Selvi Paulraj is a 5th year graduate student in the Ph.D. program at Palo Alto University.
Selvi’s research interests are primarily in language and executive function. She is currently running data analyses for her dissertation, which investigates visuospatial working memory in stroke patients with chronic aphasia. Specifically, she is examining the role that aphasia (presence, severity, subtype) and discrete language functions (e.g., repetition, fluency) play in visuospatial working memory. She is also investigating the role of the left hemisphere in supporting visuospatial working memory using voxel-based lesion symptom mapping (VLSM). In addition to this project, Selvi is also collecting data for a double-blind randomized control trial investigating the impact of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) on cognition, mood, and white/gray matter in healthy agers and in stroke patients. She is preparing a manuscript for publication as first-author for a study that examined cerebral organization of distinct language abilities as a function of right-, left-, and mixed-handedness. Another first-author manuscript of hers, which explored the role of the left hemisphere in visuospatial and executive functioning, is presently under review. She is also currently making revisions to a paper on the neural correlates of reading and writing that was accepted for publication in Neuropsychologia. Selvi has also contributed to a few other publications, including a paper on the neuropsychological and neuroanatomical correlates of multiple sclerosis across the lifespan, which was published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal, a paper on the relationship between cognitive, emotional, and psychosocial factors in pediatric multiple sclerosis, which was published in the Journal of Pediatric Neuropsychology, as well as a paper on reasoning and problem solving in delayed language development and aphasia, which was published in Frontiers in Psychology. Selvi’s work on the predictive power of infant markers of cognition for cognitive functioning in adolescence and early adulthood also won her an award from Division 40 for excellence in scientific presentation at APA’s annual convention.
Selvi has worked as a neuropsychology extern in academic medical centers and in VAs. Her first neuropsychology externship was at UCSF’s Epilepsy Center, where she performed cognitive evaluations of pre- and post-surgical candidates with epilepsy and other seizure disorders across the lifespan. She also assisted in Wada testing and in extraoperative cortical language mapping. Her work with a patient who developed Landau-Kleffner syndrome led Selvi to contribute a feature on this rare form of epileptic aphasia to ANST’s Research Roundup series. She also trained at the Martinez VA, where she focused on neuropsychological evaluation and cognitive rehabilitation for individuals who has survived cerebrovascular accidents, such as stroke or aneurysm. She enjoyed facilitating a group for adults and older adults with chronic aphasia. She then trained at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where she performed cognitive evaluations for neurodegenerative, autoimmune, and movement disorders, with an emphasis on early-onset syndromes and the primary progressive aphasias. She is currently training at the Palo Alto VA, where she conducts neuropsychological testing of a variety of neurologic and psychiatric etiologies. She also provides individual and group therapy to veterans, while also performing general mental health intakes. Selvi is also training at the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center, where she provides neuropsychological evaluations for historically underserved populations.
In addition to her research and clinical endeavors, Selvi recently completed a one-year term as student member of the board of directors for the Northern California Neuropsychology Forum, which is a non-profit professional organization that serves neuropsychologists in the San Francisco Bay Area. She managed the organization’s social media and coordinated their outreach and marketing efforts. Selvi also served as the student representative, assisting in grant writing and program development, for initiatives to advance evidence-based teaching, which were supported by her university’s board of trustees. She serves as a graduate tutor for research methods and statistics and has also been a teaching assistant for research methods and statistics, adult development and aging, cognitive bases of behavior, introductory neuropsychology, and neuroanatomy & neuroimaging. She received an award for Excellence as a Teaching Assistant for her dedication to helping fellow graduate students succeed in the classroom. As part of her role as TA, Selvi has given lectures on communication and language disorders, anatomy and functions of the basal ganglia and cerebellum, as well as the clinical syndromes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration. She has also given seminar presentations at UCSF on technological advances in neuropsychological assessment, parietal and occipital neurodegenerative syndromes, anterior temporal lobe epilepsy, and disconnection syndromes.
Before neuropsychology found her, Selvi enjoyed a career as a research analyst for consulting and market research firms. She facilitated focus groups and usability studies for start-ups and large organizations, such as Genentech, UC Berkeley, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, NPR, Ronald McDonald House, and Google. Her future career goals include completion of internship and postdoctoral training in neuropsychology as well as board-certification in clinical neuropsychology. She intends to work with neurological populations within a medical setting, serving in both clinical and research capacities. She is very much looking forward to teaching coursework in neuropsychology and supervising trainees in the future. As a woman, a person of color, and an immigrant neuropsychologist-in-training, Selvi is honored to represent and advocate for her local community of neuropsychologists and future neuropsychologists. She looks forward to opportunities to serve in leadership roles for professional organizations that support neuropsychologists and celebrate diversity in neuropsychology.
ANST In-Focus Member Highlight
Just a reminder that the ANST Member Highlights are due soon. The 2/20/2017 deadline has been extended until 2/28/2017. Don't miss out on national recognition!
Every 3 months, ANST highlights the hard work of one of our members on the main page of the ANST website. You could be the next ANST In-Focus Highlight! The call for submissions is now open and we're looking forward to your application.
The submission period will close on February 28th, 2017. To apply, please complete the brief form that is attached to this announcement and submit to the ANST email account at email@example.com with your name saved as part of the document title.
After an ANST member is selected, they will be featured on the main page of the ANST website until the next member is selected. We look forward to hearing from you!
ANST Interest Group Highlight: