I am a neuroscientist with a keen interest in integrating novel cutting-edge neuroimaging techniques to discover the neural basis of emotional dysregulation. I seek to understand how biological changes associated with emotional regulation and dysregulation contribute to neural mechanisms of neurological and psychiatric syndromes. My goal is to deepen our knowledge of how diffusion tensor imaging, functional magnetic resonance, magnetization transfer, and connectivity analyses can help us elucidate neural mechanisms of depression, negative symptoms and apathy.
As a member of the Stroke Research Group I participate in the apathy in stroke project, where I investigate neural mechanisms for the emergence of apathy in small vessel disease, the main cause of stroke, with the hope that new therapeutic targets can be proposed. At present I am using graph theory to study connectivity in reward circuitry in association with apathy in small vessel disease. I also supervise students for part IB of the Medicine and Veterinary Science Tripos (Neurobiology and Human Behaviour) in Selwyn College. Previously, I coordinated MRI assessment in the clinical trial of a new treatment for negative symptoms in psychosis (BENEMIN Trial). I also showed that white matter in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus, a fibre essential for sustained attention in children, may mature differently in adolescents with autism spectrum condition and their siblings than in other children (Figure 1). During my PhD I showed that a family history of depression predisposes an individual to higher neural activation in self-referential brain areas when responding to negative stimuli and in inhibitory circuitry when resisting negative stimuli. I designed and programmed an fMRI task which tests two aspects of emotional regulation: recognition of emotional valence and resisting emotionally charged stimuli.
2012 – Ph.D., Neuropsychiatry, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, University of Dublin
2008 – M.Sc., Psychology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan
2004 – M.A., Ethnolinguistics, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan