We study attention and memory using a number of different methods and populations. These include behavioral, neuroimaging, and physiological studies, collaboration with animal researchers, and testing different genetic and patient groups.
A major theme in the lab right now is how cognitive (attention, working memory) and motivational systems interact to affect performance in young adults, healthy older adults, and people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). We are interested in both basic science and potential applications: How do manipulations of incentive and task difficulty affect cognitive control in younger and older adults – and could differences between them on this front explain brain activation differences? What are the implications for job performance? On the PD side, how does degeneration in different brain systems impact different aspects of attention – and how does this relate to the factors that put patients at risk for falls?