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At NeuroLab we make use of neuroimaging, genetic, behavioral and neuropsychological approaches to investigate the cognitive skills and neural mechanisms underlying the human ability to orient and navigate in spatial surroundings. We are interested in understanding the fundamental mechanisms related to spatial cognition throughout the life span (from early development to the elderly) and in the event of clinical conditions affecting the central nervous system. We have many projects that may interest you. Explore our website to find out more about our research!

------------------------------------------------ GRADUATE STUDENT POSITION -------------------------------------------

THE NEURAL MECHANISMS OF SPATIAL ORIENTATION IN ASTRONAUTS.

NeuroLab (www.neurolab.ca) at the University of Calgary (Calgary, AB, Canada) seeks qualified applicants interested in pursuing graduate studies (Master and/or PhD) in Cognitive Neuroscience with a research focus on investigating spatial orientation in astronauts. The successful candidate will have experience and skills in developing game-like interactive environments, and have had exposure to the acquisition and/or analysis of neuroimaging data. The project will involve developing a training task to enhance spatial orientation skills, and investigating the neurological effects of microgravity on astronauts following a long-duration spaceflight in the International Space Station. The chosen candidate may start the program as early as January 2017.
The laboratory provides students with state-of-the-art technology for developing experimental tasks in virtual environments and acquiring functional and structural neuroimaging data. This position is funded by the Canadian Space Agency as part of the NASA International Life Science Research Announcement 2014 (ILSRA-2014). If you are interested in applying for this position, please forward your CV and a brief description of your experience and skills to the director of NeuroLab (Giuseppe Iaria, iaria@neurolab.ca) as soon as possible.

------------------------------------------ OUR MOST RECENT PUBLICATION ------------------------------------------

FAMILIAL AGGREGATION IN DEVELOPMENTAL TOPOGRAPHICAL DISORIENTATION (DTD)
Barclay, S. F., Burles, F., Potocki, K., Rancourt, K. M., Nicolson, M. L., Bech-Hansen, T. N., Iaria, G. (2016). Cognitive Neuropsychology.. [Epub ahead of print].

A variety of brain lesions may affect the ability to orient, resulting in what is termed “acquired topographical disorientation”. In some individuals, however, topographical disorientation is present from childhood, with no apparent brain abnormalities and otherwise intact general cognitive abilities, a condition referred to as “developmental topographical disorientation” (DTD). Individuals affected by DTD often report relatives experiencing the same lifelong orientation difficulties. Here, we sought to assess the familial aggregation of DTD by investigating its occurrence in the families of DTD probands, and in the families of control probands who did not experience topographical disorientation. We found that DTD appears to cluster in the DTD families, with tested relatives displaying the trait, whereas in the control families we did not detect any individuals with DTD. These findings provide the very first evidence for the familial clustering of DTD and motivate further work investigating the genetic factors producing this clustering.

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