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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 GF (2015) Medial-frontal stimulation enhances learning in schizophrenia by restoring prediction-error signaling. J Neuroscience. 35(35): 12232–12240.
  • Reinhart R, Zhu J, Park S, Woodman GF. (2015) Synchronizing theta oscillations with directcurrent stimulation strengthens adaptive control in the human brain. PNAS,112 (30): 9448-9453.
  • Mayer JS, Neimat JS, Folley BS, Bourne SK, Konrad PE, Charles PD, 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.
  • Reinhart R, Park S, Woodman GF. (2019) Localization and elimination of attentional dysfunction in schizophrenia during visual search. Schizophrenia Bulletin. 45(1): 96-105.