'Investigating the neural correlates of memory deficits in middle aged adults' - NSCI 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Natasha Rajah

Supervisor's Email: maria.rajah [at] mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 514-761-6131 p.2836

Supervisor's Website: http://www.douglas.qc.ca/researcher/maria-natasha-rajah

Supervisor's department: Psychiatry

Course number: NSCI 396 (Neuroscience)

Term: Fall 2013-2014

Project start date: Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Project end date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Project title: Investigating the neural correlates of memory deficits in middle aged adults

Project description (50-100 words suggested): It has been shown that age-related deficits in episodic memory are paralleled by changes in the structure and function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Studies have found that the PFC is particularly vulnerable to cortical atrophy with age in relation to the rest of the brain. In addition to these structural changes, studies have found age-related changes in brain activity that have been linked to deficits in memory function. However, as most studies focus on the two extreme age groups (young and old), little is known about the relation of PFC structure and function with memory function in middle age when declines in episodic memory first emerge. Thus, in the current project, we seek to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the relationship between PFC cortical thickness, activity in the PFC, and memory task performance in young and middle-aged cognitively normal community-derived subjects.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): Final report 50%; Laboratory work 50%.

Project status: This project is taken. The professor has no more '396' projects this term.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves human subjects.