M.G. Jansen MSc (Michelle)
Promovendus - Donders Centre for Cognition
Promovendus - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Promovendus - Neuro- en Revalidatiepsychologie
Thomas van Aquinostraat 4
6525 GD NIJMEGEN
6500 HE NIJMEGEN
I am a PhD candidate focusing on the topic of cognitive aging. More specifically, I am interested in understanding how inter-individual differences in aging can be used to optimize memory training efficacy. For a long time, “one-size fits all” has been the dominant view in aging research, whereas age-related changes in brain and cognitive functioning are highly heterogeneous across individuals. Furthermore, the direct visible effects of these changes may be modulated by additional factors, such as one’s cognitive resources that have accumulated across the lifespan (i.e., cognitive reserve [CR]). In order to explore these topics, I am taking an adult lifespan neurocognitive approach to:
1. Identify different cognitive topologies across the adult lifespan, and test how CR influences the relationship between these topologies and age.
2. Relate these topologies to underlying structural and functional MRI measures.
3. Incorporate these differences to optimize training efficacy, by developing a personalized memory training and test how age and CR modulate training efficacy.
I obtained my Master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Radboud University, where I focused on both healthy and pathological aging. For my MSc thesis, I used MRI data to investigate why cerebral small vessel disease – which is responsible for a wide variety in age-related conditions – leads to ischemic stroke in some individuals and to hemorrhagic stroke in others. In addition, I visited the Heart and Brain Group at the University of Oxford to investigate how longitudinal trajectories of cognitive decline and vascular risk relate to late-life vascular brain burden in healthy individuals. Ultimately, my research goals are 1) to contribute in unraveling the underlying mechanisms of heterogeneity in aging, and 2) to optimize cognitive aging in a more direct manner by translating such research into practice.