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ROGIER KIEVIT

Principal Investigator

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Rogier Kievit is Professor of Developmental Neuroscience at the Donders Institute in Nijmegen and Senior Associate Scientist at the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge. He studies the rise and fall of cognitive functions across the lifespan by relating brain function, brain structure and cognition in developing populations using multivariate modeling techniques. Specifically, I use a variety of structural equation models to capture the changing relationship between mind and brain across the lifespan. CV

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AMY ORBEN

Research Fellow

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I am fascinated by how external factors in childhood and adolescence affect long- and short-term outcomes. For the last years, I have been predominantly interested in the role that the use of social media and digital technology plays in determining adolescent mental health. This research sits at the intersection between academia, policy, and public communication; all of which need to work together to address the challenges of understanding the effects of an increasingly digitalised society. Supported by a College Research Fellowship at Emmanuel College, I now plan to address the inherent oversimplification in the current approach to research questions regarding social media. Using a mixture of machine learning and structural equation modelling techniques I aim to examine how social media use sits in a complex net of risk and resilience factors, which ultimately interact to influence adolescent mental health outcomes.

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SOPHIA BORGEEST

PhD student

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I am interested in healthy aging, and especially in why some people seem to age much better (or more successfully) than others. In my first project, I used psychometric techniques in a large-sample, multimodal dataset to further understand the associations between leading an active lifestyle and cognitive health. Currently, I am exploring how we can better measure brain structure throughout the lifespan. Here, I am looking at detailed structural MR imaging metrics that might allow for a biologically more accurate picture of the human brain, hopefully allowing us to better describe and quantify healthy neural aging. I like engaging the public and writing for popular audiences. I wish there were more women in leadership and that Cambridge were closer to the mountains.

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IVAN SIMPSON-KENT

PhD student

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I want to understand how brain and behaviour interact with each other during development to produce intelligence, particularly in childhood and adolescence. My first project used psychometric modelling (e.g. structural equation modelling) to examine the associations between white matter connectivity and cognitive behaviour in both typically and atypically developing learners. Currently, I’m using insights from network science to hopefully tease apart the ‘causal’ influences between grey and white matter brain regions and cognitive performance. In my spare time, I co-host a podcast called Clever Ramblings (available on YouTube, shameless plug), watch anime, and daydream about my hometown of West Philadelphia.

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MICHAEL ARISTODEMOU

PhD student

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I want to understand how and why people’s cognitive abilities fluctuate and change over time. To this end, I aim to exploit technological advances that allow us to observe cognitive development as it unfolds in conjunction with different modeling approaches. Ultimately, I strive to use knowledge about the mechanisms underlying cognitive development to benefit the evolution of educational and cognitive interventions.

LAB ALUMNI

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Delia Fuhrmann

Delia works on lifespan development and plasticity.  Her current research focus is executive functions, such as reasoning and working memory, and their neural substrates using mostly large, publicly available data-sets and multivariate statistical tools like Structural Equation Modelling. Delia is  presently a lecturer at King's College London. You can read more about Delia’s work here

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Eric-Jan Van Kesteren

Erik-Jan visited the lab in 2019 to improve exploratory factor analysis for structural brain imaging data. Specifically, he developed and tested methods for taking into account brain symmetry when extracting factors, as asymmetry in the brain may be of interest in development. He is currently assistant professor at Utrecht University. You can read more about him here.

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Marie Deserno

Marie Deserno visited the lab in 2018 to work on longitudinal developmental dynamics in children at risk for autism. She used latent growth curve models to study the interplay between motor and language development in early childhood. She is currently a Rubicon Fellow at the Max Planck Centre for Human Development in Berlin. You can read about her current work here

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Susanne de Mooij

Susanne de Mooij visited the lab in 2016 to work in psychometric approaches to aging. She implemented CFA SEM trees to study neural and cognitive age differentiation in the Cam-CAN sample. Her paper on this work can be found here. She is currently working on her PhD in a shared project between Birkbeck and the University of Amsterdam, working on educational games using psychometric techniques, eye tracking and adaptive learning.