Lab Director: Dr. Kristina Neely
The Brain and Behavior lab is interested in how the central nervous system organizes the execution and inhibition of skilled, purposeful actions.
We investigate how brain structure and function, cognitive ability, and personality traits influence the control of reaching and grasping movements. Our work is particularly focused on brain structures such as the basal ganglia and the prefrontal cortex, which are involved in disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Our research uses systems neuroscience techniques that include functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), structural MRI, and kinetic and kinematic movement analysis. Our laboratory is equipped with specialized, custom-built hardware for recording precision grip force and recording reaching movements during virtual reality-like tasks. Our experimental set-ups include air-jet supported friction-free manipulanda, 3-D recording systems, MRI-compatible force sensors, hand and grip force dynamometers, and clinical scales for cognitive and motor testing.