Our research aims to understand the neural mechanisms of complex cognition. We use a combination of experimental and theoretical approaches to understand how cognition arises from the brain.

A deeper understanding of cognition will provide the foundation for improving the detection and treatment of neural disorders and will lay the groundwork for improving artifical intelligence.

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    Working Memory

    Working memory is the ability to hold items 'in mind'.  It lies at the core of cognition; acting as a workspace on which thoughts are placed, manipulated, and used to guide behavior. Our research aims to understand the neural mechanisms that support working memory and why it is disrupted in many neuropsychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia.

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    Cognitive Flexibility

    Cognitive flexibility is our ability to change our behavior depending on the situation. It is key to intelligent behavior, allowing us to act appropriately in any given situation. Our research aims to understand the neural mechanisms that allow cognition to be flexible and why this is disrupted in disorders, such as autism and OCD.

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    Attention filters the flood of sensory inputs coming from the world, allowing us to focus on what is behaviorally relevant. Our research aims to understand how the brain learns what we should attend, controls where we direct our attention, and how attention filters incoming sensory inputs. With this basic understanding, we hope to understand disorders that disrupt attention, such as ADHD.

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    Synchrony and Oscillations

    Synchronous oscillations are a ubiquituous phenomenon in the brain. They are observed in almost every brain region and have been associated with almost all cognitive behaviors.  Indeed, oscillations are disrupted in many neuropsychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia and OCD.  Our research aims to understand what generates synchronous oscillations in the brain as well as how they impact cognition.

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    Categories are sets of objects that are similar in form or function. Categorization is critical to cognition, allowing us to learn something about one member of the category and then instantly generalize this new knowledge to the other objects in that category. Our research aims to understand how the brain learns and uses categories to support complex cognitive behaviors.

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    Brain Stimulation

    Brain stimulation is an emerging technology for treating mental and neural diseases, including Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and severe depression.  Our research is developing the next generation of precision brain stimulation. Our work will improve the efficacy of existing technologies and allow for new treatments options for mental and neural diseases.

Princeton University, Princeton NJ

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