Laura has been working with the Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory since 2013, and is currently the Senior Clinical Research Associate on longitudinal investigations of post-stroke cognitive and cerebral decline (CANVAS study) in addition to the effects of acute cardiovascular exercise intervention on post-stroke outcomes (PISCES study).
Laura is also an AHPRA-registered Psychologist, and is currently completing her PhD in Neuropsychology, under the supervision of Professor Sarah Wilson at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences (University of Melbourne), and Professor Graeme Jackson at the Florey Institute (Austin Campus). Her doctoral research has investigated the differences in music perception and production skills in pre-surgical focal epilepsy patients compared to healthy controls. Laura's dissertation aims to further our understanding of the complex interaction between seizure-induced cerebral network abnormalities and music expertise-related neuroplasticity, and the effects this may have on music and non-music cognition.
Laura is passionate about research investigating predictive and protective factors influencing cognitive, neurological, psychological, and other health outcomes, in a range of patient populations including epilepsy, stroke, and dementia. Her clinical interests lie broadly within the realm of health psychology.
Key Publications & Presentations:
Werden, E., Cumming, T., Li, Q., Bird, L., Veldsman, M., Pardoe, H. R.,… & Brodtmann, A. (2017). Structural MRI markers of brain aging early after ischemic stroke. Neurology, 89, 1-9.
Bird, L. J., Jackson, G. D., Abbott, D. F., & Wilson, S. J. (2013). Profiling musical function in focal epilepsy: A case series. Epilepsia, 54, 219.
Bird, L. J., Jackson, G. D., & Wilson, S. J. (2016). Music is more resistant to neurological disease than language: Insights from focal epilepsy. Presented at the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, San Francisco, U.S.A.
Awards and achievements
Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarship recipient (2010-2013)
Travel bursary and Gold Star Award for conference abstract, International Organising Committee of the 30th International Epilepsy Congress meeting, Montreal, Canada (2013)
Conference poster selected for Poster Highlights tour, Inaugural Music, Mind and Health conference, Melbourne (2013)
Mariani Foundation scholarship, Neurosciences and Music-V conference, Dijon, France (2014)
Abstract chosen for Datablitz presentation, Melbourne Epilepsy Meeting, hosted by The Florey Institute (2014)
Brain health affects all Australians. You can support our research by making a donation or a bequest.