PhD in Psychology Episodic Memory in The Schizophrenia Spectrum

A fully-funded PhD fellowship is available at Cardiff University. The deadline for applying is March 17, 2019.

This PhD project will examine the cognitive processes and brain systems underlying episodic memory decisions in those in the schizophrenia spectrum.

These impairments reflect a core cognitive impairment, which is not explained by demographics variables, is one of the strongest predictors of functional outcome and seems to be largely resistant to current pharmacological treatments.

This project may focus on one or both of the following cognitive abilities.

First, source memory i.e. the context and conditions at encoding which serve to distinguish the origin of a memory. In particular, this project will consider two types of memory decisions: discriminating between self versus other e.g. did I do that or did you? (Reality Monitoring) and determining whether an experience was real or imagined e.g. did I just think about completing an action or did I actually do it? (Internal Source Monitoring). A deficit in the former ability may underlie and explain hallucinations and delusions.

Second, episodic future thinking, which is the ability to imagine episodes that one might plausibly experience in the future. This ability has received less attention in schizophrenia research but there is evidence of a deficit in this population. The aim of this project will be to understand the cognitive processes underlying task performance and the brain mechanisms supporting them (this may be structurally and/or functionally).

A continuum approach to schizophrenia will be adopted, so that testing involves healthy individuals measuring schizotypy, and also individuals from early intervention services who have either some early experiences of psychosis or those deemed to be at risk of developing psychosis (subject to recruitment).

You will be based at Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) and be part of a thriving research community. CUBRIC houses state-of-the-art brain imaging facilities and world-leading expertise, with 4 human MRI systems (2 x Siemens Prisma, 1 x Siemens Connectom, 1 x Siemens 7T), MEG, EEG, TMS, tDCS, clinical research units and testing labs.


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