The focus of Vincent's work is on structural and functional brain changes as a function of aging and environmental changes using multimodel MRI and neuro-cognitive and behavioral testing. Vincent is currently involved in the following main projects:
A NASA funded study on space flight effects on neurocognitive performance, extend, longevity, and neural bases. In this prospective longitudinal study, astronauts are being followed from pre to post spaceflight. At several time points, MRI scans are done and neuromotor performance is assessed to unfold the potential central nervous system changes that may underly gait and balance problems that astronauts experience post flight. In a parallel space flight analog study, Vincent is investigating the effects of long-duration head down tilt bed rest on the brain using similar measures as in the astronaut study. Long-duration bed rest is an exclusive experimental analog for space flight because extended exposure to a head down tilt position can duplicate many of the effects of a low-gravity environment.
The Longitudinal Healthy Aging Brain (LHAB) study. This population study was designed to unravel the association between structural and functional brain changes and cognitive and motor behavior in healthy elderly adults. The project is a joint venture with the University of Zurich, where data collection of this ongoing study started in 2011. Vincent focuses on the morphology of brain regions involved in motor control such as the cerebellum and how age-related changes in these regions relate to motor performance.
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