H.M. Cockx MSc (Helena)
Promovendus - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Promovendus - Neurobiology
6525 AJ NIJMEGEN
Interne postcode: 85
Interne adressering: 85
6500 GL NIJMEGEN
Freezing of gait is a particularly disturbing symptom in Parkinson’s disease, defined as a sudden, relatively brief episode of immobility, and often described by patients as ‘if their feet are glued to the floor'. Helena Cockx devotes her PhD project to get to a better understanding of this heterogeneous and unpredictable symptom using a relatively new neuroimaging technique (functional near-infrared spectroscopy, fNIRS), as well as wearable sensors like heart rate monitors and motion sensors.
The main advantage of fNIRS over scanners is that it is a brain imaging technique that allows to measure brain activity of participants while they can move freely. However, this also comes with the fundamental challenge of separating motion-induced artifacts from relevant brain signals which is another main topic of her research.
Helena is a great defender of open science practices and is a contributor to several open science initiatives (including BIDS extension proposals for fNIRS and motion capture systems and a preregistration template for fNIRS studies).