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Edge Hill academic receives prestigious grant to continue investigations into memory and dementia

May 14, 2024

An Edge Hill University researcher has received a £125,000 grant to continue her pioneering research into memory, dementia and healthy ageing.

This prestigious grant will support Dr Dorothy Tse’s innovative research aimed at enhancing our understanding of memory formation. It focuses on how our existing knowledge influences how we remember new information. 

The research also aims to use this understanding to develop strategies to help people stay mentally sharp as they age and fight diseases like Alzheimer’s. 

The news comes in the UK’s Dementia Action Week 2024, with the Alzheimer’s Society calling on the Government and the NHS to prioritise dementia in policy and decision making. 

Dr Tse, a neuroscientist and cognitive psychologist, said: “The work not only holds promise for advancing our knowledge of memory processes but also for developing strategies to support individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory-related conditions.

“Memory plays a crucial role in shaping our experiences and learning processes, yet the intricacies of memory formation are not fully understood, especially in translating findings from animal models to human applications.  

“I am aiming to bridge this gap by studying the neurobiological mechanisms of memory, particularly how knowledge we already have influences how we process new information.”

An image of an illustrated multi-coloured brain.

Dr Tse ­was one of 54 “exceptional biomedical and health researchers” to receive a share of £6.6million in research funding from the Academy of Medical Sciences – and one of only eight in the North West.

Using a virtual shopping experience, the study will involve people of all ages, including older adults and those with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. 

By observing how people navigate the virtual environment and learn new things within it, Dr Tse can see how well they remember things based on their existing knowledge.  

The study will also measure brain activity while people complete the tasks to understand how the brain processes new information based on what is already known. 

The research will build on established partnerships with the University of the Third Age (u3a) Aughton and Ormskirk and The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust.  

Dr Tse’s other project, ‘Ageing Better with an Active Mind’, is a co-creation project with u3a Aughton and Ormskirk and was shortlisted for the Educate North 2024 Mental Health and Wellbeing award. 

Find out more about studying Psychology at Edge Hill University: edgehill.ac.uk/departments/academic/psychology

May 14, 2024

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