dr. J.L. Cook (Jennifer)

Gastonderzoeker - Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging

dr. J.L. Cook (Jennifer)

Kapittelweg 29


Postbus 9101

Different people learn in different ways: Some like to focus on their own individual learning whereas others are significantly influenced by people around them. In a series of experiments my collaborators and I are investigating various factors that may underpin individual differences in social and asocial learning.

My doctoral research, which investigated action observation and imitation in typically-developing adults and adolescents, and adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC), provided an interesting background to my current work. During my PhD my collaborators and I used behavioural techniques, such as motion-tracking in virtual reality and eye-tracking, and found that adults with ASC significantly differ from control participants in terms of their biological motion processing and their imitative behaviours. In addition, in typical adults, we have used MEG and fMRI to investigate the response profile of the Mirror Neuron System, and of brain areas involved in biological motion processing, to human movements.

Following my PhD I moved to Cambridge to continue my research in ASC and to extend my research expertise to include the fields of learning and cognitive training. With Professors Sahakian and Jones, and others in the Department of Psychiatry, I developed a novel therapeutic cognitive training program. This program is designed to treat cognitive difficulties that are a feature of many conditions including Alzheimer’s Disease, schizophrenia and depression.

In the future I look forward to bringing together the different strands of my work to investigate: a) How individual differences in social and asocial learning extend into ASC and b) Whether social/asocial learning abilities can be modified through training.

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Curriculum Vitae