We use brain imaging and brain stimulation methods to understand how our actions and thoughts interact. We examine healthy and clinical populations. Our research has a particular focus on the integrity of the cerebellum in healthy and diseased states.
Clinical populations that are currently being recruited for our research studies include individuals with cerebellar ataxia, drug addiction, or HIV .
Our research suggests that in order to hold information in mind (over seconds), our brain generates a motor representation of that information. This helps to strengthen the memory trace. When this process is impaired, working memory is affected. In patients with movement disorders, treatment strategies focus on their motor deficits. Their cognitive difficulties, however, often go untreated, leaving patients frustrated at an inability to achieve their full vocational and personal potential. Our goal is to characterize the motor--cognitive interface in order to develop better cognitive treatment strategies for those with motor impairments.