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University Park, PA 16802
A primary focus of my research is to examine the effects of brain injury and disease on functional brain organization. Neural networks have been shown to be quite flexible, or plastic and the work in my laboratory focuses on differentiating the plasticity observed in healthy adults (e.g., changes in a network associated with learning a new skill) from plasticity in networks specifically related to pathology. To do so, we use EEG and MRI-based methods to examine how plasticity is expressed in both healthy and disrupted neural systems during tasks of simple information processing and memory. Much of this research focuses on two distinct forms of neuropathology in humans: traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis. Imaging methods provide non-invasive measures of physiology and methods used in my laboratory include proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to examine neurometabolism, diffusion tensor imaging to examine structural white matter changes, and high density EEG and functional MRI to examine behavioral deficits evident during stimulation. Currently, investigations are being carried out with collaborators in the Departments of Radiology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey (UMDNJ-NJMS) and the Departments of Radiology and Neurology at the Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA.