Maria Natasha Rajah
Ph.D.

Division: 
Neuroscience humaine

Maria Natasha Rajah
 

Bureau: 
GH-2114, Centre d'imagerie cérébrale

6875 Boulevard LaSalle
Montréal, QC
H4H 1R3



Champs de recherche: 
Recherche clinique et humaine

Thème de recherche: 
Vieillissement, cognition et maladie d'Alzheimer


Directrice, Centre d'imagerie cérébrale, Centre de recherche Douglas
Professeure titulaire, Département de psychiatrie, Université McGill
Membre associée, Département de psychologie, Université McGill



Neurosciences cognitives du vieillissement et mémoire


Laboratoire de Natasha Rajah

Notre laboratoire, dirigé par Natasha Rajah, mène des études de comportement et de neuro-imagerie en neuroscience cognitive de la mémoire, du vieillissement et de la prévention de la démence. Nous utilisons des méthodes d'imagerie par résonance magnétique (IRM), structurelles et fonctionnelles, pour étudier comment les variables biologiques et démographiques (sexe biologique, génétique, hormones sexuelles, éducation, bilinguisme, etc.) influent sur les réseaux neuronaux médiateurs codant et récupérant de la mémoire épisodique tout au long de la vie adulte. Nous menons également des études parallèles chez des adultes présentant des facteurs de risque de maladie d'Alzheimer à apparition tardive.

Les objectifs de notre programme de recherche sont de comprendre:

  • Comment le cerveau code-t-il et récupère-t-il les mémoires épisodiques?
  • Comment le vieillissement, en santé, influence-t-il les corrélats neuraux de l'apprentissage et de la mémoire tout au long de la vie adulte?
  • Comment le sexe biologique, le stress, les hormones et les facteurs liés au mode de vie influencent-ils les fonctions cognitives et cérébrales en vieillissant?
  • En quoi ces changements diffèrent-ils chez les adultes à risque par rapport à ceux qui ne le sont pas?
  • Qu'est-ce qui différencie les personnes âgées, qui performe aussi bien que les jeunes adultes, lors de tâches de mémoire (performants), de celles qui présentent un déclin de la mémoire lié à l'âge?

1.    Kwon, D.*, Maillet, D.*, Pasvanis, S., Ankudowich, E., Grady, C. L. & Rajah, M. N.* (2015). Context memory decline in middle aged adults is related to changes in prefrontal cortex function. Cerebral Cortex, doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhv068. *Authors contributed equivalently to the writing of this manuscript.
2.    Rajah, M. N., Maillet, D & Grady, C.L. (2015).  Book Chapter: Episodic Memory in Healthy Older Adults: The Role of Prefrontal and Parietal Cortices. The Wiley Handbook on the Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory. Editors: D. Addis, M. Berense & A. Duarte.
3.    Maillet, D. & Rajah, M. N. (2014). Age-related differences in brain activity in the subsequent memory paradigm: A meta-analysis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 45, 246-57.
4.    Maillet, D. & Rajah, M. N. (2014). Dissociable roles of default-mode regions during episodic encoding. Neuroimage,  89, 244-255.
5.    Maillet, D. & Rajah, M. N. (2013). Age-related changes in the frequency of mind- wandering and task interferences at encoding and their impact on memory retrieval. Memory, 21 (7), 818 -831.
6.    Maillet, D*. & Rajah, M. N.* (2012). Association between prefrontal activity and volume change in prefrontal and medial temporal lobes in aging and dementia: A review. *Both authors contributed equivalently to the writing of this paper. Invited review for Aging Research Reviews, 12 (2), 479-489.
7.    Maillet, D. and Rajah, M. N. (2011). Reduction in hippocampal-head volume with aging is associated with altered encoding-related activity and impaired context memory performance. Brain Research, 1420, 68-79.
8.    Rajah, M. N., Languay, R.  and Grady C.L. (2011). Age-related changes in right middle frontal gyrus volumes and its impact on retrieval-related activity and retrieval accuracy. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(49), 17941-54.
9.    Crane D, Maillet, D., Floden, D.,Valiquette L. and Rajah, M. N. (2011).  Similarities in the patterns of prefrontal cortex activity during spatial and temporal context memory retrieval after equating for task structure and performance. Neuroimage, 54(2), 1549-64.
10.    Rajah. M. N., Kromas,M., Han J. E.,  Pruessner, J. C., (2010). Group differences in anterior hippocampal volume and in the retrieval of spatial and temporal context memory in healthy young versus older adults. Neuropsychologia, 48(14),4020-30.
11.    Rajah, M. N., Languay, R., and Valiquette, L. (2010) Age-related changes in prefrontal cortex activity are associated with behavioural deficits in both temporal and spatial context memory retrieval in older adults. Cortex, 46, 535-549.
12.    Rajah, M. N., Ames, B. and D’Esposito, M. (2008). Prefrontal contributions to domain-general executive control processes during temporal context retrieval. Neuropsychologia, 46, 1088-1103.
13.    Rajah, M.N. and McIntosh, A. R. (2006). Dissociating prefrontal contributions during a recency memory task.  Neuropsychologia, 44(3):350-64. 
14.    Rajah, M. N., and D’Esposito, M. (2005). Region specific changes in prefrontal function with age: a review of PET and fMRI aging studies on working memory and episodic memory. Brain, 128:1964-83.  
15.    Rajah, M. N. and McIntosh, A. R. (2005).  Overlap in the functional neural systems involved in semantic and episodic memory retrieval. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 17 (3), 470-483.  

 


Dr. M. Natasha Rajah received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Toronto in 2003 and did her post-doctoral training at U.C. Berkeley, 2003-2005. She joined the Douglas Institute in 2005 as Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry. In 2007, she was awarded a prestigious CIHR New Investigator Salary Award and in 2009 she was promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Rajah's research is focused on the cognitive neuroscience of memory and aging. In 2011 Dr. Rajah was promoted to Director of the Douglas Brain Imaging Centre. Dr. Rajah currently holds a FRQ-S Junior 2 Research Scholar Award.


1. Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQ-S), Junior 2 Salary Award, 2013-2015
2. John R. & Clara M. Fraser Memorial Award, 2012-2013
3. Selected for “Top 50 under 50” by Quebec Science Magazine, 2012
4. Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), New Investigator Salary Award, 2007-2012
5. Fonds de la Recherche en Santé Québec (FRSQ), Junior 1 Salary Award, 2007-2010
6. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (PDF), 2002-2004
7. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS B), 2000-2002
8. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS A), 1998-2000
9. Travel Award, Organization for Human Brain Mapping, 2000


Étudiants aux cycles supérieurs

  • Sivaniya Subramaniapillai,  Ph.D. Student, Psychology 
  • Abdel Halim Elshiekh, Ph.D. Student, IPN Program
  • Jamie Snytte, M.Sc. Student, IPN Program

​​Étudiants sous-gradués

  • Camille Beaudoin

​​Assistants de recherche

  • Stamatoula Pasvanis (depuis 2014)
  • Myles LoParco (2019-maintenant)

Alumni

Anciens assistants de recherche

  • Maria del Pilar Fajardo
  • Angela Potes
  • Luc Valiquette, M.A. (now a Conseil multidisciplinaire at Louis-H. Lafontaine)
  • Rafael Languay (now a Pharmacy student at Université de Montreal)
  • Claire Han (now an IPN graduate student with Jorge Armony)
  • Lauren Crawford (now applying for medical school)
  • Sidney Pinto (now an HR manager)

Anciens étudiants

  • Elizabeth Ankudowich, Ph.D. Student, IPN (now Grants Officer, NIH)
  • Lyssa Manning, M.Sc. Student, IPN (now RA with Dr. R. Sperling, Harvard University)
  • Rachel Hum, Undergraduate Volunteer (now in Chiropractor's College)
  • Kiera Hooper, Undergraduate Honour Student (now completing her B.Sc. at McGill University)
  • Lesley Wu, Undergraduate Honours Student (now applying to graduate school)
  • Daniel Davies, Undergraduate Honours Student (now in Medical School, U. of Toronto)
  • David Maillet, Ph.D. (now a Post-doc at Rotman Research Institute)
  • Karina Borja, M.Sc. (now Ph.D. student at Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience)
  • Dave Crane, M.Sc. (now a MRI scientist, Sunnybrook Hospital)
  • Renee Gordon, Post-doc (now Medical Writer, New Zealand)
  • Michelle Kromas, Undergraduate Student (now a medical student)
  • Diana Kwon, M.Sc., (now a Scientific Writer, Chicago, USA)
  • Alexander Swierkot, M.Sc. (now in Medical school, McGill University)
  • Lindsay Wallace, M.Sc. (now Ph.D. student at Dalhousie University)
  • Jackie Lam, Undergraduate Student (applying to graduate school) 
  • Hannah Restle, Undergraduate Student (applying for graduate school)
  • Idil Kilinc, Undergraduate Student (applying for clinical psychology programs)

Publications récentes