Research

Resources

Our lab at the University of Delaware has the following resources:

  • Cognitive neuropsychology
    • A large (600+) database of brain-damaged individuals who have expressed interest in participating in research.
    • Software and training in using voxel-lesion symptom mapping (VLSM) to understand structure-function relations in the brain.
    • A number of participants willing to be tested in single-case studies.
  • Cognitive neuroscience
    • A new 3T Siemens Prisma scanner at the CBBI at the University of Delaware.
    • Access to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).
  • Cognitive psychology
    • Access to a large (1000+ per semester) pool of undergraduate students for cognitive testing.
    • Screened individuals with mirror-touch synesthesia, grapheme-color synesthesia, and other interesting phenomena.
    • Software for experimental presentation and statistical analysis (E-Prime, MATLAB, Psychtoolbox, SPSS, etc.)

Current Projects

Below is a list of just a few of the projects we are currently working on in the Cognitive Neuropsychology lab. If you are a prospective graduate student, and these sound like interesting topics to you – do not hesitate to contact us! We are happy to talk about our research, and what you could do at the University of Delaware. Our research is supported by several funding sources, including a major NSF grant examining the relationship between cognition and perception.

contraSurprisingly, individuals with damage to somatosensory cortex after stroke can often still feel touch.  Little is known regarding how this occurs, and cortical plasticity after stroke. Thanks to a grant from the Delaware Center for Translational Research, we are using multiple imaging modalities to examine somatosensory plasticity after stroke.

 

 

 

rsb_plasticity_squareWe are currently presenting a battery of tests examining deficits in body representation in brain-damaged individuals.  These tests examine abilities ranging from simple tactile detection to screeners for rare disorders (including alien hand syndrome, supernumerary limb, anosognosia, etc.) We are using these data for additional single-case research and future neuroimaging studies.

 

 

 

spellingWe are currently collaborating with Brenda Rapp at Johns Hopkins University in a project aimed to rehabilitate spelling deficits in aphasic individuals.  In this project, we are finding individuals with written language deficits after stroke, and then observing if regular training improves their performance.

 

 

 

biomechanical_constraintsSeveral projects in our lab are focused on multisensory integration and the body.  In particular, we are using novel variants of the mirror box illusion to understand these processes more clearly.  Other ongoing projects are using the rubber hand illusion and Pinocchio illusion to address similar questions.

 

 

mirrortouch_synesthesiaOver the last 2-3 years, we have been recruiting individuals with mirror-touch synesthesia – individuals who feel touch on their own bodies when seeing someone else being touched.  We currently have access to one of the largest populations of mirror-touch synesthetes available, and we are currently trying to understand the mechanisms that give rise to such a phenomenon.