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Clinical Validation of Gaming Concepts for Cognitive Improvement leading to Neurofeedback Development


Project Description

MRC-funded IMPACT (Integrated Midlands Partnership for Biomedical Training) CASE Doctoral Training Partnership 3.5 Year PhD Studentship available for September 2019

Department: Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

Supervisors: Prof Elizabeta B. Mukaetova-Ladinska and Prof. Kevin Paterson
Eligibility: UK/EU applicants who meet the MRC eligibility and residency criteria

Project Description

The project aims to:
1. Validate gaming software (Cerebrum Matter Ltd.) in a Randomised Control trial (RCT) with healthy volunteers using behavioural assessments and electroencephalography (EEG) to aid detection of changes in cognitive performance/improvements and the neural basis of such effects; and

2. Collect and analyse EEG data for neurofeedback development.
Digital gaming software is at the forefront of new forms of preventative dementia therapies, with recent research indicating that cognitive game therapies can not only complement drug therapies, but also target certain areas of the brain and lead to cognitive improvement.

Our work using a novel cognitive gaming platform will assess whether new pathways of neuronal networks can be both created and maintained, via improvement of EEG activity. We will assess neuronal neuroplasticity via increase in healthy brainwave signals with gaming as a stimulator. This can help not only people with dementia to maintain/improve their cognitive wellbeing, but also people with age-associated slowing of mental capabilities.

This research will provide the PhD student with: (i) expertise in working with an Industrial partner and translating academic knowledge, (ii) validating technical advances for societal benefit and (iii) gaining necessary industrial skills via exposure to marketing, manufacturing and business processes.

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 26 and Friday 29 March 2019 at University of Leicester.

Entry requirements

Candidates must hold qualifications in a relevant subject to the project topic at the level of, or equivalent to, a good honours degree from a UK academic institution. This should be a first or upper second-class honours degree. We welcome applicants with qualifications (or a combination of qualifications and experience) in neurophysiology, psychology, neuroscience and/or medicine.

The University of Leicester English language requirements apply where applicable: https://le.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/entry-reqs/eng-lang-reqs

How to apply

Please apply via: https://more.bham.ac.uk/mrc-impact/phd-opportunities/

Project / Funding Enquiries: Prof. Elizabeta b Mukaetova-Ladinska, e-mail: , tel No: +44 116 373 6405

Prof. Kevin Paterson, e-mail: ; tel No: +44 116 229 7179

Application/eligibility enquiries to

Closing date for applications 15 February 2019

Funding Notes

MRC IMPACT DTP CASE studentship CASE partner Cerebrum Matter Ltd,
Studentship provides tuition fees and stipend for 3.5 years to UK applicants. EU applicants who do not meet the RCUK residency criteria can apply for a fees only award.

References

1. Swacha J. Representation of events and rules in gamification systems. Procedia Computer Science 2018; 126:2040-2049.
2. Savulich G, Piercy T, Fox C, Suckling J, Rowe JB, O'Brien JT, Sahakian BJ. Cognitive training using a novel memory game on an iPad in patients with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI). Int J Neurospcyhopharmacol 2017; 20(8):624-633.
3. NICE Guideline [NG97]. Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers for dementia. Published June 2018. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng97.
4. Bonanni L, Thomas A, Tiraboschi P, Perfetti B, Varanese S, Onofrj M. EEG comparisons in early Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson's disease with dementia patients with a 2-year follow-up. Brain 2008; 131(Pt 3):690-705.
5. Styliadis C, Kartsidis P, Paraskevopoulos E, Ioannides AA, Bamidis PD. Neuroplastic effects of combined computerized physical and cognitive training in elderly individuals at risk for dementia: An eLORETA controlled study on resting states. Neural Plast 2015; 2015:172192.
6. Galetto V, Sacco K. Neuroplastic Changes Induced by Cognitive Rehabilitation in Traumatic Brain Injury: A Review. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2017; 31(9):800-813.

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