An interview with 2017 Research Challenge winner, Tegan Penton

Meet Tegan Penton, a candidate for the Research Challenge that the Rogue team were so impressed with, the decision was reached to support her alongside Naheem Bashir. Tegan’s award winning study focuses on ‘Investigating the Effects of tDCS in Autism Spectrum Disorder’; a multimodal study involving the use of a DuoMAG XT and a Brainsight NIRS.

Hi Tegan, tell us about your award winning research challenge study and why you chose this particular area?
Transcranial electric current stimulation (tES) is a tool that is becoming increasing used in the study of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Much of this work is based on what we know about mechanisms of tES in neurotypical adults, but it is unclear whether tES acts in the same way in ASD. This project seeks to determine this by investigating the effects of tES on markers of brain excitability in individuals with ASD and neurotypical participants. I chose to study this particular area as there is a growing trend in Autism research to use tES to alleviate symptoms of ASD.

Tegan Penton, Research Challenge, King's College
However, these studies rely on stimulation protocol determined through studies on neurotypical participants and, thus, fail to account for potential differences in response to tES in a population with ASD. My research will take steps to address this gap in knowledge.

What inspired you to enter the BrainBox Initiative Research Challenge?
I was inspired to enter the research competition after hearing previous prize winners (Helen Nuttall and Siddharth Kohli) talk about their research. Both have gone on to do ambitious research that would not have been possible without the help of Rogue Resolutions

What does it mean to you to be a winner of the BrainBox Initiative Research Challenge?
I am incredibly honoured to be a winner of the Rogue Resolutions Research Challenge. There is no way that I would have been able to run my proposed research study without their help, so I am extremely grateful to Rogue Resolutions for making this research possible.

How will the BrainBox Initiative Research Challenge help you with your future work?
The Rogue Resolutions Research Challenge will help with my future work by allowing me to use new techniques that I wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to use. In addition, I hope that my proposed project will lay the groundwork for several more studies in this area.