1202 W. Johnson Street
Madison, WI 53706
1500 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53705
Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have allowed scientists to generate humongous amounts of data related to structural, functional and connectivity aspects of the brain. Pattern analysis of such data requires exciting interdisciplinary effort and involves wide-variety of computational challenges. We intend to focus on some of the most important problems that would have significant impact on computer assisted diagnostic procedures. To this end we would work on three specific aims viz. (1) model-based segmentation of white matter structures, (2) model-based fiber tracking and (3) extracting robust features from the output for binary classification. The techniques for segmentation and tracking themselves will be generic enough to be widely applicable for other structures in the brain and other organs in the body. The classifiers could assist doctors and radiologists to cost effectively diagnose diseases related to white matter in the brain.
My current research interests are in developing and integrating state-of-the-art biomedical image processing and machine learning resources for a variety of applications in neuroscience. My most recent research experience has been in applying advanced diffusion MR image analysis techniques, for characterizing the role of white matter in various neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders like autism, anxiety and depression. I am also very interested in developing techniques for mapping and analyzing brain connectivity using diffusion MRI.
Cory Burghy, Ph.D.
My research focuses primarily on the acquisition and effective implementation of emotion understanding and emotion regulation strategies in childhood and adolescence. More specifically, I am interested in how life stress (e.g., poverty, negative life events) may impact the development of individual differences in emotional control and coherent affective processes. My current research includes a longitudinal examination of neural, physiological, and cognitive development through childhood and adolescence with particular emphasis on the development of internalizing symptoms/disorders.
Alex Converse, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist / Director of microPET Imaging, Waisman Brain Imaging Core
I study the interaction of the modulatory neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) with alterations in blood flow (rCBF) throughout the brain using neuroimaging techniques including sequential DA PET/rCBF PET, simultaneous DA PET/rCBF PET, and simultaneous DA PET/rCBF MRI. I also collaborate with other investigators in PET imaging of animal models of human neuropathologies including fetal alcohol exposure, multiple sclerosis, and sexual dysfunction. In addition, I oversee the Waisman microPET imaging facility.
Alex's Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Reza Farajian, Ph.D.
Broadly speaking, I am interested in the fields of contemplative, affective and cognitive neuroscience. In particular, I am interested in studying both the short and long-term effects of mental training designed to improve well-being, prosocial behavior, and mindfulness in both adults and adolescents. I believe that video games can be a wonderful tool for providing such training to adolescents. Therefore I am currently focused on studying the effects of games designed for training and improving well-being. I am interested in using functional brain imaging to assay the neural effects of this mental training.
Lisa Flook , Ph.D.
My research interests focus on exploring prevention and early intervention strategies to promote well-being early in life. Given the negative short and long-term effects stress has on mental and physical health, I believe mindful awareness has much to offer towards helping children and adolescents improve daily well-being and cope with stress. I am also involved in studying the impact of introducing mindfulness practices in educational settings.
Robin Goldman, Ph.D.
I develop novel techniques for integration of electrophysiology (EEG, EMG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate neuropsychological and neurocognitive questions, ultimately to examine relationships of brain-mind-body connections to health and well-being. I design and build MR-compatible EEG/EMG systems, and develop novel single-trial analysis methods for combining the simultaneously acquired data. I am using these techniques to study attention, emotion, resting state, and the effects of contemplative practice in both clinical and non-clinical populations.
Kristin Javaras, D.Phil.
My research focuses on investigating psychological and biological risk factors for the development of eating disorders and overweight/obesity, with the ultimate goal of informing prevention and treatment efforts. I'm particularly interested in the role played by self-control and reward, as instantiated at levels from the brain to behavior. I also focus on developing statistical methodology and measurement tools to support investigations into the etiology of mental and physical health outcomes.
Steve Kecskemeti, Ph.D.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive technique that can be utilized for both diagnostic assessment of the human body and neuroscience studies. Unfortunately, MRI is a slow process. This has prevented MRI from reaching its full potential in many clinical and neuroscience situations due to excessive scan times. My research is focused on ways to reduce the length of MRI scans through the use of novel acquisition and reconstruction techniques. This is turn is used to develop new applications that were not possible due to unfeasible scan times. My current research is focused on ways to improve T1 imaging and quantification.
Sebastian Korb, Ph.D.
I studied psychology in France and Canada. While doing my master's in neuroscience in the Netherlands I discovered a strong interest in the study of emotion. During my doctoral training and postdoc at the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences and the University of Geneva, I studied the neural activity associated with the perception and mimicry of facial expressions, as well as those linked to voluntary emotion regulation. I received funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation to come to Madison, where I am investigating, under the supervision of Drs. Niedenthal and Davidson, the neural correlates of voluntary and spontaneous facial mimicry. I use a variety of techniques, such as EEG, EMG, fMRI, and TMS. When not working, I enjoy traveling, skiing and hiking in the mountains, playing ultimate frisbee, and recovering from ultimate-related injuries.
Antoine Lutz, Ph.D.
More about Antoine
I am interested in understanding the neural counterparts to subjective experience and, more generally, the mechanisms underlying mind-brain-body interactions. More specifically, I am studying the role of large-scale neuronal integration (neural synchrony mechanisms) during various mental states (voluntary attention, emotion generation).
Donal MacCoon, Ph.D.
My primary research area is sustainable well-being (see sustainablewellbeing.us). I also study the role of attention in self-regulation. I have developed a model, Context Appropriate Balanced Attention, to describe this role and have applied and tested the model with anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder, and most recently, to mindfulness practices.
My research interests: My research has focused on executive functions: cognitive control, attention, error-detection, conflict monitoring, goal-directed behavior, and planning. I’ve been studying these processes using neuroimaging (fMRI), eye-tracking, and behavioral methodologies. Recently, I’ve become interested in neural and cognitive mechanisms of meditation, in particular, the effects of meditative and contemplative practices on executive processes.
Melissa Rosenkranz, Ph.D.
I am interested in the neural-immune and biochemical mechanisms by which individual differences in affective responding modulate resilience to and progression of disease, as well as the impact of meditation practice on affective responding and, subsequently, on the neural-immune and biochemical mechanisms underlying resilience or vulnerability to disease.
Awards: NIH NCCAM K Award: Neural Mechanisms By Which Chronic Stress Regulates Inflammation In Asthma
Stacey M. Schaefer, Ph.D.
More about Stacey
My research questions currently revolve around the interaction/overlap between executive control and self-regulatory processes including attention, emotion, and pain regulation. In particular, I study the morphometry of and functional activity in emotion regulation-related brain circuitry, and those measures relations to individual differences in state and trait affect, cognitive ability such as working memory capacity, the ability to identify and differentiate between emotions, and the tendency to use particular emotion regulatory strategies.
Brianna Schuyler, Ph.D.
My work so far has focused on ways to analyze connectivity between brain regions in functional MRI data. I am also interested in studying the effects that meditation has on an individual's well-being and how it effects one's brain.
Brittany Travers, Ph.D.
My work is dedicated to understanding the behavioral and neural correlates of learning and emotion in persons with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Currently, I am involved in projects that examine developmental maturation of white matter tracts in the brains of both individuals with ASD and individuals with typical development. My hope is that this research will help us better understand how changes in brain structure across the lifespan affect learning and emotion.