University of Nottingham Malaysia
Faculty of Science

Image of Polly Chen

Polly Chen

Assistant Professor, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, Internship Coordinator,



I am trained in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology with research focuses on cognition in ageing brains. I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Cognitive Science from University Malaysia Sarawak, MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from University of York, UK, MSc in Foundation in Clinical Neuropsychology in Bangor University, UK, and PhD in Psychology from University of Otago, and Brain Research New Zealand. During my PhD training, I was based in the Neuropsychology laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Liana Machado. My research involved neuromodulation technique, using transcranial direct current stimulation (tCDS) and examining its effect on saccadic eye movement performance in young and older adults. Before joining University of Nottingham Malaysia as an Assistant Professor in December 2021, I worked as a senior lecturer in International Medical University, Malaysia where I also successfully secured a Fundamental Research Grant Scheme to study the validation of using saccadic eye movement paradigm to detect mental fatigue.

Expertise Summary

My area of research focuses on ageing and cognition (e.g., ways to promote cognitive health of the elderly, interventions that could serve as potential strategy to slow down or combat age-related cognitive declines, etc.). My research work so far have looked into potential ways with tDCS to ameliorate saccadic eye movement (through antisaccade paradigm) deficits in older adults. I am also working on using tDCS in managing psychotic behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. In another project, my research team and I are researching on transferring antisaccade paradigm to mobile phone application in which we could ultimately monitor the progress of dementia through their saccadic eye movement performance. Currently I am particularly interested to research the role of cognitive reserve in ageing and how it plays a role in healthy and pathological ageing.

In my previous work place, I have also supervised students with research on physical activities (PA) and its association with cognition/mental health. For example, whether people who are physically active will be more resilient to stress, leading to better mental health, or better in coping with stress in general. We also looked into the stages of behavioural change and motivation associated with PA engagement.

Teaching Summary

Current teaching in UNM:

Introduction to Psychology

Practical Methods


Research Summary

Focusing on the area of Brain and Cognition, specifically interested in the ageing brain and its associated neuropsychological conditions Developing methods to help with early detection of… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

  • Focusing on the area of Brain and Cognition, specifically interested in the ageing brain and its associated neuropsychological conditions
  • Developing methods to help with early detection of age-related cognitive deficits
  • Exploring potential therapeutic techniques to combat or slow down brain deteriorations
  • Techniques: quantitative approach, experimental design, saccadic eye tracking, neuromodulation (e.g., transcranial direct current stimulation)
  • FRGS project: A Validation Study on Saccadic Eye Movements in Detecting Mental Fatigue
  • In collaboration with International Medical University: A predictive study on socio-demographic factors and social connection towards burden of caregivers of stroke patients during COVID-19 pandemic
  • In collaboration with Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Malaysia Campus): A Randomized Controlled Trial using Transcranial Brain Stimulation in Managing Psychotic Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia: A Pilot Study
  • In collaboration with Loughborough University, UK: Monitoring Dementia Using Smartphones (MODUS): An Eye Tracking Study

Faculty of Science

University of Nottingham Malaysia
Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan

telephone: +6 (03) 8924 8000
fax: +6 (03) 8924 8018

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