Logo title:  The Nathan S. Kline Institute For Psychiatric Research, N.Y. State Office of Mental Health  
 Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging

Charles E. Schroeder, Ph.D., Director
Tracey Altro, Divisional Administrator (ext. 6546)

A precise understanding of the mechanisms of brain dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disorders like schizophrenia requires partnership between human and non-human animal research. Human studies use methods that can characterize specific forms of behavioral dysfunction and localize these within brain regions, but are often unable to discern important mechanistic details of physiological dysfunction. Once appropriate correspondences are established, experiments in nonhuman animal species, such as rats and monkeys, permit us to resolve the physiology and pharmacology of underlying brain dysfunction at cellular and sub cellular levels of analysis.

The Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging Laboratory (CNNL) has two specific goals. The first is to use nonhuman primates to investigate the neural mechanisms of sensory and cognitive processes using methods that allow us to relate the functioning of single neurons and groups of neurons to that of the brain as a whole. The second is to define the precise neural structures, brain circuits and physiological/pharmacological processes that are indexed by the noninvasive ERP and fMRI measures used to study both normal and dysfunctional processing in humans. The latter effort allows us to bridge the gap between noninvasive studies in humans and the specific details of the brain's structure and function. While our studies are mainly focused on normal functioning, we also investigate specific mechanistic models and hypotheses concerning neural dysfunction in schizophrenia.

First established in at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1993, the CNNL moved to join the CNS program when it was established at the Nathan Kline Institute. We maintain strong academic links with the Department of Neuroscience, the Sue Golding Graduate Division and the Medical Scientist Training Program at Einstein. Three of our MD/PhD and PhD students have graduated from these programs since the lab moved to NKI.

Our primary method is to use brain electrical field potentials and their derivatives, in combination with action potentials, to study brain processing in awake monkeys. Actual signals are collected from within the brain using multielectrode arrays, and processed with 96 channel amplifier systems. CNNL is continually developing and refining this approach to increase our resolution of the way the brain interprets basic properties of sensory stimuli, and higher order properties such as an object's biological significance. Of particular interest at this point is the interaction of the stimulus-evoked response with ongoing oscillatory activity at each point in the system.

Four main projects are ongoing in the laboratory at this time. Each is supported by an NIH - RO1 grant:

  1. Visual Physiology and Attention - Physiology of Visual Dysfunction in Schizophrenia (MH60358, PI: Schroeder)
  2. Multisensory Processing and Integration - Somato-Auditory Convergence in Supratemporal Plane (MH61989, PI: Schroeder
  3. Somatosensory Physiology and Monkey fMRI - Neural Basis of fMRI (MH67560, PI: Schroeder)
  4. Auditory Processing and ERP Generation - Intracortical Mechanisms of ERP Generation (MH55620, PI: Javitt).

Current, grant-supported collaborations with other institutions include:

  1. Dr. Troy Hackett, Vanderbilt University - neural connection patterns underlying multisensory convergence - (MH61989)
  2. Dr. S.H. Lisanby, Columbia University - neural mechanisms of transcranial magnetic stimulation - (MH60884)
  3. Dr. A Puce, West Virginia University - neural bases of social cognition in human and nonhuman primates (NS049436)
  4. Drs. Istvan Ulbert and Gyorgy Karmos, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest - structural and functional mechanisms of multisensory convergence (TWO5674)

Current Lab Personnel Include:

  • Charles E. Schroeder, PhD
  • Peter Lakatos, MD/PhD
  • Csaba RajKai, MD/PhD
  • Ankoor S. Shah, PhD
  • Chi-Ming Chen
  • Tammy McGinnis
  • Monica N. O'Connell
  • Aimee Mills
  • Boris Dieseldorff

Recent Graduates Include:

  • Ashesh D. Mehta, MD/PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Cornell University Medical Center, New York, NY (2001)
  • - Micah M. Murray, PhD, Division de Neuropsychologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne Switzerland (2001)
  • - Kai-Ming G. Fu, Departmernt of Neurosurgery, Medical University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia (2004)

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