Genes, Brains and Neurodiversity

If you are Member+ (have paid the yearly education fee in addition to the membership fee) then this is already included in your membership and you do not need to purchase. An email will be sent to you automatically with the Webinar details.

Thursday 13th June 12pm-1pm

In this talk, I will begin by giving an overview of the term neurodiversity and why I think it has its pros and cons in the research and clinical realms. I'll then share two large areas of my research from the past 20 years from both longitudinal cohort designs (including collecting genotype data) and experimental brain imaging studies: Dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). For part one, I will share some of my fMRI findings from young people with dyslexia that suggests that neurodiverse readers use nontraditional brain areas to read. For part two, ADHD, I will concentrate on recent findings from a new study in collaboration with the Mātai Medical Research Institute in Gisborne. For the past two years we have been conducting a large resting state, fMRI and DTI study with adults (16+) with an ADHD diagnosis. Using the Flanker cognitive control task during brain scanning, and asking people to fidget with their feet during some of the conditions, we have found that fidgeting does help normalise the prefrontal cortex during task performance but this association was not found with  neurotypical controls. We are just now starting the pediatric phase of the project. Implications of these findings for clinicians and teachers will be discussed.

 

Biographies: 

Dr Karen E Waldie is a Professor in the School of Psychology and with the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland. She was born in Vancouver, BC Canada, and received her BSc at the University of Victoria. She received her MSc and PhD (1998; Neuropsychology) at the University of Calgary and went on to become a research fellow with the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (DMHDS). She became a member of The University of Auckland academic faculty in 2001. 

Dr Karen Waldie’s research interests can be broadly categorised into those that rely on acute cross-sectional experimental techniques, and those which rely on data collected from longitudinal studies. Her experimental work combines techniques from cognitive neuroscience (e.g., functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG)) and clinical neuropsychology. She is currently involved a large fMRI study out of Gisborne Hospital to determine the neural basis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other neurodiverse conditions.

Her involvement with national longitudinal studies (Dunedin Study, Auckland Birthweight Collaborative Study, Growing Up in NZ) reflects her interest in life-span development as well as the precursors and determinants of neurodevelopmental disorders.

She is a member of numerous professional societies and has published over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.

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Webinar

If you are Member+ (have paid the yearly education fee of $60 in addition to the $50 membership fee) this is already included in your membership and you do not need to purchase. An email will be sent to you automatically with the Webinar details.

Available from 2 Feb 2024 until 11 Jun 2024

APS-CCN

APS College of Clinical Psychologists Webinar Access

Available from 2 Feb 2024 until 11 Jun 2024

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