Cognitive Electrophysiology (Olichney)
Researchers in the COGNITIVE ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY AND NEUROIMAGING LAB, which neurologist John Olichney, M.D., oversees, develop electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques sensitive to memory, language and other cognitive impairments characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Researchers in the lab use cognitive event-related potentials (ERPs), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other techniques to study the physiology of memory processes. Cognitive ERPs, consisting of summated synaptic electrical potentials, constitute a powerful means to investigate the timing of cognitive processes.
Studies under way in the lab are shedding new light on memory decline associated with aging, neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer's disease and Fragile X-associated Tremor Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS), and other memory disorders, such as alcoholic Korsakoff's syndrome. Discoveries involving physiological markers of memory and language dysfunction may help advance our ability to predict which patients with mild cognitive impairment will decline to develop Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, or which patients may respond well to specific drug treatments.