Columbia University Medical Center
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National Institutes of Health
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell

Cognitive Neuroscience

Using behavioral, cognitive, and neurophysiological techniques, we investigate brain-behavior relationships and the neurobiological and cognitive mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disorders. Our work spans basic and preclinical studies, development and application of laboratory-based assessment, clinical trials and clinical care. Training and research opportunities are available in the following units:

Psychophysiology Laboratory (Gerard Bruder, PhD, director). Studies of quantitative electroencephalography, brain event-related potentials (ERPs), hemispheric asymmetry, and cognitive function in schizophrenia and depressive disorders.

Cognitive Electrophysiology Laboratory (David Friedman, director). A series of interlocking investigations concerned with cognitive function and brain ERPs in projects focusing on memory and attention in normal development, aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

Timing and Cognition Laboratory (Chariklia Malapani, MD, PhD, Director).  Studies of how time is perceived, remembered and used flexibly to guide behavior, as well as underlying brain mechanisms (role of the basal ganglia, subthalamic nucleus and their cortical targets within mesial prefrontal and orbitifrontal cortices), in patients with Schizophrenia and Movement disorders (Parkinson's disease, Dystonia, Tics). Recently initiated collaborative efforts studying deficits in inhibition of motor actions and memories in Schizophrenia and ODC (with Drs. Edward Smith, Susanne Ahmari and Blair Simpson). Work initiated in previous years on animal models with distorted time sense (D2, D3 or D4 KO mice) is on the way to be completed (collaboration with Drs. Daniela Brunner, Claudia Schmauss and Peter Balsam).

Adaptive Behavior Lab (Peter Balsam, PhD, Director). We study how humans and non-human animals adapt their behavior to changing environments. For behavior to be adaptive it must be the right response in the right place at the right time. At the moment, the lab is very much focused on the timing aspect of behavioral adaptation. The idea guiding our lab’s current work is that all of our actions and representations of the world require temporal knowledge. Our research focuses on how timing affects learning and behavior, from pharmacological studies to therapeutic methods and brain pathologies.

Clinical Chronobiology Program (Michael Terman, PhD, director). Basic research on the circadian timing system, with a bridge to the chronotherapeutics (light and melatonin treatment) of depressive and sleep phase disorders.

Center for Prevention & Evaluation (COPE) (Cheryl M. Corcoran, MD, director).  An outpatient research program for teen ages and young adults who show early signs of cognitive deficits or clinical symptoms associated with risk for developing psychiatric disorders.

Experimental Psychopathology Laboratory (David Kimhy, Ph.D., Director). We conduct laboratory and “real world” studies of cognitive and affective processes and their link to psychopathology. Current projects focus on emotion and autonomic regulation in individuals with schizophrenia and at clinical high risk for psychosis.




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