Robert M. G. Reinhart

Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
677 Beacon Street, Room 312

Assistant Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences, BU College of Arts & Sciences

Research Interests

Research in my laboratory seeks to understand (i) the nature of visual perception and cognition (e.g., attention, working memory, executive control, learning) in the healthy adult brain, (ii) how these processes breakdown in aging and neuropsychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia, and (iii) how we can leverage insights from basic and clinical science to develop novel interventions for optimizing performance in healthy people and restoring abilities in aging and patient populations.

In our laboratory, we examine cognitive mechanisms from a physiologically inspired perspective centered on large-scale brain networks and how they interact through synchronized electrophysiological rhythms. We focus on the phase, frequency, and power of local electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythms, as well as a variety of neural coding schemes, such as cross-frequency coupling and phase synchronization, hypothesized to index flexible cortical circuits that integrate information across multiple temporal and spatial scales during cognition. We combine measures of EEG rhythms and their synchronization with source reconstruction methods (e.g., beamforming) to improve reasoning about the spatial location of these neural signals and networks.

Although the correlational cognitive neuroscience methods that we use in our research provide fast progress and rapid hypothesis testing, we believe that obtaining causal control over neural activity is one of the best ways to understand how information is processed in the human brain. To this end, our research utilizes neuromodulation techniques, such as transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial alternating-current stimulation (tACS). Our expertise with noninvasive neuromodulation allows us to establish causal relationships between brain activity and behavior, and build customized stimulation protocols for boosting mental functions and performance in healthy and patient populations.

Finally, we believe a strong scientific approach involves the use of converging evidence from multiple methods, levels of analysis, and subject groups. Thus, in addition to expertise with behavioral, electrophysiological, and noninvasive neuromodulation techniques, we are also employing computational modeling and neuroimaging methods, and expanding our patient populations to include disorders of anxiety, depression, and pain.

Selected Publications

  • Reinhart RMG & Nguyen JA (2019) Working memory revived in older adults by synchronizing rhythmic brain circuits. Nature Neuroscience. 22(5):820-827.
  • Reinhart RMG, Park S, Woodman GF (2018). Localization and elimination of attentional dysfunction in schizophrenia during visual search. Schizophrenia Bulletin.
  • Reinhart RMG (2017). Disruption and rescue of interareal theta phase coupling and adaptive behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.114(43):11542-7.
  • Reinhart RMG, Xiao W, McClenahan L, Woodman GF (2016). Electrical stimulation of visual cortex can immediately improve spatial vision. Current Biology.26(14):1867-72.
  • Reinhart RMG, McClenahan L, Woodman GF (2016). Attention’s accelerator. Psychological Science.27(6):790-8.
  • Reinhart RMG, Zhu J, Park S, Woodman GF (2015). Medial-frontal stimulation enhances learning in schizophrenia by restoring prediction-error signaling. Journal of Neuroscience.35(35):12232-40.
  • Reinhart RMG and Woodman GF (2015). The surprising temporal specificity following direct-current stimulation. Trends in Neurosciences.38(8):459-61.
  • Reinhart RMG, Zhu J, Park S, Woodman GF (2015). Synchronizing theta oscillations with direct-current stimulation strengthens adaptive control in the human brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.112(30):9448-53.
  • Reinhart RMG and Woodman GF (2015). Enhancing long-term memory with stimulation tunes visual attention in one trial. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.112(2):625-30.
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