SSA: The importance of neural plasticity in ageing

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Physiology and Pharmacology


As we age the body changes and so the motor system must compensate for these alterations in
biomechanics. Problems with this compensation process affects the ability of older adults to do
everyday tasks which in turn has an impact on quality of life. To understand this we need to combine
studies of motor adaptation in humans with brain imaging methods (fMRI in this case) and in a model
animal system.
The project is suitable for a student interested in receiving a unique combination of training spanning
the fields of neuroscience and psychology. This will include: 1) state-of-the-art in vivo research
techniques, including advanced electrophysiological recording and associated analytical methods.
There is a world-wide shortage of scientists with these specialist skills so expertise in this area will aid
their future career. And 2) Human experimental psychology including the measurement of movement
kinematics. Because of the societal need, the study of ageing in humans is a growth research area in
which there is a shortage of trained scientist and the student will receive unique training in this area.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M009122/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1948486 Studentship BB/M009122/1 18/09/2017 30/09/2021 Alexandra Willcox
Description Research Without Borders 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Ran a stall at University of Bristol's Research without Borders Festival 2019 to raise awareness of motor adaptation and how it can be impacted by advanced age.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019