My research interests are centered on studying functional aspects of human physiology and include development of technology to improve data collection and the development of software for data analysis.
Since 2005 I have been part of multidisciplinary teams of researchers from different centres (University College London, Kings College London and Birkbeck) and with different backgrounds (from physics and engineering to psychology and neuroscience), with a common aim: to use brain imaging techniques such as functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) to study the connection between brain function and neurocognitive development in early infancy.
I have developed software for the analysis of the fNIRS data collected at the Centre for Brain and cognitive development (CBCD, Birkbeck) and I have demonstrated the reliable use of fNIRS with infants from very early in life. With fMRI, I have shown early specialisation of the human brain for processing vocal sounds and I have shown that this specialisation is lacking in infants at increased risk for autism.
As part of the BRIGHT team, I am training researchers in the use of fNIRS, I am contributing to the design of experimental set ups and experimental protocols and I am collecting and analysing fNIRS data from different cohorts.
For more information on Anna’s work, visit: https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=ABLAS05