Core members
Mike Esterman
Joe DeGutis
Francesca Fortenbaugh
Victoria Poole
David Rothlein
Joseph Arizpe
Elyana Saad
Thomas Wooten
Alex Mitko
Morgane Bulpin
Ayo Douglas
Alex Sugarman
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.
[esterman AT bu DOT edu]
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 Assistant Professor 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.
[Curriculum Vitae]
Joseph Arizpe is a postdoctoral researcher currently studying developmental prosopagnosia (“face blindness”) using various neuroimaging and behavioral measures. Joseph earned his BS in Cognitive Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University. He earned his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from a graduate partnership program between University College London (UCL) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). [ResearchGate | Joseph_Arizpe AT hms DOT harvard DOT edu]
Francesca Fortenbaugh is an investigator at the VA Boston Healthcare System, and an Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She earned her PhD. in psychology at UC Berkeley, where her research focused on space perception and visual attention in healthy individuals and patients with visual field loss due to retinal disease and stroke. She completed a postdoctoral position in the BALLAB where she studied the neural mechanisms of visual attention and attentional disorders in clinical populations. She is currently leading a research program that is examining the ability of web-based screening tests to assess visual and cognitive functioning.
[Curriculum Vitae | francescafortenbaugh AT gmail DOT com]
Victoria Poole is a postdoctoral fellow with the Gerontology Department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). After receiving her BS in Chemistry from Oakwood University (Huntsville, AL), Victoria attended Purdue University, where she earned a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and focused on using MRI as a predictive measure for neural health. She intends to use this tool to investigate attention, cognition, and mobility in the geriatric and veteran populations.
[Curriculum Vitae | vpoole AT bidmc DOT harvard DOT edu]
David Rothlein is a postdoctoral researcher working for the Boston VA. After earning a BS in Cognitive Science from the University of Connecticut, he graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a PhD in Cognitive Science. His doctoral research involved using behavioral and fMRI experiments to study modality specific and abstract representations of letters in the mind and brain. His current research involves using stimulus similarity to investigate the role of perceptual processing in sustained attention tasks and using multi-voxel pattern analyses with fMRI data to investigate how attention interacts with the transmission of information in the brain.
Thomas Wooten graduated from University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BS in Psychology in May 2016. He is currently working on a research project exploring the relationship between cerebrovascular health and mobility in older age. Tom is planning to pursue a doctoral degree in Cognitive Neuroscience.
[Curriculum Vitae | twooten AT umass DOT edu]
Alex Mitko joined the BAL lab as a research assistant after graduating from Hamilton College in May 2016. He is currently working on a study testing cognitive training in a drug abuse rehabilitation program. He is also involved in the lab’s transcranial magnetic stimulation studies. Alex is planning to pursue a doctoral degree in Cognitive Neuroscience.
[alexmitko7 AT gmail DOT com]
Morgane Bulpin graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Neuroscience in May 2017. She is currently working on study that investigates training-related neuroplasticity in developmental prosopagnosia. She is also involved in a study testing cognitive training in a drug abuse rehabilitation program. Morgane is planning on pursuing a medical degree.
Ayooluwa (Ayo) Douglas is a research assistant in the BAL Lab. She studies training-related effects in developmental prosopagnosia. Ayo graduated from Duke University in May 2017 with a B.S. in Biology.
Alex Sugarman graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in Neuroscience in May 2017. He is currently working on a study that designs web-based neurological examinations to test cognitive function in the post-deployment veteran population. Alex also works on fMRI studies and plans to pursue a degree in medicine.
Elyana Saad joined the Ballab as a postdoctoral researcher. She works on Visual short-term memory, attention, consciousness, and face recognition using fMRI, TMS and EEG.
[elyana_saad AT hms DOT harvard DOT edu]