is the study of human mental functions such as remembering,
attending, decision making, reading and speaking,
problem solving, etc., and the computational processes
and neural mechanisms underlying these functions
in the human brain. The cognitive neuroscience revolution
has led to a significant increase in our understanding
of the workings of the human mind and brain. Our
research in this domain primarily involves investigations
of the neural mechanisms of attention and working
memory, and the changes in these functions with
The major goal of
the research is to identify the spatiotemporal properties
of neural networks underlying selective and sustained
attention, using both event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Another focus is to examine how these
networks change with both healthy aging and in persons
at risk for the development of Alzheimers disease (AD).
Using molecular genetic methods, we are also examining
genetic polymorphisms that influence the activity
of neurotransmitters that innervate these brain
networks, both in healthy individuals and in persons at risk for AD.
We are currently using the following cognitive neuroscience
methods in our research:
Event-related brain potentials (ERPs). See also ERP Systems Lab
functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
Transcranial Doppler Sonography (TCD)
Molecular genetic assays of single nucleotide
Eye movement analysis
MRI-guided Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
In addition, we are developing
neuroscience methods that can be used to examine
issues of human performance in complex tasks and
environments outside the laboratory.
2007-2009 Principal Investigator, Army Research Laboratory Contract DAAD-19-01-C-0065 (Task Order 91), “Neuroergonomics of Attention, Action Recognition, and Action Performance Applied to Uninhabited Vehicles,” $370,000
2004-2007 Principal Investigator, National Institute of Aging Grant R01 AG19653, "Apolipoprotein E, Cognition, and Alzheimer's Disease," $810,563.
Cognitive Neuroscience Publications
Greenwood, P. M., Lin, M.-K., Sundararajan R., Fryxell, K. J., & Parasuraman, R. (2009). Synergistic effects of genetic variation in nicotinic and muscarinic receptors on visual attention but not working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), 106, 3633-3638.
Greenwood, P. M., Sundararajan, R., Lin, M.-K., Fryxell, K. J., & Parasuraman, R. (2009). Both a nicotinic SNP and a noradrenergic SNP modulate working memory performance when attention is manipulated. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, in press.
Jiang, Y., Luo, Y., & Parasuraman, R. (2009). Neural correlates of age-related reduction in visual motion priming. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 16, 164-182.
Negash, S., Greenwood, P. M., Sunderland, T., Parasuraman, R., Geda, Y., Knopman, D. S., Boeve, B., Ivnik, R., Petersen, R. C., &. Smith, G. E. (2009). The influence of Apolipoprotein E genotype on spatial attention dissipates after age 80. Neuropsychology, 23, 81-89.
Fu, S., Zinni, M., Squire, P. N., Kumar, R., Caggiano, D. M., & & Parasuraman, R. (2008). When and where perceptual load interacts with voluntary visuospatial attention: An event-related potential and dipole modeling study. Neuroimage, 39, 1345-1355.
Helton, W. S., Hollander, T. H.,Warm, J. S., Tripp, L. D., Parsons, K., Matthews, G., Dember, W. N., Parasuraman, R., & Hancock, P. A. (2007). The abbreviated vigilance task and cerebral hemodynamics. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 29, 545–552.
Parasuraman, R., & Espeseth, T. (2007). Genetic and neuroimaging studies of cholinergic and neurotrophic modulation of visual attention. Progress in Natural Science, 17, 7-18.
Caggiano, D., Jiang, Y., & Parasuraman, R. (2006). Aging and repetition priming for targets and distracters in a working memory task. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 13, 1-22.
Espeseth, T. Greenwood, P. M., Reivang, I., Fjell, A. M., Walvhold, K. B., Westlye, E., Lundervold, A., Rootvelt, H., & Parasuraman, R. (2006). Interactive effects of APOE and CHRNA4 on attention and white matter volume in healthy middle-aged and older adults. Cognitive, Behavioral, and Affective Neuroscience,6(1), 31-43.
Fu, S., Caggiano, D. M., Greenwood, P. M., & Parasuraman, R. (2005a). Event-related potentials reveal dissociable mechanisms for orienting and focusing visuospatial attention. Cognitive Brain Research,23, 341-353.
Fu, S., Greenwood, P. M., & Parasuraman, R. (2005b). Brain mechanisms of involuntary visuospatial attention: An event-related potential study. Human Brain Mapping, 25, 378–390.
Greenwood, P. M., Fossella, J., & Parasuraman, R (2005a). Specificity of the effect of a nicotinic receptor polymorphism on individual differences in visuospatial attention. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 17, 1611-1620.
Greenwood, P., Lambert, C., Sunderland, T., & Parasuraman, R. (2005b). Effects of Apolipoprotein E genotype on spatial attention, working memory, and their interaction in healthy, middle-aged adults: Results from the National Institute of Mental Health’s BIOCARD Study. Neuropsychology, 19, 199-211.
Greenwood, P. M., Sunderland, T., Putnam, K., Levy, J., & Parasuraman, R. (2005c). Scaling of visuospatial attention undergoes differential longitudinal change as a function of APOE genotype prior to old age: Results from the National Institute of Mental Health’s BIOCARD study. Neuropsychology,19, 830-840.
Parasuraman, R., Greenwood, P. M., Kumar, R., & Fossella, J. (2005). Beyond heritability: Neurotransmitter genes differentially modulate visuospatial attention and working memory. Psychological Science, 16(3), 200-207.