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Brain Stimulation

Restoring Working Memory and Adaptive Cognitive Ability through Brain Stimulation

To restore adaptive cognitive ability in neuropsychiatric disorders, we focus on a specific aspect of cognition (working memory, control of action and prediction error) that may exert maximal effects on other cognitive and social functions. Prediction-error signals have both cognitive and affective consequences: increased attention to outcome, which then leads to error-correction behavior and updating of internal representations. Over time, such mechanism allows us to learn from mistakes. Theories of schizophrenia implicate abnormal prediction-error signaling and error-monitoring as well as increased anxiety. We have conducted noninvasive brain stimulation (transcranial direct current stimulation: tDCS) with measurements of electrical brain activity to study a variety of adaptive control processes in patients with schizophrenia, as well as a series of deep brain stimulation (DBS) studies of Parkinson’s disease in order to elucidate a causal link between abnormal internal representations, prediction-error signaling, learning deficits and emotion (including reward processing) in neuropsychiatric conditions.


Representative papers:

  • Reinhart, R., Zhu, J., Park, S., & Woodman, G.F. (2015). Medial-frontal stimulation enhances learning in schizophrenia by restoring prediction-error signaling. Journal of Neuroscience. 35(35): 12232–12240. PDF version
  • Reinhart, R., Zhu, J., Park, S., & Woodman, G.F. (2015). Synchronizing theta oscillations with direct current stimulation strengthens adaptive control in the human brain. PNAS,112 (30): 9448-9453. PDF version
  • Mayer, J.S., Neimat, J.S., Folley, B.S., Bourne, S.K., Konrad, P.E., Charles, P.D., & Park, S. (2016). Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus alters frontal activity during spatial working memory maintenance of patients with Parkinson’s disease. 22(4): 369-378. PDF version
  • Reinhart, R., Park, S., & Woodman GF. (2019). Localization and elimination of attentional dysfunction in schizophrenia during visual search. Schizophrenia Bulletin. 45(1): 96-105. PDF version