Meg Spriggs: PhD Candidate for Brain Research New Zealand

Meg Spriggs is PhD candidate in the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group Based at the School of Psychology, University of Auckland. She’s an MRI and EEG specialist working alongside the Dementia Prevention Research Clinic in Auckland, assisting clinic participants and other researchers with brain imaging.


Meg spriggs

As an undergraduate psychology student,  Meg was introduced to EEG (electroencephalography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). She now uses this technology on a daily basis for her research, alongside participants from the Dementia Prevention Research Clinic (DPRC). Using MRI and imaging technology has been an overwhelmingly exciting part of her role.  


“We’re currently experiencing an exciting time for brain research,” Meg explains, “new techniques enable us to understand how the brain works and allow us to move the field forward at an unprecedented rate.”


Collecting data for the Dementia Prevention Research Clinic at the University of Auckland


“My research is focused on identifying change in patterns of brain activity in the early stages of dementia. I’m assessing the first wave of data collection for participants of the DPRC.


“I hope that the data I collect now will be helpful for understanding longitudinal brain changes when then the same participants come back to the DPRC for subsequent assessments.


“My hope is that this will not only be beneficial for the individuals involved, but for our understanding of the neural processes underlying dementia.  One of the goals of the DPRC is to implement treatments and interventions to help slow the onset/progression of dementia by five years. I hope that the baseline measures of brain function I collect, will help track progression which will help in developing and assessing the effectiveness of such interventions,” she explains.


Kei wareware kit e hunga wairehu- Don’t forget those who can’t remember


Not only is she involved in research projects, Meg also teaches labs for one undergraduate research paper and volunteers one day a week at a residential care facility (West Harbour Gardens), where she enriches the lives of residents with fun activities like Zumba, music and bingo.


BRNZ has enabled her to feel connected to young BRNZ peers located at other universities.


“In February I attended a BRNZ Early Career Researcher workshop in Christchurch. I left feeling excited and motivated by what I had learnt. I also felt that I’d made connections with many other like-minded people at the same stage in their career. This sense of community is unique and I’m lucky to be a part of it,” she explains.   


Working with Professor Ian Kirk and Associate Professor Lynette Tippett


My primary supervisor is Professor Ian Kirk and my secondary supervisor is Associate Professor Lynette Tippett. I feel incredibly privileged to work with them both.  


“One of the main reasons that I enjoy working under Ian, is that I’m trusted to follow my own instinct in my research. Although I can count on him to rein me in if I get a little over-ambitious, which I do at times. Also I can always trust Ian’s support and judgment when I feel that I am stepping out of my comfort zone in my career. I always enjoy our yarns!”  


“As Lynette is the co-director of the DPRC, her guidance is very important to me. I feel that she is always 110% committed to everything she does, including ensuring that her students get the assistance they need. This motivates me to learn all that I can from Lynette during my PhD,” she explains.


Meg Spriggs is an exceptionally talented and driven researcher who is committed to using her expertise to fight dementia in New Zealand in the decades to come.  

About the Centre for Advanced MRI (CAMRI)

MRI_ 398_FMHS_30Mar2011

The Centre for Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CAMRI) at The University of Auckland is the first MRI venture in New Zealand to focus on high-end research work as well as routine clinical imaging. Drawing on a successful track record of research collaborations at the University, CAMRI delivers MRI research expertise and resources to leading commercial and government organisations.     


Established in 2004, we have a close collaboration with Siemens and enjoy ready access to the latest equipment and software developments for advanced research and clinical protocols.


We work with a wide range of clients, including District Health Boards and private sector researchers and have been involved in several worldwide clinical trials. CAMRI is Accredited by International Accreditation New Zealand and is an Affiliated Provider for Southern Cross Healthcare and a health services provider for the Accident Compensation Corporation.    

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