Robert Reinhart

  • Phone (617) 353 – 9481
  • Education PhD, Vanderbilt University
Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, BU College of Arts and Sciences

Research in our 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 break down in normal 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 cognition in healthy people and restoring abilities in aging and clinical 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 in healthy and clinical populations.
Finally, we believe a strong scientific approach involves the use of converging evidence from multiple methods, levels of analysis, and subject populations. Thus, in addition to expertise with behavioral (e.g., eye tracking, psychophysics), electrophysiological, and noninvasive neuromodulation techniques, we also employ computational modeling and neuroimaging methods, and are expanding our clinical populations to include Alzheimer’s disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and depression.

Lab Webpage: Cognitive & Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory

Selected Publications

Cheng X, Grover S, Wen W, Sankaranarayanan S, Fragetta J, Davies S, Soto D, Reinhart RMG (2022). Dissociable rhythmic mechanisms enhance memory for conscious and nonconscious perceptual contents. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 119(44):e2211147119.

Reinhart RMG (2022). Synchronizing neural rhythms. Science. 377(6606):588-589.

Grover S, Wen W, Viswanathan V, Gill CT, Reinhart RMG (2022). Long-lasting, dissociable improvements in working memory and long-term memory in older adults with repetitive neuromodulation. Nature Neuroscience. 25(9):1237-1246.

Grover S, Nguyen JA, Reinhart RMG (2021). Synchronizing brain rhythms to improve cognition. Annual Review of Medicine 72:29-43.

Grover S, Nguyen JA, Viswanathan V, Reinhart RMG (2021). High-frequency neuromodulation improves obsessive-compulsive behavior. Nature Medicine 27(2):232-238.

Deng Y, Reinhart RMG, Choi I, Shinn-Cunningham B (2019). Causal links between parietal alpha activity and spatial auditory attention. eLife 8:e51184.

Reinhart RMG and 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 (2019). Localization and elimination of attentional dysfunction in schizophrenia during visual search. Schizophrenia Bulletin 45(1):96-105.

Reinhart RMG (2017). Disruption and rescue of interareal theta phase coupling and adaptive behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 114(43):11542-11547.

Reinhart RMG, Xiao W, McClenahan L, Woodman GF (2016). Electrical stimulation of visual cortex can immediately improve spatial vision. Current Biology 26(14):1867-1872.

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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