Morgan Laird

RESEARCHER PROFILE

Research Assistant

9399 1040


Morgan has recently completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology at Macquarie University and will be commencing Psychology Honours in 2019. Morgan has previously worked as a research assistant on projects interested in cognition, behavioural neuropharmacology and personality. Ultimately, she would like to complete a PhD and Masters in Neuropsychology.

At NeuRA, Morgan works as a research assistant on the Driver, Ageing, Safety and Health (DASH) project. The research derived from this study will facilitate the development of more nuanced screening tests for distinguishing between safe and unsafe older drivers.

 

Working at NeuRA in the Anstey group has helped Morgan develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the processes and work involved in research, and plans to apply this knowledge to her own research in the future.

Morgan is particularly interested in looking at alternatives to pharmacotherapies such as exercise and lifestyle changes for preventing and reducing neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment associated with ageing, stress and anxiety-related disorders.

Morgan also volunteers with dementia and stroke patients in a hospital setting.

Projects Morgan Laird is currently involved with

CURRENT PROJECTS

The Driving, Ageing, Safety and Health (DASH) project

Older adults represent a growing sector of the driving population in Australia, and while driving can be important for maintaining social engagement in late life, age-related changes such as cognitive and visual impairment can impact on driving safety.

 

The Driving, Ageing, Safety and Health (DASH) project is designed to develop and validate screening measures for older drivers to support determinations of driving safety.

 

Over 550 older drivers, across three groups, were followed for two years to evaluate how well laboratory assessments and an on-road test predict driving outcomes. The three groups included a) older drivers referred for assessment by GPs and Road Safety Authorities, b) older drivers with eye disease and c) older drivers drawn from the community.

 

Primary Aims:

 

Secondary Aims:

  • To compare the efficacy of the Multi-D and other screening instruments in predicting prospective self-reported crash rates (derived from standardized monthly diaries) between three groups of older drivers
  • To evaluate the screening instruments and assessments in relation to mobility outcomes (driving cessation, driving frequency, driving distance) over two years and longer pending further funding
  • To collaborate with practitioners to develop clinical practice guidelines for using the Multi-D battery in the context of older driver assessment
  • To inform the development and design of interventions to prevent injuries among older drivers.

 

Findings from this research project will enable health professionals and licensing authorities to assist in their decision-making regarding the fitness to drive of older adults.

 

DASH is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

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The Driving, Ageing, Safety and Health (DASH) project

RESEARCH TEAM