PhD Studentship: Sex differences in healthy aging and dementia: a study of cognition and communication

University of Sheffield - Human Communication Sciences

This studentship will support an investigation of differences in cognitive and communicative aging in healthy men and women. The project is based on research into sex differences in healthy cognitive organisation (Cowell et al., 2011) and aging of brain and behaviour in humans (Cowell et al., 2007). It is also shaped by the need to better understand differences in the prevalence and risk for dementia in men and women (Matthews et al., 2016). Recent findings from our research group showed organisational differences in verbal cognition in women in relation to age and hormone status (i.e., menopause) (Maitreyee et al., 2015). The studentship will support further work into the speech, language and related cognition of healthy men and women across the adult life span. It will enable development of cognitive tools to probe the basis of sex differences in dementia and support pilot work in this area. The project is suitable for applicants with a strong background in psychology, cognitive neuroscience or any related behavioural/biomedical sciences. Experience testing human research volunteers and conducting statistical are desirable.

Cowell, P.E., Sluming, V.A., Wilkinson, I.D., Cezayirli, E., Romanowski, C.A.J., Webb, J.A., Keller, S.S., Mayes, A., and Roberts, N. 2007. Effects of sex and age on regional prefrontal brain volume in two human cohorts, European Journal of Neuroscience, 25(1):307-318.

Cowell, P.E., Ledger, W.L., Wadnerkar, M.B., Skilling, F.M., and Whiteside, S.P. 2011. Hormones and dichotic listening: Evidence from the study of menstrual cycle effects. Brain and Cognition, 76:256-262.

Maitreyee, R., Varley, R., Whiteside, S. and Cowell, P. 2015. The effects of age and menopause on verbal fluency. Maturitas, 81:216-217.

Matthews, F.E., Stephan, B.C.M., Jagger, C., Arthur, A. and Brayne, C. (2016) A two decade dementia incidence comparison from the Cognitive Function and Aging Studies I and II. Nature Communications, 7:11398.

Entry Requirements

Candidates must have a first or upper second class honors degree or significant research experience. The project is suitable for applicants with a strong background in psychology, cognitive neuroscience or any related behavioural/biomedical sciences. Experience testing human research volunteers and conducting statistical are desirable

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Northern England