Core members
Collaborators
Alumni
Mike Esterman
Joe DeGutis
Francesca Fortenbaugh
Victoria Poole
David Rothlein
Elyana Saad
Thomas Wooten
Alex Sugarman
Anna Stumps
Alice Lee
Maruti Mishra
Agnieszka Zuberer
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.
[Email Mike]
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]
[Email Joe]
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]
[Email Francesca]
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]
[Email Victoria]
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.
[Email David]
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.
[Email Elyana]
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]
[Email Tom]
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.
Anna Stumps graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in Psychology in May 2017. She is a research assistant in the lab working on a project exploring the resting state functional connectivity of individuals with suicidal ideation. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.
[Email Anna]
Alice Lee graduated with her bachelor's from Dartmouth College in 2014. At Dartmouth, she worked in Wheatley's lab and did an honors thesis on motivated perception. She is currently working on a research project understanding the neural mechanisms of prosopagnosia and possibilities for cognitive training intervention. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.
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 currently graduate student at Temple University working with Dr. Philip Kendall in the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic. Prior to coming to Temple University, he worked as research assistant in the Boston Attention and Learning Lab.
Monica is a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Yale University working primarily in the Visual Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory with Marvin Chun. Before coming to Yale, Monica worked as research assistant in the Boston Attention and Learning Lab.
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.
Richard Liu worked as a research assistant at the BALLAB from May 2013 to June 2015. He is now pursuing a PhD in social psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
[Curriculum Vitae | gliu AT umass DOT edu]
Christopher Chiu graduated from the University of Rochester with a bachelor degree in Psychology and a minor in Brain Cognitive Sciences. Chris' prior research experience has primarily focused on mood disorders including research on depression and anxiety disorders at Harvard University and Tufts University. Chris is currently at the BALLAB working on multiple training projects with participants with mild TBI as well as hemi-spatial neglect. Chris is currently pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology with a focus on PTSD at UMass Boston.
[Curriculum Vitae | cchiu124 AT gmail DOT com]
Mallory graduated from Villanova University with a BA in Psychology in December 2013. She is currently working on multiple clinical training trials with participants who have mild TBIs, hemi-spatial neglect, and Parkinson’s Disease. Mallory is planning on pursuing a doctoral degree in Clinical Neuropsychology.
[Curriculum Vitae | mgross09 AT villanova DOT edu]
Michelle Thai was a research assistant in the BAL Lab. She graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in Psychology and Art Theory & Practice in 2014. Michelle is currently working on a project using noninvasive neurostimulation to better understand the neural mechanisms of attention. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Yale University.
[Curriculum Vitae | michellethai2014 AT u DOT northwestern DOT edu]
Hidefusa ("Hide") was a research assistant at the BAL Lab. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology at the University of Utah.
[Curriculum Vitae | hidefusa DOT okabe AT gmail DOT com]
Elizabeth ("Lissa") Riley joined the BAL lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2015. She received her undergraduate degree in biological engineering from MIT, and then earned a PhD in neuroscience and pharmacology from Boston University School of Medicine, where she worked with zebrafish. Lissa is particularly interested in attention - how it can be trained and rehabilitated, and how it can be measured behaviorally and physiologically.
Stephanie Song was a research assistant in the BAL Lab. She graduated from Brown University with a Sc.B in Neuroscience in May 2016.
Morgane Bulpin graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Neuroscience in May 2017. Morgane is currently pursuing a medical degree at the Drexel University.
Ayooluwa (Ayo) Douglas was a research assistant in the BAL Lab. Ayo graduated from Duke University in May 2017 with a B.S. in Biology, and is currently pursuing a medical degree at Harvard Medical School.
Alex Mitko joined the BAL lab as a research assistant after graduating from Hamilton College in May 2016. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Cognitive Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University.
[alexmitko7 AT gmail DOT com]
Joseph Arizpe was 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]
Dr. Milberg is a co-director 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.
Dr. McGlinchey is a co-director 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.
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.
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