Lydia T. Nguyen

I am a fifth year PhD student in the Neuroscience Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I work in Dr. Raksha Mudar's Aging and Neurocognition Lab (AANCL). My research involves the use of human electroencephalography (EEG) to study differences between healthy aging and pathological aging. In particular, I am currently examining differences in brain rhythms (e.g., alpha) between healthy aging individuals and individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. The overall goal of this work is to develop neural markers to identify cognitive deterioration at the earliest stages to slow and potentially prevent onset of chronic cognitive deterioration.

To find out more about the lab I work in visit the AANCL website.

Picured above: A photo I took in Howth, Ireland in June 2013 on a trip around Europe with my brother. Edited with Photoshop CS5.

CV

I have highlighted a few items, but have not included a complete list. You can see my full CV here.

Education

Ph.D. (in progress), Neuroscience
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL

B.S., Biological Sciences (Minor: Psychology), summa cum laude, May 2014
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Research Experience

Graduate Research Assistant
Neuroscience Program & Department of Speech of Hearing Science, UIUC, Champaign, IL
Aging and Neurocognition Lab (AANCL)
Supervisor: Raksha A. Mudar, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
August 2014-present

Undergraduate Research Assistant
Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Supervisors: Lee Cooper, Ph.D. and Neville Galloway-Williams
August 2013-May 2014

Undergraduate Intern
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Blacksburg, VA
Translational Decision Neuroscience Lab
Supervisors: Pearl Chiu, Ph.D. and Dongil Chung, Ph.D.
July 2013-April 2014

Field Study
Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Psychological Services Center (PSC)
Supervisor: Lee Cooper, Ph.D. and Jonathan Waldron
January 2013-May 2014

Independent Study
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Supervisor: Marcella Kelly, Ph.D.
August 2012-May 2013

Publications

Mudar, R.A., Nguyen, L.T., Eroh, J., Chiang, H-S., Rackley, A., & Chapman, S.B. (in press). Event-related Neural Oscillation Changes Following Reasoning Training in Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment. Brain Research.

Swords, G.M., Nguyen, L.T., Mudar, R.A., & Llano, D.A. (2018). Auditory System Dysfunction in Alzheimer Disease and its Prodromal States: A Review. Ageing Research Reviews, 44, 49-59.

Nguyen, L.T., Mudar, R.A., Chiang, H.S., Schneider, J.M., Maguire, M.J., Kraut, M.A., Hart Jr., J. (2017). Theta and Alpha Alterations in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment in Semantic Go/NoGo Tasks. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 160.

Mudar, R.A., Chiang, H.S., Eroh, J., Nguyen, L.T., Maguire, M.J., Spence, J.S., Kung, F., Kraut, M.A., & Hart Jr., J. (2016). The Effects of Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment on Go/NoGo Semantic Categorization Task Performance and Event-Related Potentials. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 50, 577-590.

Posters & Presentations

Nguyen, L.T., Nie, Q., Myers, D., Gibson, A., Kerssens, C., Mudar, R.A., & Rogers, W.A. Social Engagement Through Video Chat for Older Individuals With and Without Cognitive Impairment. Poster to be presented at The Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting, Boston, MA, November 2018.

Nguyen, L.T., Shende, S.A., Rackley, A., Chapman, S.B., & Mudar, R.A. Strategy-Based Cognitive Training Effects on Event-Related Neural Oscillations in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment. Poster presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Chicago, IL, July 2018.

Nguyen, L.T. & Mudar, R.A. Effects of Strategy-Based Cognitive Training in Mild Cognitive Impairment. Presentation given at the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association 58th Annual Convention, Rosemont, IL, February 2018.

Nguyen, L.T. Event-Related Neural Oscillations in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment. Presentation given at the UIUC Department of Speech and Hearing Science proseminar, Champaign, IL, December 2017.

Nguyen, L.T., Shende, S.A., Tai, Y., Husain, F., & Mudar, R.A. Cognitive and Neural Alterations in Age-Associated Hearing Loss. Poster presented at the 12th Annual Eleanor M. Saffran Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience and Rehabilitation of Communication Disorders, Philadelphia, PA, September 2017.

Nguyen, L.T., Shende, S.A., & Mudar, R.A. Characterizing Early and Late Mild Cognitive Impairment Using EEG Alpha Power. Poster presented at the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Initiative 2nd Annual Clinical and Translational Neuroscience Workshop, Urbana, IL, February 2017.

Nguyen, L.T. & Mudar, R.A. Alpha Power Changes in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment in Go/NoGo Tasks Involving Semantic Categorization. Poster presented at The Gerontological Society of America 69th Annual Scientific Meeting, New Orleans, LA, November 2016.

Nguyen, L.T., Kung, F., & Mudar, R.A. Event-related Potentials and Alpha Power Changes in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment in Go/NoGo Tasks Involving Semantic Categorization. Poster presented at the Karolinska Institute at Illinois (KI@IL) summit, Champaign, IL, June 2016.

Nguyen, L.T., Chiang, H.S., Eroh, J., Maguire, M.J., Kraut, M.A., Hart Jr., J., & Mudar, R.A. Alpha Power Changes in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment in Go/NoGo Tasks Involving Semantic Categorization. Poster presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society 23rd Annual Meeting, New York City, NY, April 2016.

Teaching Experience

Graduate Teaching Assistant
Course: Introduction to Human Communication Systems & Disorders
Department of Speech and Hearing Science, UIUC, Champaign, IL
Spring 2018

Graduate Teaching Assistant
Course: Introduction to Psychology
Department of Psychology, UIUC, Champaign, IL
Fall 2017

Graduate Teaching Assistant
Course: Experimental Techniques in Cellular Biology
The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, UIUC, Champaign, IL
Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017

About Me

I was born and raised in Virginia, about 20 minutes outside of Washington, D.C. I received my Bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech (Let's go Hokies!) in May 2014. In August 2014 I moved to Illinois to study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Neuroscience Program.

In my free time I enjoy playing with my cats (Toothless and Hiccup - named after the How to Train Your Dragon characters), watching movies, reading (fantasy and sci-fi in particular), and traveling when I can.

Motivation for my research

When I was in elementary school my paternal grandmother developed Alzheimer’s disease and I watched her cognitive abilities decline rapidly, making her incapable of functioning independently. It was scary to witness this without understanding what was happening and to think this could happen to my other grandparents. However, my maternal grandparents have managed to cope successfully with the maladies of old age, enjoying life and living independently. Through these first-hand experiences with my grandparents, I realized that a critical relationship exists between cognitive ability and functional competence, which could contribute to the drastic differences in how each individual ages. I believe that understanding the boundary between normal and pathological cognitive aging is a pressing scientific issue that has major public health relevance for our aging society. As a doctoral student in neuroscience, my research has focused on understanding the behavioral and neural boundaries between normal cognitive aging and mild cognitive deterioration.

Fun facts

  • Most recent movie watched
    Bad Times at the El Royale
  • Currently reading
    Foundation's Edge by Isaac Asimov
  • Most recent show watched
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Favorite book(s)
    Harry Potter
  • Favorite movies
    The Lion King, Fight Club, How to Train Your Dragon
  • Places visited
    Canada, Jamaica, Vietnam, Korea (does just sitting in the airport count?), Austria, Ireland, Scotland, England, Belgium, Netherlands

Contact Me

Email

ltnguyn2@illinois.edu

Work phone

(217) 265-6574

Lab website

aancl.shs.illinois.edu