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Dr REBECCA DEWEY
Senior Research Fellow
|Post Nominals||MPhys, PhD, CPhys|
|Biography||I obtained an undergraduate master's degree in physics with theoretical physics from the University of Manchester in 2008. From there, I moved to the University of Nottingham to study for a PhD in advanced functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques to observe the changes in brain activity, functional connectivity and cerebral perfusion caused by the onset of disease or the administration of a drug. More specifically, I conducted a study into the effect of the peripherally acting beta-blocker, Nadolol, on the arterial spin labelling (ASL) perfusion and blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) fMRI response to emotional visual stimuli. I completed my PhD in the Division of Radiological and Imaging Sciences, in 2012. Following my PhD, I took up several successive postdoctoral posts in the field of auditory neuroscience, imaging multiple aspects of the human hearing system. I now work as a research fellow in neuroimaging at the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre, School of Physics and Astronomy, collaborating closely with Hearing Sciences in the Division of Mental Health and Clinical Neurosciences, School of Medicine and the Hearing Theme of the National Institute for Health Research Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre.|
|Research Interests||My previous research has included conducting studies using the functional neuroimaging technique of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in combination with fMRI to measure activation patterns in the auditory network in response to non-auditory sensory stimulation in profoundly deaf individuals, and to investigate whether these patterns change with cochlear implant use.
Following that, I worked on a project in collaboration with the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre (SPMIC) in the school of Physics and Astronomy, the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit and the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester. The project used fMRI and electrophysiology to investigate the neural bases of "hidden hearing loss", the consequences of noise damage to the auditory system that are currently undetectable by regular audiological testing methods.
I am interested in new techniques that can be used to observe how external influences alter how the brain works. Drugs and prosthetics, as well as illnesses and disease can change how the brain responds to its environment. Functional neuroimaging can help us to understand how these external influences alter normal brain function. Functional neuroimaging can often be enhanced by using multiple imaging modalities simultaneously (multi-modal imaging) to obtain the most information about a process.
I am currently working at imaging the auditory nerve and the ascending auditory pathway (from the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem to the auditory cortex) to understand the relative impacts of noise exposure, aging, and hearing loss on the health of the auditory nerve and brain. This exciting project will run from 2021 until 2026.