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Keeping track of brain activity


Brigid Veale
1 March 2010
Southern Cross University psychology researchers are looking for participants for a new study investigating the factors that impact on brain function as people age.

Dr Alison Bowling, a lecturer in psychology in the School of Health and Human Sciences at the Coffs Harbour campus, is leading the project which will initially assess different aspects of cognitive function in older and younger people.

“We are looking for people aged between 60 and 70 years, who are living normal healthy lives, to participate in our study,” Dr Bowling said.

Using new equipment purchased by the University, Dr Bowling and research assistant Emily Hindman, will track eye movements to assess different aspects of cognitive activity, such as memory and attention.

“We are not assessing individual cognitive ability and it is not a measure of intelligence,” Dr Bowling said.

“This is the beginning of a project which will be looking at the kinds of factors that might influence cognitive change. What I am really interested in is the kinds of things that might influence or prevent cognitive change, such as exercise or keeping your brain active.

“As the first stage of that project, we need to get a baseline of cognitive function and eye movements across different age groups.”

Dr Bowling said they were initially looking for 30 participants, aged between 60 and 70. People aged from 18 to 35 years could also volunteer for the study.

The participants will be required to come to the Coffs Harbour campus once, for an hour session, where they will look at a computer monitor and complete some simple eye movement and cognitive tasks. Assistance with transport is available.

Anyone interested in taking part in the study should contact Dr Bowling on 6659 3032 or email

Photo: Research assistant Emily Hindman uses the Eye Tracker equipment.