Cognitive Neuroimaging Team

Imaging to investigate the brain in health and disease

L-R Dr Phillip Ward, Dr Sharna Jamadar and Ms Winnie Orchard.

The Cognitive Neuroimaging Team at Monash Biomedical Imaging focuses on the application of innovative neuroimaging technologies to understand the neural bases of cognitive function in health and disease.

Led by Dr Sharna Jamadar, the group specialises in structural, functional, vascular and metabolic imaging using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET). They apply world-class multimodal neuroimaging techniques to understand healthy ageing, neurodegenerative diseases and parenthood.

Current projects

Cognitive compensation in super-agers

Around the world researchers are working to better understand cognitive ageing, to help older people live healthy, high quality lives for longer. We apply MRI and simultaneous MR/PET to quantify the neural basis of cognitive resilience, which conveys a protective effect against age-related cognitive decline.

Vascular and iron imaging in healthy ageing

The oxygen content of blood vessels is critical to energy production in the brain, and is influenced by heart and lung health, as well as blood and blood vessels. Iron on the other hand is an indicator of oxidative damage in the brain, and accumulates around sights of inflammation. We are using MRI to investigate these aspects of brain health and to identify the early stages of cognitive decline.

Development of simultaneous functional MRI – functional PET imaging techniques
Jamadar, Ward

Simultaneous MRI-PET imaging is a nascent technology that can simultaneously provide high-resolution structural, functional and metabolic images. We are developing high-temporal resolution [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose PET (FDG-PET) imaging that can simultaneously provide blood oxygenation level dependent fMRI (BOLD-fMRI) contrast.

The neural bases of parenthood
Jamadar, Ward, Orchard, Sasan

During and after pregnancy, the brain undergoes plastic changes that may be neuroprotective. Parenthood-related changes are apparent in both women and men. Our work shows that these changes are preserved across the lifespan, and may also explain some of the idiosyncratic post-pregnancy symptoms, such as the continued experience of foetal kicks after the end of the pregnancy.

Cognitive Neuroimaging Team

Dr Sharna Jamadar BPsych (Hons) PhD
Head, Cognitive Neuroimaging Team
Senior Research Fellow

Dr Phillip Ward BSc/BCompSci (Hons) PhD
Research Fellow

Ms Winnie Orchard BPsych
PhD Student

Ms Disha Sasan
Honours Student and Research Assistant

Ms Aurina Arnatkeviciute BPhysics MNeuroBio
Research Assistant

Mr Linden Parkes BSc (Hons)
Research Assistant

Mr John Fallon BPsych (Hons)
Research Assistant

Mr Stuart Oldham BA (Hons)
Research Assistant