The Georgiou-Karistianis Experimental Neuropsychology Research Unit (ENRU) is situated within the School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Monash University.
The Georgiou-Karistianis lab is dedicated to producing high impact research aimed at investigating linkages between brain mechanisms and the cognitive and motor signatures in neurodegenerative disorders.
To enhance understanding of behavioural consequences of disease, enable the development novel strategies for management of symptoms, and provide ground-breaking new insights on functional operations of the human brain in both health and disease.
To provide interdisciplinary research opportunities via a range of national and international collaborations, high level training of postdoctoral research staff and graduate students, access to a range of clinical populations and state-of-the-art behavioural and neuroimaging platform technologies, as well as expertise in development and design of experimental paradigms.
The lab is headed by world renowned cognitive neuroscientist Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis, and consists of a dynamic group of postdoctoral fellows, research assistants and graduate students. The lab has a major focus on neurodegenerative disorders, in particular Huntington’s disease and Friedreich ataxia, as well as in the study of pain in clinical populations. Specifically, our work aims to:
- Define clinical, motor, cognitive and brain changes over time in neurodegenerative disorders so as to accelerate the discovery of sensitive biomarkers of disease progression to make efficient clinical trials possible (e.g., IMAGE-HD and IMAGE-FRDA two large scale longitudinal neuroimaging studies)
- Establish links between changes in brain networks with genetic markers, clinical, motor and cognitive deficits
- Understand mechanisms of brain compensation/cognitive reserve, and how this develops with pathology
- Develop computational neuroscience models that can predict a pattern of disease progression with better precision of estimated disease onset
- Use cognitive and motor rehabilitation strategies to change course of disease, delay onset, and improve functional outcomes and quality of life
- Understand the neurobiological correlates of pain by investigating the relationship between emotions and sensory experience in both healthy individuals and clinical populations (e.g., amputees, sufferers of traumatic injury and/or chronic pain). This is achieved via pain studies employing a range of experimental techniques and technologies.
In addition to providing fundamental data, our research outputs have led to significant translational outputs with the development of management strategies for improving quality of life and on-going assessment of those with neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., the provision of external visual cues to help improve motor performance in Parkinson’s disease).
The lab offers intellectual, modern and practical mentorship and leadership for young researchers and attracts psychology/neuroscience students from all around the globe. The lab also offers exciting projects at the honours and doctoral levels for research training and promotion.
The lab falls under the following research themes within the School of Psychological Sciences: Movement Disorders & Ageing, Neurodevelopment & Disorders, Brain Injury & Rehabilitation and Addiction & Consciousness.
Director: Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis