Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Dr Sinead Mullally

Lecturer in Neuropsychology

Background

In 2005, I completed my PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin, where I used a novel disruption technique to explore the mnemonic functions of the human hippocampus in healthy adults. From 2006 to 2008, I continued my research on this topic at a postdoctoral level, whilst simultaneously helping to establish and support a plan of clinical research investigating a range of topics (including an exploration of the neuro-cognitive sequelae of hypothyroidism) using facilities at the then newly-founded Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. I then undertook a Wellcome Trust funded postdoctoral position in Professor Eleanor Maguire’s Memory and Space group at University College London where I spent five years investigating the role of the hippocampus in constructing scenes and how this relates to episodic memory, imagination of the future and spatial navigation. To interrogate these issues I used a range of metacognitive, cognitive, neuropsychological and neuroimaging techniques in both healthy adults and in patients with severe memory loss. In 2013, I joined Newcastle University as a lecturer of Neuropsychology.

Research

My current research interests are focused on understanding the many cognitive functions associated with the human hippocampus. These include better understanding its’ well-documented role in episodic memory, its’ more recently appreciated role in imagination and prediction, and the link between these seemingly disparate cognitive processes and the ability to visualise coherent spatial environments. I am also interested in the early ontogeny of the human hippocampus. More specifically, I am interested in understanding how infants and young children learn to remember their personal pasts and to imagine their personal futures. I aim to use a combination of behavioural testing (in healthy and neurological populations) and brain imaging (high-resolution structural and functional MRI) to address these questions.

Teaching

PSY3027 Developmental Disorders

PSY2004 Individual Differences

Publications