Research interests: Information processing and coding in neural circuits with translational applications to neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders.
- I have studied neural network function in animals using in vivo electrophysiological and pharmacological techniques and in humans using deep brain stimulation (DBS) and EEG recordings.
- My current work addresses the effects of DBS therapy on emergent neuronal population dynamics and how this might be expressed behaviorally.
- My interests lie in the identification of dysfunctional brain states and how these states are modified by brain stimulation and other therapies, an understanding of which would provide insight into the mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders. Understanding the anomalous neural dynamics of these and other global dysfunctional states is an important issue in present-day neuroscience and medicine.
- Identifying the altered network dynamics underlying the dysfunctional brain states of neuropsychiatric and neurologic disorders
- Fostering the development of novel treatments which alleviate the symptoms of neuropsychiatric and neurologic disorders
An ever increasing number of studies report close correlations between aberrant oscillations and various neurological disease states such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorder. Studies utilizing DBS therapy have suggested a switch back to normal oscillatory dynamics concomitant with relief of the symptoms associated with these disorders. In addition, my own studies have shown a correlation between gamma band dynamics as well as theta-gamma cross frequency coupling with the degree of effectiveness of DBS therapy in alleviating Tourette syndrome symptomatology in humans. These studies have provided important new insights into the possible functional role of oscillations in the dysfunctional brain states underlying neuropsychiatric disorders and serve as the foundation for the current focus of my research.
An improved understanding of the dynamics of circuit function can potentially lead to the discovery of biomarkers for brain disorders by tracking specific neurobiological changes in dysfunctional circuits. Identification of neuronal population dynamics and their functional relevance will lead to improved patient care in both invasive and non-invasive therapies by providing empirical assessment for optimal therapy parameters.