Memory and Imagination in Neurological Disorders (MIND)

One of the most enduring questions in the field of cognitive neuroscience is the matter of how memories are formed. In short, how do we remember the past? Why are our memories so vulnerable in dementia, and how does this impact the individual’s sense of self? Despite significant advances in this field, the underlying mechanisms of human memory remain a topic of vigorous debate and robust empirical research, and represent a question that lies at the heart of understanding what makes us unique as individuals.

The Memory and Imagination in Neurological Disorders team (MIND), based at the Brain and Mind Centre, aims to tackle these questions by studying how memory and related processes break down in younger-onset dementias. Over the last 5 years, we have demonstrated that memory is differentially affected across the frontotemporal lobar degeneration spectrum, reflecting the breakdown of different neurocognitive mechanisms. Our work further reveals that the capacity to imagine the future, to engage in creative cognition, and to mind wander or daydream, is markedly affected in dementia syndromes. We are building on these findings to understand how alterations in large-scale brain networks disrupts a range of uniquely human functions and how this impacts the sense of self and wellbeing in the affected individual.

  • Episodic memory function in healthy and pathological ageing – Muireann Irish
  • Episodic-semantic interactions during constructive simulation – Muireann Irish
  • Episodic-semantic interactions during constructive simulation – Muireann Irish
  • Cognitive flexibility and spontaneous cognition in dementia – Tao Chen - PhD
  • “In the mind’s eye” – Exploring the interaction between oculomotor behaviour and memory in neurodegeneration – Federica Conti - PhD
  • Towards a refined understanding of the neurocircuitry of memory dysfunction in younger-onset dementia – Maggie Lan - PhD
  • Precision in Episodic Memory – Unfolding the event narrative across the lifespan – Jillian Fu - PhD
  • Getting stuck daydreaming: the role of cognitive flexibility in anxiety while mind-wandering – Isabelle Kaiko - PhD
  • Temporal cognition: Subjective time and its connection with prospection in frontotemporal dementia – Lulu Liu- PhD

Meet our Research Group

Professor Muireann Irish

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, FRSN

  • Cognitive Testing
  • Neuroimaging
  • Statistics

Dr Adam Bulley

CJ Martin ECR Fellow, USyd; fellow, Department of Psychology, Harvard University

  • Decision-making
  • Imagination
  • Foresight

Hashim El-Omar

Research Assistant

  • Dementia
  • Semantic and episodic memory
  • Mind wandering and Anhedonia

Tao Chen

PhD Student

Cognitive flexibility and spontaneous cognition in dementia

Supervisors: Prof. Muireann Irish and Prof. Olivier Piguet

Years:

Federica Conti

PhD Student

In the mind’s eye – Exploring the interaction between oculomotor behaviour and memory in neurodegeneration

Supervisor: Prof. Muireann Irish

Years:

Jillian Fu

PhD Student

Precision in Episodic Memory – Unfolding the event narrative across the lifespan

Supervisors: Prof. Muireann Irish and Prof. Olivier Piguet

Years:

Fang (Maggie) Lan

PhD Student

Towards a refined understanding of the neurocircuity of memory dysfunction in younger-onset dementia

Supervisor: Prof. Muireann Irish

Years:

Isabelle Kaiko

PhD Student

Getting stuck daydreaming: the role of cognitive flexibility in anxiety while mind-wandering

Supervisors: Prof. Muireann Irish, Prof. Olivier Piguet, Jemma Todd

Years:

Lulu Liu

PhD Student

Temporal cognition: Subjective time and its connection with prospection in frontotemporal dementia

Supervisors: Prof. Muireann Irish, Prof. Olivier Piguet, Dr. Daniel Roquet

Years: 2018-21

Siobhan Shaw

PhD Student

The role of episodic future thinking in anhedonia in patients with depression and dementia.

Supervisors: Prof. Muireann Irish, Prof. Olivier Piguet?

Years: 2018-21?