Our focus

We study the cognitive and neural mechanisms of attention as well as the potential for enhancing attention abilities through cognitive training. To gain insights from multiple perspectives, we perform behavioral, neuroimaging (functional MRI), and cognitive training experiments in healthy subjects and disordered populations (ie hemispatial neglect, TBI/PTSD, prosopagnosia)
The nucleus of the BAL | LAB.  From left to right:  Joe DeGutis, Monica Rosenberg, Sarah Noonan, Roger Mercado, Mike Esterman. Monica, Mike, and Roger analyzing MRI data. We use functional MRI to probe the neural architecture of attention as well as how this may be disrupted in disordered populations and how it may change after cognitive training. Regions of the brain that are commonly damaged in hemispatial neglect, a severe neurological disorder affecting spatial and non-spatial attention. Attention is a key component of many cognitive abilities including visual perception, cognitive control, and memory and is disrupted in several populations such as TBI/PTSD, ADHD, and hemispatial neglect. We study the brain and changes in the brain due to training (ie neural plasticity) at the level of functioning of millions of neurons. We are also interested in exploring applications of brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial direct-current stimulation, as shown here by the founders of the BAL Lab. The Boston VA Medical Center in Jamaica Plain, MA.  This is where you can find BAL | LABers on most days.
The nucleus of the BAL | LAB. From left to right: Joe DeGutis, Monica Rosenberg, Sarah Noonan, Roger Mercado, Mike Esterman.