Field:

  • Neuroscience
  • Paediatrics

Location: Child Health Research Centre

Type of student: Honours students

Type of work: 

  • Clinical work 
  • Literature review 
  • Secondary data analysis 

Prerequisite skills

A strong interest in developmental neuroscience, attention to detail, diligence, and a strong team member.

Time frame

12 months

Website: Acquired Brain Injury in Children (ABiC) 

1. Protectants and risk factors influencing recovery from Acquired and Traumatic Brain Injury in Childhood.

Twenty percent of children sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). I am interested in recovery after TBI and exploring new treatments such as non-invasive brain stimulation to improve outcomes. In this project the student will explore variability in the usage of neuropsychological assessments when examining function following TBI and how this data relates to injury profiles. When planning service provision in QLD it is essential to understand how outcome relates to injury over time as well as to understand key protective and risk factors that influence recovery. In this project, you will be responsible for organizing and analyzing a previously collected large dataset of over 100 children with brain injury and neuropsychological outcomes. You will work with the Acquired Brain Injury in Children (ABiC) team and QPRS neuropsychology. You will get opportunities to participate in research using non-invasive brain stimulation and collect neuropsychological outcomes (i.e. using questionnaires, computerized cognitive tasks, etc) in our current studies involving brain stimulation.

Students must be COVID 19 fully immunised and have a Blue Card.

2. Assessing neural networks using resting-state and task-based functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) following childhood brain injury.

Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) uses the hemodynamic response to neuronal activity due to neurovascular coupling such that neuronal activity causes an increase in oxygen and glucose consumption which then leads to an increase in cerebral blood flow. In this way it can reveal deficits in regional function and coordinated activity and insights into brain connectivity. Using fNIRS and fMRI, you will examine functional connectivity and its relationship to outcome following acquired brain injury in children and in healthy developing children. Here you will have the opportunity to collect new data as well as employ an existing dataset. You will get opportunities to participate in research using non-invasive brain stimulation and collect neuropsychological outcomes (i.e. using questionnaires, computerized cognitive tasks, etc) in our current studies involving brain stimulation.

Students must be COVID 19 fully immunised and have a Blue Card.

3. Attention during brain stimulation in children with acquired brain injury: a randomized trial

Brain stimulation using transcranial direct current stimulation can be used to help attention  in healthy people and we want to see if it has a similar effect in kids with a brain injury. In liaison with the University of Nottingham two attention task will be given during active or sham stimulation. The student will work with a PhD student to analyse attention and attentional fatigue during tDCS compared with sham tDCS using an online gameified attention task. You will get opportunities to participate in research using non-invasive brain stimulation and collect neuropsychological outcomes (i.e. using questionnaires, computerized cognitive tasks, etc) in our current studies involving brain stimulation.

Students must be COVID 19 fully immunised and have a Blue Card.

Supervisor

Associate Professor Karen Barlow

Dr Paul Hopkins Chair of Paediatric Rehabilitation in Acquired Brain Injury
Child Health Research Centre

Main contact

Ms Hema Moench
BSc (Hons)
Program Manager (ABiC)
UQ Child Health Research Centre
Acquired Brain Injury in Children research program (ABiC)
Centre for Children’s Health Research
T +61 7 3069 7353
E h.moench@uq.edu.au
W child-health-research.centre.uq.edu.au