Sophie Andrews is a Senior Research Fellow – DECRA Fellow at UNSW Psychology, and a conjoint Research Fellow at NeuRA. She is a cognitive neuroscientist and registered clinical neuropsychologist.
Sophie’s research is focused on how lifestyle can improve brain and cognitive health and reduce risk for dementia, and how best to support people to change their lifestyle habits. Her current research, supported by a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council, is focused on the neuroscience and neuropsychology of habit formation and change in ageing, by combing neuroimaging, cognitive and psychological approaches. She is interested in how improved knowledge of the habit formation process can be used to design better habit-based lifestyle behaviour change interventions for cognitive health and healthy ageing.
Sophie joined NeuRA in 2019 from the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health and School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University, Melbourne, where she previously completed a fellowship from the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, investigating the effects of exercise on neuroplasticity and cognition in Huntington’s disease. Her additional research interests include investigating how non-pharmacological approaches (including lifestyle change and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques) can be used to maintain brain and cognitive health in healthy ageing and neurodegenerative disease, as well as understanding the relationships between neuropsychiatric and cognitive symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases including Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
In 2013, Sophie completed a DPsych (Clinical Neuropsychology) at Monash University. Her doctoral thesis investigated the mirror neuron system in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder using transcranial magnetic stimulation and EEG.
2021-2025 ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award ($437,000 - sole CI)
Habit formation and change in ageing: Developing a neuropsychological model
2020 – 2022 Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration – Dementia Australia Research Foundation Pilot Grant ($75,000 - CIA)
Harnessing habits to increase physical activity in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Subjective Cognitive Decline
2020 UNSW Ageing Futures Institute Seed Project Grant ($39,000 - CIH)
Eye biomarkers for cognitive impairment
2019 UNSW Ageing Futures Institute Seed Project Grant ($30,000 - CIA)
Investigating the role of habit in maintaining physical activity in older people.
2019 UNSW Ageing Futures Institute Seed Project Grant ($29,126 - CID)
To develop an algorithm using different anxiety and stress-related factors to predict cognitive decline in older adults.
2016 – 2019 Huntington's Disease Society of America HD Human Biology Project Fellowship ($200,536 - sole CI)
Exercise and brain stimulation as modifiers of neuroplasticity in HD
2016 – 2018 Dementia Collaborative Research Centre Project Grant ($49,074 - CIC)
Remote Assessment of Cognition in Huntington’s Disease: Assessing day-to-day variability and relationship to sleep and physical activity levels.