My research experience so far

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The topic of my research is the decline in learning ability commonly seen in old age, and how this can best be tested for, so people can receive adequate support and care. My supervisor, Dr Sprengelmeyer, and I have developed two tests of learning disability that we want to try with a general population this summer to discover eventual problems with their design. The long term goal is to verify these two tests, so they can  used in clinical setting, for example as a part of a test battery testing for dementia. 

Unfortunately, the corona situation has hindered this process. Moving the study online has meant writing a new ethics application, and since the situation has put pressure on everyone, its evaluation and verification has been going slowly. I have therefore not been able to start the project yet. Instead I have focused on getting everything ready and looked at different ways to analyse the data I will eventually get.  I have also started considering other projects. Among other things, I have started to look into making a scientific review about functional neurological diseases - a completely new topic, that I have become interested in during the last few months. I have also considered writing a review about the current knowledge in the area of mental decline in old age.

No matter what I end up with, I have had good use of the leadership skills I have learned at the events I have participated in so far. They have for example helped me recontextualize the current situation as challenge and a possibility for learning instead of a source of frustration, and to think outside the box. I also think that knowledge of my DISC profile has helped me handle my emotions better, especially considering the state of the world. A lot of things are going on right now, and I hope that everyone is doing well. 

I would like to thank the Laidlaw Foundation, and my supervisor for making all of this possible.

Kaja Monique Wiberg Andersen

Student, University of St Andrews