BSc (Pyschological Science) | UWA 2014
BPsyc (Hons I) | UNSW 2015
PhD (Behavioural Neuroscience) | UNSW 2022
I am a PhD candidate interested in the how cognitive processes are impaired as a result of obesity. Using rodent models, my research investigates the role of the insulin receptor, and insulin resistance, in appetitive learning, hippocampal-dependent memory, and decision-making. It aims to outline how dietary induced obesity and subsequent central insulin resistance 1) impacts transport of insulin across the blood-brain barrier and 2) disrupts goal-directed appetitive behaviours. I use Pavlovian-instrumental transfer paradigms, viral techniques, and transgenics to carry out these investigations. More broadly, I am interested in the translation between neuroscientific advances and public health prevention for obesity related/induced dementias and cognitive decline.
1 Minute Thesis Psychology Runner Up | 2019, 2020
Obesity has been associated with brain insulin resistance and my research is interested in examining whether this resistance distorts activity in the neural circuitry supporting pavlovian-instrumental transfer (PIT). PIT looks at whether a pavlovian stimulus that predicts food energises instrumental performance on an action also delivering food. My current research focuses on the role played by insulin receptors expressed on cholinergic interneurons in the nucleus accumbens, which is known to regulate the expression of PIT.
PSYC1111 | Measuring Mind & Behaviour
PSYC2081 | Learning & Physiological Psychology