Boston University Cognitive & Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory



News & Events

May 16th, 2020
Our laboratory is sincerely grateful for the extremely generous gift from Ms. Karen Bedrosian-Richardson who is supporting our mission to gain deeper understanding of the brain mechanisms of human cognition and develop novel treatments for people with cognitive brain disorders. Thank you, Ms. Bedrosian-Richardson!

April 9th, 2020
Congratulations Weijia Zhang for being accepted to the Engineering and Applied Science MS Program at Columbia University!

February 5th, 2020
Congratulations Breanna Bullard for being accepted to the Clinical Science Ph.D. Program at University of California, Berkeley!

December 18th, 2019
Congrats Team! Our research paper entitled, "Working memory revived in older adults by synchronizing rhythmic brain circuits," made the 2019 Altmetric Top 100, as one of the most-discussed and shared pieces of research published in the past year (ranked in the top 0.007% of all discussed research this year). https://www.altmetric.com/top100/2019/

September 27th, 2019
Congratulations, Breanna Bullard for presenting her exciting new brain stimulation findings at the Boston University Underrepresented Graduate Student Organization (UGSO) Academic Research Symposium!

July 16th, 2019

Postdoc in electrophysiology and noninvasive brain stimulation

Our laboratory is seeking a postdoctoral researcher interested in gaining experience in the cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory in healthy younger and older adults using behavior, electrophysiological measurements of rhythmic brain activity, and noninvasive neuromodulation. This position is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Aging. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in neuroscience, psychology or a related field, and should possess a strong background in programming (preferably Python or Matlab), electrophysiology, and mathematics. For more information, please contact Rob Reinhart at rmgr@bu.edu.

February 25th, 2019

Working memory revived in older adults by synchronizing rhythmic brain circuits

Nature Neuroscience
Reinhart RMG, Nguyen JA
Understanding normal brain aging and developing methods to maintain or improve cognition in older adults are major goals of fundamental and translational neuroscience. Here, we show a core feature of cognitive decline - working memory deficits - emerges from disconnected local and long-range circuits instantiated by theta-gamma phase-amplitude codes in temporal cortex and theta phase synchronization across frontotemporal cortex. We developed a noninvasive stimulation procedure for modulating long-range theta interactions in adults aged 60-76 years.After 25 minutes of stimulation, frequency tuned to individual brain network dynamics, we observed a preferential increase in neural synchronization patterns and the return of sender-receiver relationships of information flow within and between frontotemporal regions. The end result was rapid improvement in working memory performance that outlasted a 50-minute post-stimulation period. The results provide insight into the physiological foundations of age-related cognitive impairment and contribute groundwork for future non-pharmacological interventions targeting aspects of cognitive decline.

June 1st, 2018
Congratulations, Charlotte Xiyou Wang on being awarded Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) funding for the summer!

January 3rd, 2018

Localization and elimination of attentional dysfunction in schizophrenia during visual search

Schizophrenia Bulletin
Reinhart RMG, Park S, Woodman GF
Theories of the locus of visual sedownloadlective attention dysfunction in schizophrenia propose that the deficits arise from either an inability to maintain working memory representations that guide attention, or difficulty focusing lower-level visual attention mechanisms. However, these theoretical accounts neglect the role of long-term memory reprecover-01sentations in controlling attention. Here we show that the control of visual attention is impaired in people with schizophrenia, and that this impairment is driven by an inability to shift top-down attentional control from working memory to long-term memory across practice. Next, we provide converging evidence for the source of attentional impairments in long-term memory by showing that noninvasive electrical stimulation of medial frontal cortex normalizes long-term memory related neural signatures and patients’ behavior. Our findings suggest that long-term memory structures may be a source of impaired attentional selection in schizophrenia when visual attention is taxed during the processing of multi-object arrays.

 

October 7th, 2017

Disruption and rescue of interareal theta phase coupling and adaptive behavior.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.
Reinhart RMG
WebsiteFigure-01
Rescuing executive functions in people with neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders has been a major goal of psychology and neuroscience for decades. Innovative computer-training regimes for executive functions have made tremendous inroads, yet the positive effects of training have not always translated into improved cognitive functioning and often take many days to emerge. In the present study, we asked whether it was possible to immediately change components of executive function by directly manipulating neural activity using a stimulation technology called high-definition transcranial alternating current stimulation (HDtACS). Twenty minutes of inphase stimulation over medial frontal cortex (MFC) and right lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC) synchronized theta (∼6 Hz) rhythms between these regions in a frequency and spatially specific manner and rapidly improved adaptive behavior with effects lasting longer than 40 min. In contrast, antiphase stimulation in the same individuals desynchronized MFC-lPFC theta phase coupling and impaired adaptive behavior. Surprisingly, the exogenously driven impairments in performance could be instantly rescued by reversing the phase angle of alternating current. The results suggest executive functions can be rapidly up- or down-regulated by modulating theta phase coupling of distant frontal cortical areas and can contribute to the development of tools for potentially normalizing executive dysfunction in patient populations.
Download Paper Here