and retrieval functions, specific speech patterns reflective of such deficits may be expected in different types of communication tasks (e.g. reading, everyday conversations).

In this research project, we are investigating the impact cognitive impairment may have on a person’s ability to communicate and how, in turn, such cognitive and speech difficulties may affect the quality of their day-to-day interactions. Our research aims to identify speech markers and their underlying neural correlates (brain structure and functional connectivity) for the detection of cognitive impairment in MCI and AD. It also aims at establishing efficient communications strategies between a person with MCI or AD and their caregivers in order to enhance the quality of their day-to-day interactions.

Twenty patients with MCI, twenty patients with AD and their caregivers took part in our study. They completed two speech tasks (a read speech task and a conversational speech task), underwent a battery of cognitive tests and MRI scans (T1, T2, rs-fMRI, DTI).

The Neural Engineering Group, as part of a CARDI-funded research project, within the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering at Trinity College Dublin, invites applications for a Post-Doctoral Researcher to analyse the MRI data (resting-state fMRI) and to investigate its relationship with cognitive and speech data.

The post requires expertise in neuroimaging analysis (specifically of rs-fMRI data) and statistical analysis (mixed-effect modelling and machine learning).

Main function:
·       Carry out literature reviews.
·       Analyse rs-fMRI data (SPM).
·       Carry out statistical analysis to investigate the relationship between speech, cognitive and MRI data.
·       Write articles for high-impact journal publications.

 The candidate will also be required to:
·     Operate independently with weekly or biweekly meetings with the PI of the project.
·     Prepare progress and technical reports on the research project.

 

The candidate must have a PhD in neuroimaging, signal processing, speech sciences or psychology and will have journal publications in the field of neuroimaging, data analysis and machine learning and be:
·       very familiar with Neuroimaging software (SPM, FreeSurfer)
·       very Familiar with statistical analysis of experimental data (ideally comfortable with R)
·       able to work autonomously, managing and reporting on their assigned projects

 

Information about the group and the research project can be found at:

https://reillylab.net

https://reillylab.net/speech-and-cognition

Details and extra information can be obtained from

Dr. Céline De Looze
Senior Research Fellow in Speech and Cognitive Neuroscience
School of Medicine
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland

deloozec@tcd.ie

and

Professor Richard Reilly
Professor of Neural Engineering
Director of the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering
School of Engineering and School of Medicine
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland


https://reillylab.net/richard-reilly

Tel: +353-1-896 4214
reillyri@tcd.ie