Cognition and Memory

Understanding the neural basis of cognitive functions is a critical step for answering long-standing questions about the brain and the mind, and for addressing conditions that compromise cognitive function. Cognitive research in our program focuses on functions such as perception, attention, short- and long-term memory, decision making, response inhibition, and the ability to focus resources to stimuli and tasks of importance, known as executive control. To address these questions, our laboratories rely on an interdisciplinary approach that combines molecular, neuroimaging, physiological, and behavioral methodologies. Our work encompasses animal models and human studies, including population and clinical research. Important advances in recent years have also focused on cognitive function across the life time, including the maturation of cognitive function during adolescent development, and cognitive dysfunction in aging.

Associated Faculty

+ indicates accepting MS students, * indicates accepting PhD students

Dwayne W. Godwin
Research Interests:
Epilepsy, Alcohol, Memory, MEG

Paul J. Laurienti
Research Interests
Brain; Nerve Net; Attention; Aging; Auditory Perception

Brian A. McCool*
Research Interests: Cell and molecular neurophysiology of alcohol abuse and anxiety-related behaviors

Robert E. Hampson
Research Interests: Mechanisms of brain information processing, models of memory, effects of drugs of abuse on memory, and neural prosthetics

Kimberly Francis Raab-Graham*
Research Interests: Local protein synthesis, depression, autism, alcohol use disorder, Alzheimer's disease, ion channels, GABAB receptors, mTORC1, calcium imaging, proteomics

Joost Maier+*
Research Interests:
Flavor perception, multisensory integration, decision making, development of cortical computation. Techniques: behavioral analysis, multi-electrode recordings and optogenetics in freely moving rats.

Terrence R. Stanford+*
Research Interests: Decision-Making, Sensorimotor Transform, Multisensory Integration, Neural Networks, Vision

Emilio Salinas+* 
Research Interests: Analysis of single-neuron and neural-network dynamics using mathematical methods and computer simulations

Kenneth Tucker Kishida+* 
Research Interests: Human cognition, decision-making, computational psychiatry, dopamine, serotonin, human neuroimaging, translational neuroscience

Samuel Lockhart+*
Research Interests: Aging; Tau proteins; Positron-Emission Tomography; Cognition

Carol A. Shively+*
Research Interests: Social stress effects on disease susceptibility including depression, coronary artery atherosclerosis, visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome using nonhuman primate models

Tao Ma+*
Research Interests: Alzheimer's, Aging

Gretchen Brenes 
Research Interests: Depression, Anxiety Disorders, OCD

Wayne Pratt 
Research Interests: The roles of meso-accumbens neurotransmitter systems in food-directed motivation

Christopher T. Whitlow
Research Interests:  Networks, TBI, Migraine, Alzheimer's

Sean L. Simpson
Research Interests:  Networks, biostatistics, complexity and imaging

Terry Blumenthal
Research Interests: Biological psychology, psychopharmacology

Christian Waugh 
Research Interests: Physiological and neural underpinnings of emotions and adaptation to stress 

Dale Dagenbach 
Research Interests: Attention, memory, and brain organization

Stephen J. Walker 
Research Interests: Gene Expression Regulation; Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis; RNA; Pelvic Pain, Gene Expression Profiling