Michael Esterman is a co-founder of the Boston Attention and Learning Lab. He received his degree in cognitive psychology at UC Berkeley, where he investigated spatial attention and object perception using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In his post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, he investigated the neural mechanisms of cognitive control, with an emphasis on using pattern classification to decode attentional states. He is now an Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, and Associate Director of the VA Boston Neuroimaging Center. Mike’s current interests include investigating the neural basis of attentional control and distractibility, in both healthy young and old adults, as well as in patients with PTSD, TBI, and focal brain injury.
Joe DeGutis is one of the co-founders of the Boston Attention and Learning Laboratory. He is an investigator at the VA Boston Healthcare System, a fellow at the Harvard Vision Lab working with Ken Nakayama, and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He earned his PhD in experimental psychology specializing in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation focused on the neural mechanisms of visual learning in healthy controls and cognitive rehabilitation of developmental prosopagnosia (the inability to recognize faces). Joe’s overarching research interests are on cognitive rehabilitation of attention, particularly the ability to focus and sustain attention, in populations that include hemispatial neglect, ADHD, PTSD/TBI and age-related cognitive decline. In addition, he is also interested in the cognitive deficits associated with prosopagnosia and exploring rehabilitation possibilities for this disorder.
Francesca Fortenbaugh is a postdoctoral fellow with the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC). After earning a B.S. in mathematics & psychology, she began studying the impact of peripheral field loss on spatial representations and navigation ability. She received a PhD in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley where her research focused on space perception and visual attention. Current research interests include studying the impact of visual and attentional field deficits on perception, and the neural mechanisms involved in space perception.
Chris is a research assistant in the BAL Lab. He graduated with a BA in psychology from Rochester. Chris is working on a project to study and rehabilitate hemispatial neglect.
I graduated from Villanova in 2013 with a BA in Psychology. I am currently working on clinical training trials in populations with mTBI and hemispatial neglect and want to eventually pursue a degree in neuropsychology. CV
Kathryn recently graduated from Temple University with a B.S. in neuroscience. During her time at Temple University, she worked in the Olson Cognitive Neuroscience Lab as an undergraduate research assistant and presented her cognitive object recognition research at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society conference this past spring. Kathryn's research interests include PTSD, attention, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Richard (a.k.a Guanyu) Liu is a research assistant at the Boston Attention and Learning Laboratory (BAL Lab) at the VA Hospital in Boston. He is also an ALM Psychology (Master of Liberal Arts) candidate at Harvard University. He joined the BAL Lab in April 2013, and has since been working with Dr. Esterman on a series of studies investigating the interactions of attention, reward, and motivation using behavioral (gradCPT - graduate onset continuous performance task), and neuroimaging methods (fMRI and TMS - transcranial magnetic stimulation). He started his master's thesis in April 2014 on the topic of memory reconsolidation. In the future, he plans to pursue a doctorate degree in the field of cognitive psychology.
Hidefusa ("Hide") has been a research assistant at the BAL Lab since June of 2013. He has been learning about research and experimental methods pertaining to attention, neuroimaging, and more recently, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). He graduated from NYU with a BA in psychology, and is presently working on his thesis for the ALM in Clinical Psychology from Harvard University.
Tyler Zink is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at Boston University. While his primary research training has focused on the behavioral genetics of cognitive aging, he has collaborated with the BAL LAB to explore new directions in cognitive rehabilitation and neuropsychological assessment. His dissertation focuses on the joint heritability of verbal and non-verbal memory, as well as associated structural MRI images. Tyler has trained in neuropsychology through the Boston Consortium for Clinical Psychology at the Boston VA as well as the Department of Behavioral Neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Tyler hopes to continue his training in Clinical Neuropsychology while studying cognitive rehabilitation both clinically and experimentally through his internship, post-doctoral training, and beyond.
Sarah Cohan received a B.A. from the University of Vermont, studying Theatre and Psychology. Since graduating, she has been working in stage and production management with Company One, theatre in residence at the Boston Center for the Arts. She also held positions with The Daily Jolt, a network of student run collegiate websites, serving as Communications Manager and Director of Operations. In the fall of 2009, she began as the Lab Manager and Research Assistant for Ken Nakayama in the Vision Lab at Harvard University. She currently works with Joe DeGutis studying face processing and clinical training for prosopagnosia, as well as studying prosopagnosia and developing testmybrain.org.
Melynda Casement is a postdoctoral fellow in the Behavioral Sciences Division of the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Melynda earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Biopsychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She completed her clinical psychology internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Melynda’s research addresses the relationship between sleep and affective processing in depression and PTSD. She is currently collaborating with BAL Lab investigators to examine the impact of fear processing on attentional control in PTSD. Melynda also provides psychotherapy to veterans with PTSD in the PTSD Clinic of the VA Boston Healthcare System.
Sarah Noonan was a postdoctoral fellow with the BALLAB 2010-2012. She has since relocated to the Seattle area and is a clinical neuropsychologist at VA Puget Sound.
Rogelio (Roger) Mercado is a research assistant at the Boston Attention and Learning Lab at the VA Hospital in Boston. Prior to joining the BAL Lab, Roger studied at Harvard, where he earned his A.B. in Psychology. Whilst there, he primarily investigated social and cognitive functioning in individuals at risk for schizophrenia, using behavioral and fMRI methods. Currently, Roger works with investigator Joe DeGutis, studying both face processing at the Harvard Vision Lab and attention at the Boston VA Hospital. Primarily, Roger is interested in psychopathology and child development, and he looks forward to taking his skills into graduate school.
Monica Rosenberg is a research assistant in the Boston Attention and Learning Lab at the VA Boston Healthcare System. She graduated with an ScB in cognitive neuroscience from Brown University, where she studied behavioral and neural correlates of cognitive control and memory. Her energy is currently focused on helping the rest of the BAL lab clarify the neurocognitive processes that underlie attention fluctuations and distraction. In the future Monica plans to pursue a graduate degree in cognitive neuroscience with a focus on memory and attention.
Bay is a former research assistant in the BALLAB. She graduated with a BA in psychology from Harvard where she was awarded a Hoopes Prize. Her interests include decision-making, future orientation, social cognition, attention, and face processing.
Andrew works for the National Center for PTSD in the Trauma Memory Lab. His current projects include investigating the neural correlates of PTSD and emotion regulation using imaging and behavioral methods. He's also interested in the cerebellum and it's role in higher cognitive functions.
Caroline is currently a master’s student in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University.
Andy is currently pursuing a PhD is clinical psychology at the University of Houston.
William Milberg & Regina McGlinchey
Dr. Millberg and Dr. McGlinchey are directors of the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the Boston VA, in addition to the Translational Research Center for Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACTs). As a subset of the GRECC, we collaborate actively with TRACTs and our work is supported by the mentorship of Dr. Milberg and Dr. McGlinchey.
Dr. Vasterling serves as the Chief of Psychology at the VA Boston Healthcare System and as a clinical investigator within the Behavioral Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD. Her work includes longitudinal studies examining neuropsychological and emotional outcomes of the Iraq War. This effort is unique in that it tracks the mental health of deploying soldiers, starting when they are deployed and following them after they return from Iraq.
Dr. Grande is the head of clinical neuropsychology at the Boston VA. Her research focuses on changes in attentional abilities that occur with aging as well as PTSD.
Dr. Bonato is the Director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. The BAL Lab has developed two novel and innovative therapies for neglect syndrome that have demonstrated significant improvement on standard lab tests: galvanic vestibular stimulation and sustained attention training. Through collaboration with Spaulding Rehab Hospital, we are better able to gauge the functional, real-world improvement of our therapies. Working with Dr. Bonato and his team, we can use sophisticated functional assessments of pre- and post-therapy, including the use of robotic assistive arm device (Armeo) and posture and gait analysis.
Dr. VanVleet's lab is interested in better understanding of the behavioral and neural mechanisms of attention to patients with related deficits following brain injury (e.g., Hemispatial Neglect, Balint’s syndrome). They aim is to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of attention and to identify effective means of rehabilitation. We collaborate on a number of sustained attention training methods in patients with brain injuries.
Sara's research uses neuroimaging techniques to study neurological, cognitive and emotional changes associated with the practice of meditation and yoga. In collaboration with the BALLAB, she is examining the effects of meditation on attention.
Omar is a research assistant in Sara Lazar's Meditation Lab at MGH at the Martinos Center. He graduated with a BA in psychology from UC-Davis. His interests include meditation, cognition, and consciousness.