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Investigating parietal lobe function in cardiovascular disease and vascular dementia (RossitSU20PSY)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, January 20, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Dementia is one of the greatest medical threats facing our ageing population. Major risk factors for cognitive impairment relate to the vascular system such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and lack of physical exercise. In fact, evidence is accumulating to suggest cardiovascular risk factors in midlife predict the onset of dementia. Vascular Dementia (VaD) is regarded as the second most prevalent cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, although its incidence may be greatly underestimated. The parietal lobe is one of the first regions to exhibit neurodegeneration in VaD and there is extensive evidence that parietal lobe is critically involved in visuomotor, attention and spatial navigation functions. Testing parietal lobe function may therefore aid early diagnosis of VaD. The aim of this PhD project is to investigate if attention and visuomotor function are sensitive measures of cardiovascular risk and VaD. The project will involve longitudinal studies using state-of-the-art motion-tracking and brain imaging methods as well as testing of our newly developed portable tablet-based tasks. It is hoped that this project will contribute to the identification of early biomarkers for VaD which would allow earlier treatment delivery in people at risk.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

This is a PhD programme.

The project will start in October 2020.

The mode of study will be full-time/part-time. The length of studentship will be 3 years for full-time students and 6 years for part-time students.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in a School of Psychology competition for funded studentships. These studentships are funded for 3 years and comprise of home/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,009.

Entry requirements:

Acceptable first degree in Psychology or relevant other discipline.

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.

Masters or equivalent experience.


i) Rossit, S., Harvey, M., Butler, S.H., Szymanek, L., Morand, S., Monaco, S. & McIntosh, R.D. (2018). Impaired peripheral reaching and on-line corrections in patient DF: optic ataxia with visual form agnosia. Cortex, 98, 84-101.

ii) Rossit S., McAdam T., Mclean D.A., Goodale, M.A., & Culham, J.C. (2013). fMRI reveals a lower visual field preference for hand actions in human superior-parietal occipital cortex (SPOC) and precuneus. Cortex, 50, 2525-2541.

iii) Rossit S., McIntosh, R.D., Malhotra, P., Butler, S.H., Muir, K., & Harvey, M. (2012). Attention in action: evidence from on-line corrections in left visual neglect. Neuropsychologia, 50, 1124-35.

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