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Svenja Vorthmann

Research Assistant

I received an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Sussex, studying the role of NMDARs in appetitive and aversive extinction memories under Emiliano Merlo in my final year.

After graduating I came to Oxford to do the Msc Neuroscience in 2021/22. During this Masters I did two lab rotations, one in the LakLab (DPAG) using fibre photometry to investigate PFC dopamine in perceptual learning and the second one in Heidi Johansen-Berg's plasticity group researching myelin plasticity in motor learning.

I have been fascinated with learning and plasticity mechanisms since I first started studying Psychology and so after finishing my Masters I returned to NDCN and the plasticity group as a research assistant in neuroplasticity, focusing on myelin.

I am especially interested in how myelin microstructure changes in response to motor learning and if preventing further myelination in adulthood by using transgenic mouse models affects motor sequence learning.

My role lies in assisting with all areas of the myelin plasticity project under the supervision of Heidi Johansen-Berg and Malte Kaller using a combination of different methods including behavioural analysis, MRI and histology.