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Ashleigh Smith

 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia

How Exercise Influences the Capacity of the Human Brain for Neuroplasticity and Cognition Across the Entire Human Lifespan

Dr Ashleigh Smith is an early career neurophysiologist (equivalent to 6 months post PhD conferral), in the Exercise for Health and Human Performance research group, located within the Sansom Institute for Health Research at the University of South Australia. Ashleigh is interested in understanding how the brain re-organises the strength of its connections throughout life (known as neuroplasticity). Enhanced neuroplasticity is particularly important for motor and neurocognitive learning as well as recovery from insults such as stroke or brain injury. Specifically Ashleigh is investigating the mechanisms underpinning the link between physical activity, enhanced neuroplasticity and cognitive function in both young and older adults. Since 2007, Ashleigh has 26 publications (71 citations since 2009, H-index 5) including 9 original research publications (5 first author) in international peer reviewed journals, 3 reviews (1 invited) and 14 conference proceedings (including 1 invited symposium). Most notably in 2010 Ashleigh was awarded the internationally competitive Young Investigator Award at the International Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology held in Kobe, Japan.

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