Research

Research Teams

Human Cognition and Neurophysiology Laboratory

Our lab is interested in the neurophysiology and cognitive functioning of the human brain in both healthy and diseased states. To that end, we pursue several research aims that encompass measurement of human cognition, emotion, and neurophysiology. We typically ask subjects to complete behavioral tasks in the laboratory, in the neurosurgical operating room, or in the epilepsy monitoring unit. These behavioral computer tasks are designed to investigate circuits involved in decision-making, motor control, learning, and the representation of affective stimuli. We often target structures encountered during deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, Essential Tremor, and Tourette Symdrome, as well as subcortical (i.e. amygdala) and cortical sites in patients undergoing language localization for the treatment of epilepsy or tumor resection.

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Collaborations:
  • University of Louisville Psychology Department
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Neurology, Neurosurgery), Nashville, TN
  • Vanderbilt University (Psychology), Nashville, TN
  • University of Amsterdam (Psychology), Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Sports Cognition Group

Elite athletes at the college and professional levels possess exceptional physical and technical skills. Their brains appear to be wired to process visual information, execute split-second decisions, and control and adapt their motor systems with exceptional skill and precision. Our laboratory focuses on what makes these elite athletes' brains and cognitive systems so unique and capable of performing with the speed and precision required to compete at the highest level. We are also interested in quantifying how athletes differ in their cognitive instincts and skills, and how an athlete's cognitive capacities can be combined with his or her physical skills to understand specific performance tendencies, patterns of mental mistakes, and strategies for using these insights to engage more effective decision-making and training. Using powerful methods from the cognitive sciences to quantify athletic instincts, we show that elite athletes possess several dynamic, split-second cognitive skills that outperform their non-athlete age counterparts. Athlete brains are wired for fast, precise cognition. Our current database consists of thousands of elite collegiate and professional athletes spanning football, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, basketball, lacrosse, and golf.

Research Faculty

Brandon Ally, PhD

Assistant Professor

Peter Kaskan, PhD

Assistant Professor
Specialty: Cognitive Neuroscience, Neurophysiology

Nelleke van Wouwe, PhD, M.Sc.

Assistant Professor

Scott Wylie, PhD

Assistant Professor


Postdoctoral Researchers

 

 Adam Gifford, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

  Surya Rajan Selvam, M.S.

Research Technologist Sr.