University of Lincoln RIF Studentships 2014 PROJECT DETAILS Project Title Role of Physical-Cognitive Dual-task Activity on Neurocognition and Health in Older Adults Project Reference RIF2014S-27 Project Summary Engagement in acute and chronic physical and cognitive activity benefits overall health and function, particularly in later life. Independently, these activities have been applied to improve neurocognitive and cardiorespiratory function in older adults. These single task approaches have illuminated complementary brain neuroplasticity showing positive behavioural improvements. Since physical and cognitive activities appear to share similar mechanisms that bring about cognitive change, there appears to be overlapping effects. Consequently combining activities within a dualtask approach may lead to strengthened and more sustained cognitive function. This PhD studentship will aim to expand this line of enquiry and apply physicalcognitive dual task activity to examine the extent to which in combination these may result in greater neurocognitive gains than either form alone. The research hypothesis is that through a dual-task intervention that includes physical training and requires sustained attention and concentration (i.e. cognitive load), actual potency of exercise to enhance cognitive performance in later life will be enhanced. Specifically, the PhD student will investigate; The gain in neurocognitive and health function that can be achieved through a range of physical-cognitive dual-performance activities; The acute and chronic effects of various physical-cognitive dual task methodologies. This is a cross-disciplinary project involving the School of Sport and Exercise Science and the School of Psychology at the University of Lincoln. The successful PhD candidate must have the academic credentials and skills required to cope with PhD level study. Whilst there will be strong leadership from the supervisory team, working on their own initiative will be a required skill. The successful candidate will have a keen interest in interdisciplinary research across both exercise physiology and cognitive psychology. It is desirable, although not essential, that the PhD candidate has previous experience working with older adults, and is familiar with prescribing intervention programmes. In addition, applicants are required to have a good Honours degree (at least 2:1 or equivalent) in an appropriate subject (e.g., Exercise Science, Physiology or Cognitive Psychology). A Masters in a relevant subject is desirable. Supervisory Team 1. Dr Mark F Smith, Principal Lecturer, Lincoln School of Sport and Exercise Science. http://staff.lincoln.ac.uk/mfsmith 2. Professor Timothy Hodgson, Director of Research within Lincoln School of Psychology. http://staff.lincoln.ac.uk/tlhodgson Eligibility All Candidates must satisfy the University’s minimum doctoral entry criteria for studentships of an honours degree at Upper Second Class (2:1) or an appropriate Masters degree or equivalent. A minimum IELTS (Academic) score of 7 (or equivalent) is essential for candidates for whom English is not their first language. Funded Studentships are open to both UK/EU students unless otherwise specified. How to Apply Please send a covering letter outlining your interest and proposed approach (up to 1 page A4) with an accompanying CV to [email protected] by close of day on 18th April 2014. Candidates will be notified w/c 5th May of the outcome of the process and if invited to interview, these are anticipated to take place w/c 26h May.