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Recipient, 2007 Outstanding Performance Award
My research interests are primarily in human neuropsychology, and, more specifically, in the effects of right parietal brain lesions on behaviour. Right parietal lesions often lead to the disorder of neglect – the inability to attend or respond to stimuli in left visual space. Put simply, neglect patients behave as if one half of the world has simply ceased to exist. My research explores the nature of this fascinating disorder as well as examining the benefits and limitations of a recent rehabilitation technique which uses prismatic lenses. More recently, we have developed a model of neglect which suggests the disorder is best characterised as an inability to update internal representations of the external world and the patient's current or future goals for action. The methodologies we employ include behavioural studies (i.e., examining reaction times), kinematic measures (i.e., eye and hand movements) and functional MRI, which we conduct at Grand River Hospital. We recently established a database of neurological patients who are willing to participate in research which now has over 200 patients enrolled. In addition to the neglect research my lab is interested in how the brain perceives time and integrates temporal perception with spatial processes. We are also exploring the consequences of traumatic brain injury (usually from acceleration/deceleration injuries) on measures of sustained and transient attention and the more general experience of boredom. This work is also developing definitions of boredom and is exploring the physiological signature of the experience (i.e., using galvanic skin responses, heart rate and cortisol measures).
Funding sources: NSERC, CFI, HSF, ERA
Neurological Patient Database website http://npd.uwaterloo.ca/Danckert Attention and Action Group: http://thedaag.uwaterloo.ca/
Psych 783: Neuroimaging and Cognition
The first section of this course (~ 3 to 4 lectures worth) will introduce you to the fundamental aspects of functional MRI both in terms of the physics involved and the issues surrounding design and analysis (some comparison with other brain imaging techniques such as VEPs, TMS, PET etc. will also be covered). The second section intends to explore how fMRI can illuminate our models of various aspects of cognition, including attention, vision, language, memory and learning, executive functions, emotion and if time permits, various neuropathologies.