Welcome Ryan Lu!

Welcome to MD/PhD student Ryan Lu! During his entirely-too-short rotation in the lab, Ryan will unearth hippocampal signatures of memory from direct brain recordings in pediatric neurosurgical patients. He holds a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins.

new paper on the brain’s representation of time

We examined individuals with focal brain damage to understand how the brain represents time – a notoriously elusive construct. Individuals with orbitofrontal cortex damage were specifically impaired in memory for temporal order. This region is commonly injured in head trauma, and our finding holds implications for understanding not only time, but also behavioral changes in those who have sustained head injuries. Paper published in Current Biology.

new paper on memory formation in pediatric patients

We used direct brain recordings in pediatric neurosurgical patients to understand how key memory regions interact during memory formation – a long-standing question in human neuroscience. Results reveal slow and fast theta oscillations, which separate across development and support distinct functional connections. Strengthened functional and structural connections differentiated top-performing adolescents from lower-performing adolescents and children. Findings suggest that the development of memory is rooted in the development of the brain’s ability to multitask. Paper published in Current Biology.

new paper on working memory in aging

We used noninvasive neurostimulation to understand and improve working memory in aging – a primary goal of translational neuroscience. Findings illuminate theta networks and theta-gamma coupling as distinct but complementary mechanisms supporting this vital cognitive process. Both mechanisms are amenable to intervention, the effectiveness of which can be predicted by individual demographic factors. Paper published in NeuroImage.

NIMH-funded postdoctoral T32 fellowship

Interested in the neural mechanisms of cognitive development, biomarkers for early detection of atypical behavior, and/or pediatric intracranial EEG?

The Northwestern University T32 Mental Health, Earlier Training (NU-MHE) program invites applications for Fall 2021. Dr. Elizabeth Norton of the LEARN Laboratory and Dr. Lisa Johnson of the Dynamic Brain Laboratory are recruiting a postdoctoral fellow who is interested, broadly, in mechanistic and applied developmental cognitive neuroscience.

This is a unique opportunity to work with both pediatric scalp EEG data and invasive intracranial EEG data obtained from individuals undergoing clinical monitoring for seizure management. This research aims to delineate multi-scale neural mechanisms of typical and atypical cognitive behaviors, including inter-individual variability and trial-by-trial variability within individuals. The fellow will be involved in all stages of the work, from study design and implementation through data analysis and dissemination.

This postdoctoral fellowship is under joint mentorship of Drs. Norton and Johnson.

The successful applicant must have completed the PhD and/or MD and must have US citizenship or permanent resident status.

Please contact Drs. Norton and Johnson ASAP if you are interested. T32 applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The preferred start date is September 1, 2021/ASAP.

For more info about the NU-MHE T32: https://devsci.northwestern.edu/t32-mental-health-grant/
LEARN Laboratory: https://learnlab.northwestern.edu/
Dynamic Brain Laboratory: https://dynamic-brain.org/