As a Cognitive Neuroscientist, my research centers around understanding the intricacies of the brain and its role in shaping our experiences of the world. My curiosity lies in the fundamental processes that govern how the human brain processes and integrates sensory inputs to influence perception and behavior. This includes studying mechanisms of attention, speech processing, and higher-order cognition related to executive function.
My work involves characterizing these processes in healthy adults and tracking their developmental course over childhood. Additionally, I am dedicated to translating these findings to gain insights into the neurobiology of developmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, with a special emphasis on autism, schizophrenia, and rare genetic conditions such as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and Rett syndrome.
To achieve these research goals, I employ a diverse range of investigative tools. Non-invasive high-density recordings of brain electrical activity, intracranial recordings in patients, psychophysics, and magnetic resonance imaging and computational modeling (through collaborations with Einstein and non-Einstein investigators) are among the primary methods I use. These techniques, often combined with neuropsychological assessments and clinical diagnoses, provide valuable insights into the workings of the brain.
One area in which my research has led to significant discoveries is in the field of multisensory integration, demonstrating how the brain combines inputs from different sensory systems, how this process evolves across development, and how impaired multisensory integration contributes to autism. The latter has led me to additional avenues of research focused on neurooscillatory dysfunction and predictive processing, aimed at further understanding autism.
I also serve as the Co-Director of the NIH funded the Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Research Center and the Director of its Human Clinical Phenotyping Core, and I co-direct a T32 training program on intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through these programs my colleagues and I aim to provide a rich intellectual and multidisciplinary environment within which research is performed to better the lives of individuals with an IDD.
My research efforts have been supported by funding from esteemed organizations like NIMH, NSF, Autism Speaks, the Wallace Research Foundation, and private donors. This financial backing allows me to continue making valuable contributions to the field of cognitive neuroscience and further our understanding of the brain and its role in shaping human experience, particularly in the context of developmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.