Faculty Affiliates

 
 
paul_allopenna
Psychology

 

Paul Allopenna

Research Interests:

My primary research interests are in Psycholinguistics and Computational Neuroscience. In Psycholinguistics, my interests focus on how we represent form and meaning in language, and the neural and behavioral dynamics that are involved in language processing. My computational work concerns theoretical investigations into how computations in the brain scale from neural firings to behavior. This research represents an ongoing collaboration with James A. Anderson at Brown University known as the Ersatz Brain Project. Link here.

 
 
Jonathan_uconnhusky
Psychology

 

Robert Astur

Research Interests:

My interests reply on using behavioral neuroscience theory and methodology in human populations to help elucidate the neural bases of memory function. Currently, we are conducting studies examining how nicotine affects how people learn things and extinguish memories. We also are looking at how estrogen affects hippocampal sensitive memory in women. And, lastly, we are examining fear conditioning in humans in virtual reality environments in hopes of helping design effective strategies for treating anxiety.

 
 
dave_braze_2   
Haskins Laboratories

 

David Braze

Research Interests:

I study the cognitive structures and processes that underlie the human ability to fluidly assemble meaning from more-or-less novel strings of words. So, a central question is that of how lexical, grammatical, semantic and pragmatic cues,  as encoded in the spoken or written word, interact with one another to yield a percept of meaning. I am particularly interested in individual variation around 'typical' behavior and development of language skills.

 
 
Kevin_Brown
Biomedical Engineering

Kevin Brown

Research Interests:

I am a complex systems scientist. I study complex biological systems, particularly those arising in systems biology and systems neuroscience. I employ methodology from dynamical systems, network theory, Bayesian and nonparametric statistics, computational biology, and statistical signal processing. My work has focused heavily on inverse problems; inferring network and model structures from cellular time series measurements, protein sequences, and high-dimensional brain data. My work is strongly connected to data, and I continue to have many productive collaborations with experimentalists.

 
 

School of Nursing

Kyle Baumbauer

Research Interests:

Research in my laboratory examines how inflammation and injury affect processing of sensory information. We are also interested in understanding the mechanisms governing the transition from normal acute pain to maladaptive persistent pain states. We use a systems approach to examine questions of interest, ranging from cellular/molecular phenomena to physiology and behavior.

 
 
CMChen
Psychology

Chi-Ming Chen

Research Interests:

My lab is interested in translating neurophysiological knowledge into interventions for neurological and psychiatric disorders. We are interested in conducting research that will aid in developing and translating advanced neurophysiological knowledge into novel treatments for medication-resistant schizophrenia. Specifically, we hope to test interventions and new chemical compounds to ameliorate pathological neural oscillations in schizophrenia.
Examples of our current research projects are: (1) using MRI techniques (fMRI, DTI), EEG, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate neural oscillations and auditory sensory processing in healthy participant and schizophrenia patients at the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center of Hartford Hospital, (2) investigating the effect of acute administration of ketamine on glutamate, GABA, and neuronal oscillations in healthy participants (simultaneous MRS-EEG recordings), (3) using machine-learning models to identify "optimal" neural oscillatory patterns from high definition scalp EEGs for cognitive functions and computer-assisted (i.e., brain-computer interface) cognitive remediation programs in healthy participants and patients with schizophrenia, (4) investigating the normal patterns of EEGs in healthy participants while they are performing the jitter orientation visual integration task, (5) investigating ketamine-induced changes of neural oscillations and parval bumin-positive interneurons in rats after acute and subchronic ketamine injections across different developmental stages by using intracranial recordings and staining methods.

 
 
Xu_Chen
Mechanical Engineering

Xu Chen

Research Interests:

The cognitive system of a human is highly complex and dynamic. My research focuses on studying modeling, feedback, and feedforward control theories to increase our understandings for better design and control of dynamic systems. To achieve such a goal, we utilize a set of tools that combine data-based system identification, optimization, predictive control, adaptive and learning control theories in conjunction with close collaborations with scholars in biomedical and electrical engineering. Such activities are tightly connected to solving challenges in modeling and analysis of human cognitive behaviors to understand the philosophy of mind, human-machine interactions, rehabilitation mechatronics, and cyberphysical systems that integrates human in a complex automata.

 
 
James_Chrobak
Psychology

 

James Chrobak

Research Interests:

My research focuses on the physiology and function of hippocampal circuits with particular emphasis on neural network dynamics (e.g., theta and gamma oscillations) which support the transient formation and synchronization of neuronal ensembles across brain structures. Studies in my laboratory typically involve anatomical analyses, neurophysiological recordings of awake-behaving rodents and assessment of "episodic" (delayed conditional discrimination) memory performance.

 
 
Joanne_Conover
Physiology & Neurobiology

 

Joanne Conover

Research Interests:

The overarching goal of my research program is to understand properties of the brain's stem cell niches, their potential for stem cell-mediated reparative functions, and the use and application of these findings to model and understand human disease. Currently, we combine 3D modeling of brain structures with detailed tissue histochemistry to generate longitudinal maps of gross structural changes at the cellular level. Projects include both animal models and human MR data and tissue, and focus on: (1) injury (concussion, traumatic brain injury), disease (fetal hydrocephalus, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and aging.

 
 

Psychology

 

Marie Coppola

Research Interests:

My research program centers on how language emerges within individuals and communities, as well as how atypical language experiences affect cognitive development. I study a new Deaf community sign language that emerged in Nicaragua in the 1970s and homesigners (deaf individuals who have not had the opportunity to acquire a conventional language). My latest project investigates the impact of language experience on the development of number concepts in deaf and hard of hearing children in the US.

 
 

Jonathan_uconnhusky

Physiology & Neurobiology

 

Angel de Blas

Research Interests:

The main thrust of my research has been and will be to understand how the molecular components of inhibitory GABAergic synapses in the CNS assemble into a functional signal-transducing structure. I also aim to manipulate these molecules to control this assembly and the strength of selective GABAergic synapses for potential therapies of neurological disorders in which the homeostatic balance excitation/inhibition is altered.

 
 

Dipak-Dey

Statistics

 

Dipak Dey

Research Interests:

My research interests are Bayesian Analysis, Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Computational Statistics, Medical Image Processing, Statistical Shape Analysis, and Statistical Genetics. In the past I have collaborated with many UConn scientists, you can click here for more details.
My current research is on "Harnessing Big Data through Statistical Modeling".

 

james-dixon

Psychology

 

James Dixon

Research Interests:

My colleagues and I work on fundamental issues in perception, action, and cognition. The overarching goal of our research program is to understand behavior as a natural extension of self-organizing systems. A foundational premise of our work is that all biological systems run on multi-scale, nested architectures that are intrinsically non-decomposable.

 

Engineering

 

Abhishek Dutta

Research Interests:

My research interest lies in solving practical problems in large scale mechatronic and biological systems by developing mathematical analysis based on stochastic and robust optimization, constrained control and machine learning.

Website

 
 
damir
Mathematics

 

Damir Dzhafarov

Research Interests:

My research is in computability theory and reverse mathematics, which are subfields of mathematical logic. Among the general questions I am interested in are how mathematicians prove the theorems they prove, what the limits are to what can be proved, and to what degree proofs can be generated algorithmically. More specifically, I try to variously describe the complexity of theorems and proof techniques (which may be regarded as methods of reasoning) from different parts of mathematics, and areas outside of mathematics like cognitive science, and look for connections between them.

 
 
Eigsti2016
Psychology

 

Inge-Marie Eigsti

Research Interests:

My research addresses a fundamental issue in human cognition: how constraints imposed by brain development and core neurocognitive processes impact language acquisition. As a scientist, I am intrigued by the interaction of language acquisition and brain development. As a clinician, I am motivated to understand the puzzles presented by atypical development, particularly autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and its consequences, because of what they mean for intervention. Although most research on language acquisition and neurocognitive processes is based on typically developing learners, the study of differences in development can lead to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of growth and change. We use multiple converging approaches in my lab: experimental behavioral tasks, structural and functional imaging, and eyetracking, in our research.
 

 
 
CIBACS-art-grey
UConn Health Center,
Neuroscience and Molecular Biology and Biophysics

Betty Eipper

Research Interests:

I am interested in the synthesis, storage and secretion of neuropeptides. In addition to studying the enzymes unique to neuropeptide synthesis, I study the formation and exocytosis of the secretory granules that store these neuropeptides. We use primary neuronal cultures, neuroendocrine cell lines and genetically engineered mice to study this process.

 
 
Garcia-Sierra_pic2

Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences

Adrian Garcia-Sierra

Research Interests:

Over the past 10 years my research has focused on the influence of language on the perception of speech sounds from infancy through young adulthood, investigating cross-cultural speech perception in native speakers of Spanish and English and cross-language speech perception in bilingual individuals. My primary research method is electrophysiology. However, I also employ behavioral and naturalistic paradigms and describe the results of my research across the lifespan from perceptual development.

 
 

UConn Health Center

Noelle Germain

Research Interests:

My research uses human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to model and investigate the genetic and molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders. Our overarching goal is to use these in vitro neuronal models to help in the identification of novel therapeutic targets and the testing of candidate drugs in disease-relevant human cell types.

 
 
Krystyna-Gielo-Perczak

Biomedical Engineering

Krystyna Gielo-Perczak

Research Interests:

As a biomedical engineer, I'm involved in design of biomedical devices and interested in multidisciplinary approach to human centered design, rehabilitation, human-robot and exoskeleton interactions for the purpose of augmenting human capabilities, assisting disabled persons, increasing human performance and safety. The methodology brings many disciplines in its study of humans and their environments, including biomechanics, neuroscience, systems view, physiology and psychology.
 
Website

 

 

Jonathan_uconnhusky

Haskins Laboratories

Vincent Gracco

Research Interests:

My research focuses on the neuroscience of human communication using multiple neuroimaging modalities and physiological techniques. Current research areas focus on the development and mechanisms of sensorimotor control for spoken language, sensorimotor dysfunctions associated with stuttering and other speech motor disorders, neuroplasticity and sensorimotor learning, bilingualism and the relationship between language and music.

 
 
Mitchell_Green

Philosophy

Mitchell Green

Research Interests:

My work is primarily in the pragmatics of communication, focusing on the mechanisms by which speakers mean more (or sometimes less) than what they say. As such I have done work on implicature, speech act theory, presupposition, the kinematics of conversation, and expressive behavior. I also have interests in empathy, the evolution of communication, and the epistemic value of literature.

 
  bernard-grala

Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

Bernard Grela

Research Interests:

My research interests include examining processing based deficits in children with language impairments. These consist of assessing production errors associated with increasing linguistic complexity in children with specific language impairment and Down syndrome, and communicative deficits associated with ASD. I also look at language deficits and reading disorders in both children and adults.

 
  Matt-Hall_aug2009_11

Linguistics

Matt Hall

Research Interests:

Sign language can tell us a lot about human cognition: how languages grow and change over time, how language interfaces with other cognitive systems, and how language exposure (or lack thereof) in early childhood can have long-lasting consequences for subsequent linguistic & cognitive development. My research aims to increase our understanding of how our minds work as well as offering practical solutions to some of the problems that deaf children face.

 
  harrisonphoto

Kinesiology

Steven Harrison

Research Interests:

My interests are in developing an understanding of human perception and action from an ecological and dynamical systems perspective. In the pursuit of this I have studied human postural control, locomotion, tool use and navigation.

 
  

Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Chris Heffner

Research Interests:

My research focuses on speech perception, in particular how listeners learn new sound categories (phonetic learning) and how they adjust the categories of their native language (phonetic adaptation). I will be investigating the connections between these two abilities using a variety of behavioral tasks and structural MRI methods.

 
 
hogan_P

English

Patrick Hogan

Research Interests:

I work principally at the intersection of cognitive science and literary study, examining such topics as the nature of aesthetic response, the operation of simulation in authors and readers, the ways in which literary study can advance our understanding of emotion, the political psychology of social identity (e.g., national identity) as it relates to narrative structure, and the existence and variety of narrative universals.

 
 
Yen-Chih-Huang

Biomedical Engineering

Yen-Chih Huang

Research Interests:

My research areas focus on the development of functional skeletal, cardiac muscles, cartilages and neural tissues by combining pluripotent stem cells, biomaterials and tissue engineering strategies. Pluripotent stem cells have the potential to differentiate into any cell lineages. Direct differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into musculoskeletal and neural lineages is one of my major research areas.

Website

 
 

Haskins Laboratories

Julia Irwin

Research Interests:

My research program explores the role of the face in the perception of speech. I examine the development of audiovisual speech perception in typically developing children and adults and in special populations, including children with autism spectrum disorders. This work makes use of eye-tracking and event related potentials (ERP) to assess key factors that underlie perception of seen and heard speech and their spatial and temporal signatures.

Website

 

 
 
Alexander_Jackson
Physiology & Neurobiology

 

Alexander Jackson

Research Interests:

Research in the laboratory is focused on the cellular and synaptic neurophysiology of neural circuits in the mammalian hypothalamus that regulate fundamental behavioral states such as sleep, arousal and feeding. Techniques are centered on using patch-clamp electrophysiology and pharmacology in brain slices in order to elucidate the cellular and synaptic properties of specific hypothalamic cell-types and their local and long-range synaptic connectivity. This approach is carried out in concert with a toolbox of neuroanatomical methods, optogenetic strategies to manipulate the excitability of genetically targeted neurons and through collaborative work, single-cell transcriptional profiling.
 

 
 
gitte
Psychology

 

Gitte Joergensen

Research Interests:

I am interested in how we represent different dimensions of events during language processing. More specifically, I am interested in how changes in time, and state are processed and integrated into current event representations. For example, in sentences like “The woman will drop the ice cream. But first, she will look at the ice cream”, we must maintain two distinct representations of the ice cream - before and after it was dropped. But how do these representations interact as language unfolds?
 

 
 

Devin_KearnsNeag School of Education

Devin Kearns

Research Interests:

I am interested in reading acquisition in children with and at risk for dyslexia. My research includes studies of basic processes in reading--particularly for polysyllabic and polymorphemic words--and interventions to improve word reading skills.

Website

 
 

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Debra Kendall

Research Interests:

My research goal is to understand the structure and function of the cannabinoid receptor family (CB1 and CB2). CB1 is highly expressed in the CNS while CB2 is more common in peripheral tissues. My recent work includes examining the allosteric modulation of CB1 and my laboratory has identified examples of allosteric ligand biased signaling via G protein independent pathways.

 

 
 

nicole_landiPsychology

Nicole Landi

Research Interests:

My research focuses on a language and reading development in typically developing children and adolescents, and in children with complex neurodevelopmental disorders, including dyslexia, SLI and autism. In my work I use multiple methodologies including fMRI, sMRI, EEG, ERP eyetracking & genetic analyses to explore the underlying etiology of typical and atypical language and reading processes.

 
 

Large_Ed
Psychology

Ed Large

Research Interests:

My research areas include nonlinear dynamical systems, auditory neuroscience, and music psychology. I use theoretical modeling in conjunction with behavioral, comparative, neurophysiological and neuroimaging techniques to understand how people respond to complex, temporally structured sequences of sound such as music and speech.

Website

 

 

SONY DSC

 

Kinesiology

Adam Lepley

Research Interests:

My research agenda is focused on understanding neural contributions to muscle dysfunction and their involvement in lower extremity biomechanical and self-reported disability following traumatic knee joint injuries. Specifically, my research utilizes neurophysiological assessment techniques to assess neuromuscular function following knee joint injury, experimental joint effusion models, chronic ankle instability and anterior cruciate ligament injured patients.

 

Lindsey Lepley on Jan. 29, 2016. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

 

Kinesiology

 

Lindsey Lepley

Research Interests:

Research interests center around examining the negative neuromuscular effects of joint injury and identifying therapies capable of combating neuromuscular dysfunction. Much of my research has evaluated the effects of eccentrics on the recovery of muscle after anterior cruciate ligament injury. Additionally, I have studied the impact of muscle inhibition on persistent weakness, and the consequences of weakness on biomechanics.

 
 

lillomartinLinguistics

Diane Lillo-Martin

Research Interests:

My research investigates the nature of language and its acquisition by studying American Sign Language (ASL), the acquisition of ASL by Deaf children, bimodal bilingual acquisition of ASL and spoken English by hearing children in Deaf-parented families, and the acquisition of English by hearing children. I am especially interested in how the study of sign languages can contribute to broadening understanding of what is universal and what is modality-specific.

 

dave-martinelli

Neuroscience, UConn Health

 

 

David Martinelli

Research Interests:

My research focus is on synaptic adhesion proteins, which bind two neurons together at a synapse and are at the junction of our genes and experiences. My goal is to understand the molecular logic of how these proteins orchestrate synaptic formation, modification, and function, and to ultimately provide an explanation for how these events influence behaviors.

 
 

Karen_MenuzPhysiology & Neurobiology

Karen Menuz

Research Interests:

My lab studies the mechanisms supporting robust responses to odors in the insect olfactory system. Currently, we are interested in how the molecular and cellular environment surrounding olfactory neurons influences their activity, and ultimately odor-driven behaviors. We take advantage of the tremendous number of genetic tools available in the fruit fly Drosophila in order to identify conserved molecules and mechanisms that likely have a similar role in insect vectors of human disease.

 
 

Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences

Jennifer Mozeiko

Research Interests:

Research in the Aphasia Rehab Lab is focused on the optimization of aphasia rehabilitation. Specifically, we are looking at how clinicians can manipulate the neuroplastic response to treatment for the best possible language outcomes. Dosage, durability of treatment over time and generalization of gains to discourse production are predominant themes in much of our work.

Website

 
 

emilymyersSpeech, Language & Hearing Sciences

Emily Myers

Research Interests:

My research program focuses on the neural and behavioral mechanisms that enable listeners to map the speech signal onto meaning. In this program of study, I use neuroimaging techniques, principally fMRI, to investigate how the brain responds to acoustic variation within and between categories, and behavioral methods to probe the mechanisms that allow for parsing the speech stream into meaningful categories. These questions are applied to typical populations as well as to individuals with acquired language disorders (aphasia) or developmental language disorders (reading disorder, language impairment).

 
 

Letty_NaiglesPsychology

 

Letitia Naigles

Research Interests:

My research interests target the roles of environment and biology in the question of how children acquire their first language. I investigate environmental effects via studies of typical children learning a wide range of languages (e.g., Chinese, Turkish, Spanish). I investigate biological effects via studies of children with a neurodevelopmental disorder called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I frequently rely on a method called Intermodal Preferential Looking (IPL), which reveals fine details of young children's language comprehension. I am beginning research to link up children's language processing and neural structure and function.

 
 

Thanh-NguyenMechanical Engineering

 

Thanh Duc Nguyen

Research Interests:

Nerve regeneration, nerve stimulation/engineering and neuronal mechanics.
 
Website

 
 

akiko_nishiyamaPhysiology & Neurobiology

 

Akiko Nishiyama

Research Interests:

The role of glial cells (non-neuronal) in the neural network.
 
Website

 
 

Michael_ONeillMolecular & Cell Biology

 

Michael O’Neill

Research Interests:

My lab is investigating the hypothesis that the well-recognized 4:1 male bias in Autism Spectrum Disorder may be due to parent-specific epigenetic signatures on the X chromosome. We were the first to identify parent-specific gene expression, a.k.a genomic imprinting on the X chromosome in mice, and have focused recent efforts on understanding the mechanism of imprinting of these genes, their function during neurodevelopment, and the potential for misregulation of the human orthologs of these genes.

 
 

PachterCell Biology

Joel Pachter

Research Interests:

The major focus of my lab is the role(s) of the CNS barriers, e.g., blood-brain barrier and blood-CSF barrier, in physiology and pathophysiology.
As these barriers are fundamental to maintaining CNS homeostasis, even subtle disruptions in their function can lead to marked neurobiolological and cognitive changes. CNS barriers are also a main regulator of drug delivery, and so are major determinants in the efficacy and toxicity of drug action in the brain.
 
Website

 
 

Marcus_RossbergPsychology & Biomedical Engineering

Heather Read

Research Interests:

My research examines the neurobiology underlying the ability to discriminate and categorize vocalizations at the single neuron, neural circuit and behavioral levels. In addition to developing comprehensive theories for how biological systems discriminate social communications, we aim to develop new strategies for speech recognition, prosthetic hearing devices and diagnosis of central auditory processing disorders.

Website

 
 

Marcus_RossbergPhilosophy

Marcus Rossberg

Research Interests:

My research focuses mainly on logic and the philosophies of mathematics and language. Proof-theoric inferentialist approaches to logic and higher-order logic, in particular, are a focus of my work.

 
 
beth_russell
Human Development & Family Studies

 

Beth Russell

Research Interests:

I study the development of self-control from birth through early adulthood. Many of my research experiences with infancy and early childhood samples demonstrates that the executive function skills used to regulate parent-infant interactions are teachable, and that improving parent self-regulation is a skill set that serves to support positive parent-child interactions throughout childhood. Given the importance of self control for group learning contexts and its significant enduring associations with adaptive outcomes into adulthood, elaborating on the contributing factors to children’s self control is warranted. Later in the lifespan, research on youth engaged in risk behaviors suggests that emotion regulation is a key outcome which fosters youths’ capacities to face contextual/social and biological challenges and respond to obstacles in adaptive rather than maladaptive ways. Such contextual/social and biological challenges include peer influence and parents’ history of substance use, as well as adolescent impulsivity and poor distress tolerance -- these are each significantly associated with adolescent substance use. Much of my research focuses with these older samples on risk trajectories for adolescent substance use, in particular examining impulsivity and inhibitory control as outcomes from a range of recovery programs.
 

 
 
Santaniello
Biomedical Engineering

 

Sabato Santaniello

Research Interests:

My laboratory develops modeling and analysis tools to understand the effects of neural disorders on the brain’s electrophysiology, from single units to neural populations. We also focus on designing control algorithms for adaptive, robust, optimal neural prostheses, with application to Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, deep brain stimulation, and brain-computer interface. One ongoing project aims to develop algorithms for automatic localization of the epileptogenic onset zone and seizure onset detection in drug-resistant epileptic patients. Another ongoing project aims to understand the role of stimulation-elicited resonant effects in the motor striatum in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

 
 
Pharmaceutical Sciences

 

Caitlin Scott

Research Interests:

My research interests include studying potential therapeutics that interact with the cannabinoid receptors. One type of these receptors is CB1, which is located in the central nervous system, controls neurotransmission, and mediates feelings of pain and hunger. The other receptor, CB2, is located in microglia and can protect the blood brain barrier.

 
 
Adam_Sheya
Psychology

 

Adam Sheya

Research Interests:

Development of categorical and conceptual knowledge in early childhood; Emergence of Relational Reasoning; Interactions between perceiving, acting, and knowing; Models of Developmental Change

 
 
Erika_Skoe
Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

 

Erika Skoe

Research Interests:

My research examines how the human central auditory system encodes complex, naturalistic sounds (speech, music) across the lifespan. I am particularly interested in how environmental enrichment and impoverishment affect this encoding process, and then ultimately how the fidelity of sound encoding affects language development and cognitive flexibility.

Website

 
 
Jonathan_uconnhusky
Surgery/School of Medicine, UCHC

 

Phillip Smith

Research Interests:

Urinary function is predicated on bladder volume sensory transduction. Evidence suggests this can be centrally modulated, implicating centrifugal brain processes. My current research examines the interface of local paracrine with autonomic influences in mechanisms determining bladder afferent volume sensitivity.

 
 
Tammie_Spaulding
Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

 

Tammie Spaulding

Research Interests:

My research is focused on maximizing our ability to accurately diagnose specific language impairment in early childhood in order to provide early and optimal interventions to remediate the deficits that children with language impairment encounter. My secondary line of
investigation is focused on understanding the cognitive difficulties associated with specific language impairment in order to improve our theoretical understanding of the nature of this disorder and to determine how such deficits impede the language learning process.

 
 ian_stevenson

Psychology

 

 

Ian Stevenson

Research Interests:

My long term research goals focus on understanding how information is represented and processed in the brain - both at the level of individual neurons as well as the nervous system as a whole. In collaboration with electrophysiologists, my lab uses and develops machine learning methods to understand how populations of neurons interact and adapt, and, using behavioral experiments, we develop probabilistic models of human perception and behavior. Our current research and immediate plans revolve around two broad themes: 1) modeling neural dynamics, interactions, and adaptation and, 2) linking neural data with perception, behavior, and learning. These modeling efforts should ultimately allow us to move beyond traditional stimulus-response models of single neurons and, instead, characterize how neural interactions and dynamics give rise to network activity and behavior.

 
  ephram

Neuroscience, UConn Health

 

 

Ephraim Takhtenberg

Research Interests:

Several species of lower vertebrates have the capacity to regenerate and repair the injured central nervous system (CNS). However, in mammals the ability for CNS self-repair is lost during maturation. My goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms of neuronal development and regeneration, and to utilize gained knowledge in developing translational approaches for repairing injured CNS circuits.

 
  mins-tang-schomer

Pediatrics, UConn Health and Children's Medical Center

 

 

Min Tang-Schomer

Research Interests:

My research seeks to develop biomimetic tissue models for the nervous system. Currently I focus on developing personalized brain tissue models with human patient brain cells. The goal is to use these "brain-in-a dish" models to understand and treat neurological disorders, including pediatric brain tumors.

 

 

tannerheadshot

 

Physiology and Neurobiology

 

 

 

Geoffrey Tanner

Research Interests:

My research focuses on dietary therapies for neurological disease. Using Drosophila fruit flies as a model system, we study specifically how diet interacts with neuronal excitability and cell survival to prevent onset or to ameliorate symptoms of prevalent conditions such as epilepsy, CTE, and Alzheimer’s disease.

 
 theodore_edited

Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

 

 

Rachel Theodore

Research Interests:

Our research examines the perceptual mechanisms that support language comprehension. We focus on the degree to which language comprehension is shaped by input in the environment, both with respect to perceptual learning in end-state representations as well as plasticity underlying acquisition of speech sound categories in development. We consider these questions using a variety of experimental paradigms including behavioral psychophysics, fMRI, EEG, and computational methods.

Website

 
 
Todd_Krysti

Physiology & Neurobiology

 

Krysti Todd

Research Interests:

I am currently investigating neurodevelopment with a focus on the formation of the brain's ventricular system and accompanying stem cell niche. I am also examining this stem cell niche in the context of brain injury, normal aging, and in cognitive impairment.

 
 
Jonathan_uconnhusky

Physiology & Neurobiology

 

Anastasios Tzingounis

Research Interests:

My interest is to reveal the mechanisms by which ion channels and associated molecules and signaling networks control excitability in the neonatal and infantile brain. My lab addresses this question using a multidisciplinary approach that combines electrophysiology, pharmacology and microscopy in genetically modified mice lines that we have developed. Much of my work has dissected the cell-type and brain-region specific effects that potassium channel genes have on neuronal physiology. Going forward, I will continue to study the role of ion channels, expanding my research into their role in controlling neuronal firing rates at the single and population level.

 
 
Harry-van-der-Hulst
Linguistics

 

Harry van der Hulst

Research Interests:

My primary research interest is 'phonology', the study of the form of language, both in terms of its physical manifestations and in terms of its underlying mental representations. As such, I formulate and test theories about phonological representations and derivations. This also involves the interfaces between phonology and other components of the grammar (morphology, syntax, semantics and phonetics). I work on the phonology of spoken languages and on the 'phonology' of sign languages, taking a special interest in parallels and differences between these two modalities. Secondary interests are the history of linguistics (specifically phonology), language acquisition (the interplay between environmental input and innate abilities), the evolution of the human mind and language (specifically of phonology) and the expression of meaning through other visual channels such as gesture and (sequential) drawing.
 

 
 
vandyke
Haskins Laboratories

 

Julie Van Dyke

Research Interests:

My research investigates the memory system that supports language comprehension, with special focus on individual differences. My approach represents a paradigm shift: rather than focusing on memory capacity as a source of difficulty, I focus on the efficiency of the retrieval mechanism. A related goal is to fully specify the cognitive architecture for language processing, including the mechanisms and time course through which needed information is brought in and out of the focus of attention.

Research in my lab aims to characterize factors that limit the ability to retrieve linguistic information from memory, especially interference, decay, quality of lexical representations, and cognitive control. We investigate these issues in diverse populations, including skilled and unskilled readers, dyslexics, Specific Language Impairment, and aging adults, utilizing a clinical approach which includes extensive assessments of cognitive and linguistic ability. Primary experimental methods include the speed-accuracy tradeoff procedure, which provides detailed data about the dynamics of information retrieval, and eye-movement measures during reading, which identify both the time-course and location of processing difficulties. More recent work incorporates fMRI and ERP methods to reveal the neurological bases of these processes.

 
 
UConn Health Center

 

Rajkumar Verma

Research Interests:

My research interests are to study of stroke pathophysiology primarily from a pharmacological treatment and post-stroke recovery perspective in a rodent model of ischemic focal cerebral ischemia. Besides that, I am interested in understanding the impact of neuro-immune and growth factors component in post-stroke behavioral recovery. Recently, we began to explore the role of purinergic receptor P2X4, a ligand-gated ion channel, in ischemic stroke owing to their critical role in immunomodulation.

 
 
Neuroscience

 

Kuruthihalli Vishwanatha

Research Interests:

My research interests include Molecular neuroscience, Developmental neurobiology, neuropeptide amidation, Rho-GEF signaling, Secretory & endocytic pathways and synaptogenesis.

Website

 
 
Max_V
Psychology

 

Maxim Volgushev

Research Interests:

My research is aimed at understanding the neuronal basis of brain functioning, with a focus on sensory systems. In recent projects we study: Synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity; Encoding of input activity in the output signals (sequences of spikes) by cortical neurons; Origin and cellular mechanisms of slow sleep oscillation; Dependence of sensory processing on the state of the brain.
 
Website

 
 
Xiaojing
Statistics

 

Xiaojing Wang

Research Interests:

My research interests are in Bayesian hierarchical modeling and latent variable models, spatial statistics and time series analysis, subgroup analysis and model selection, constrained inference and nonparametric methods.

 
 
Dimitris_Xygalatas
Anthropology

 

Dimitris Xygalatas

Research Interests:

My interests include ritual, cooperation, and the interaction between cognition and culture. My research focuses on the application of scientific methods and technologies in ethnographic field research. I have conducted several years of fieldwork in Southern Europe and Mauritius. Before coming to UConn, I held positions at the universities of Princeton, Aarhus, and Masaryk, where I served as Director of the Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion (LEVYNA). I currently hold a joint position between Aarhus University and the University of Connecticut, where I am directing the Experimental Anthropology Lab.

 
 
Eiling_Yee
Psychology

 

Eiling Yee

Research Interests:

I study conceptual processing (a.k.a semantic memory), primarily in the context of language comprehension. I take a multi-pronged approach to investigate these questions, using eye-tracking and imaging methodologies, in normal and impaired populations.
Topics: Semantic memory, the neural representation of concepts, spoken word recognition and language processing, multimodal integration, aphasia and other cognitive deficits, and the neural basis of language.
 

 
mason-yeh
Neuroscience

 

Mason Li-Wen Yeh

Research Interests:

My long-term research goal is to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the principles underlying the proper formation of cortical networks and developmental alterations that result in neurological and cognitive disease states by integrating rodent and emerging human models of cortical development.

 
Jonathan_uconnhusky   
Molecular and Cellular Biology

 

Ping Zhang

Research Interests:

We model neurodegenerative diseases in Drosophila. We use genetic and genomic tools to discover critical genes and pathways that mediate neurodegeneration.

 
 
YupingZhang
Statistics

 

Yuping Zhang

Research Interests:

Research interests lie in development and application of statistical and computational methods to address scientific problems in genomics, systems biology, and complex diseases.