Cognitive Development in Healthy and Impaired Populations

"I really enjoy being able to relate the tangible data (the MEG scans and brain scans) to the tasks performed in the experiment. It is really interesting to see how the MEG scan reflects different changes in activity that relate to different types of cognitive tasks." 

 

Supervising Faculty:

Beatriz Luna, PhD and Finnegan Calabro, PhD

 

Contact: 

Beatriz Luna, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, UPMC
Loeffler Building, Ste 100
121 Meyran Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412)383-8178
lunab@upmc.edu
http://www.wpic.pitt.edu/research/lncd/

 

Area of Research:  Cognitive development in healthy and impaired populations

 

Description of Research:

We have a series of projects that investigate the neural basis of cognitive and perceptual development from childhood through adolescence to adulthood in normal populations and also in autism, ADHD, prematurity, and epilepsy. We use neuropsychological tests including paper and pencil, computer, and eye movement cognitive tests to delineate improvements with age. We also perform fMRI, DTI, and MEG studies to characterize the changes in brain function that accompany changes in behavior. The processes that we study include: response inhibition, working memory, object processing, and reward mechanisms.

 

Duties of Students:

Students who work on these projects will assist in subject testing, analyses of data, and literature review. You will write a research paper or design a poster as a final project.

 

Additional Requirements:

  • Comfortable with children
  • All other departmental guidelines for Directed Research

 

Terms offered: fall, spring and summer

 

Number of Students: up to 5