Boston University Cognitive & Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory
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!
Congratulations Weijia Zhang for being accepted to the Engineering and Applied Science MS Program at Columbia University!
Congratulations Breanna Bullard for being accepted to the Clinical Science Ph.D. Program at University of California, Berkeley!
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/
Congratulations, Breanna Bullard for presenting her exciting new brain stimulation findings at the Boston University Underrepresented Graduate Student Organization (UGSO) Academic Research Symposium!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working memory revived in older adults by synchronizing rhythmic brain circuits
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.
Congratulations, Charlotte Xiyou Wang on being awarded Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) funding for the summer!
Localization and elimination of attentional dysfunction in schizophrenia during visual search
Reinhart RMG, Park S, Woodman GF
Theories of the locus of visual selective 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 representations 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.