The majority of projects in Neuropsy Lab fall under one of these two categories.
Cognitive Development: Quantification of mental-attentional capacity
Cognitive abilities improve dramatically over childhood and adolescence. One core cognitive ability that improves with age is mental-attention. Mental-attention corresponds to the amount of information a child can hold and process in mind; it is the maturational component of working memory. What we aim to understand is how and when mental-capacity improvements occur. Can we assign a numerical value to these changes and would this quantification be the same across domains? How is mental-attentional capacity affected in children with cognitive difficulties? In a series of behavioural and neuroimaging studies we are exploring the mechanism that drive these changes. A mentor and collaborator on this work is Dr. Juan Pascual-Leone, a developmental psychologist, constructivist theoretician, with academic roots tracing back to Jean Piaget.
Modeling brain-behaviour relations
What are the brain areas responsible for processing faces, solving mathematical problems or x? Substitute x with a function that is relevant to an interesting topic we are working on. Neuroimaging research is booming and it is easy to hastily identify studies that may support a hypothesis or another. To really get a sense of the state of the art on a topic we conduct systematic meta-analyses to create topographical models that identify significant concordance across studies. For meta-analyses we use software from brainmap database.
Artwork with permission by young friends of the Neuropsy Lab.