Lab for Clinical &
The Lab for Clinical and Integrative Neuroscience is part of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas. Our lab has various locations throughout the Dallas area, including the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, the Center for Brain Health, and on the UT Dallas main campus. Using advanced techniques including brain scanning, electrophysiology, and both invasive and noninvasive neuromodulation, we map how the brain responds to pathological perturbations in an adaptive or maladaptive manner to maintain homeostasis. More specifically, we work to understand the mechanisms of (mal)adaptive plasticity in the brain in different neurological (pain, tinnitus, Parkinson's disease, cognitive impairment) and psychiatric diseases (addiction, OCD, depression).
Our research is based on the idea that the mechanisms of adaptive and maladaptive plasticity fall under a universal construct of hierarchically updating prediction errors in an approximately Bayesian way. This so-called Bayesian brain theory proposes that the brain maintains a predictive internal model and constantly compares it with changing environmental cues.
Whenever there is a mismatch between the two, the brain decides whether and how to adjust its model depending on the novelty or salience of the environmental stimulus. Adaptive plasticity reflects a combination of successful bottom-up compensation and top-down updating of this model. Maladaptive plasticity conversely reflects failure in one or both of these mechanisms, resulting in a constant prediction error.
The reach and extent of the research of the Lab for Clinical and Integrative Neuroscience can only be guaranteed through extensive collaboration with basic neuroscience researchers, engineers, neuroimaging experts and clinicians from non-neurosurgical and neurosurgical fields. We have active collaborations with different labs at UT Dallas as well as several external collaborations. Our external partners include UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Otago in New Zealand, the Department of Otolaryngology at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital in South Korea, as well as various other groups in both Europe and the US.
A new paper published by our lab shows abnormal BOLD signal levels in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, nucleus accumbens, pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, amygdala, and parahippocampus in a cue-reactivity fMRI experiment. These findings are consistent with increased beta-band activity in the doral anterior cingulate cortex and pregenual anterior cingulate cortex in resting-state EEG. We further observe desynchronization characterized by decreased functional connectivity in cue-based fMRI and hypersynchronization characterized by increased functional connectivity between these regions in the theta frequency band. The results show a consistent pattern of alcohol craving elicited by external cues and internal desires. Given the advantage of superior spatial and temporal resolution, we hypothesize a 'central craving network' that integrates the different aspects of alcohol addiction into a unified percept.
Lab for Clinical & Integrative Neuroscience, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas © 2017