Coco Newton

University Position
PhD student


My research aims to ascertain whether bespoke behavioural tests may deliver new clinically-relevant diagnostic methods for detecting Alzheimer's disease (AD) earlier than currently possible. Current legacy clinical assessments predate the modern era of cognitive neuroscience and are insensitive to early subtle behavioural changes. I use immersive virtual and augmented reality to test spatial memory dependent on the entorhinal-hippocampal circuit, the first area of the brain affected by AD. The design of these tests is derived from neural circuit level understanding of navigation and memory in rodent preclinical animal models, aiming to increase translation across the clinical trial phases. In tandem with ultra-high resolution 7T MRI, I'm also aiming to characterise functional and structural brain changes present in preclinical AD. I'm working with the PREVENT Dementia Cohort led by Craig Ritchie at the University of Edinburgh.

Key Publications