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NSF EPSCoR Project

This is a multi-site, multi-disciplinary research project to better understand brain dynamics and higher-order brain function (memory) in both human and animal subjects with generalized seizure disorder.  The project will leverage a multi-disciplinary team of neuroscientists, neurologists, neuropsychologists, engineers to gain an understanding of the brain “in crisis” at the cellular, molecular and macroscale.  In addition to the scientific goals of the project, the study team will focus on educating the next generation of scientists with a particular emphasis on providing research opportunities to undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students who from institutions without strong research programs in the biomedical sciences.  This research is well aligned with the NSF “Understanding the Brain Initiative” announced in April 2013.

Pediatric Head Modeling Project

A number of potentially debilitating neurocognitive disorders are a consequence of delays or abnormalities in brain development, and childhood epilepsy has been shown to be associated with increased risk of learning disabilities, ADHD and depression.  These associations make it imperitive that  we gain a better understanding of the relationship between cognitive and anatomical development.  Electroencephalography (EEG) is a non-invasive methods for assessment of dynamic brain activity both at rest and during cognitive activities.  However, at present, the head models used to identify sources of activity were developed for adults and introduce errors in localization in pediatric populations.  Thus, the goal of this project is to develop, test and validate age-specific pediatric head models that are accurate both in morphological features and in regional differences in tissue conductivity.  This project will result in public release of a set of innovative age-specific head models together with newly developed software from our project website.


Parkinson’s Disease Phenotype Project

Data collection for this project has ended and was performed at NYU Langone Medical Center under the direction of James E. Galvin, MD, MPH with analysis of functional imaging data begun under Linda Larson-Prior, PhD at Washington University in St. Louis.  Both investigators have since changed institutions, but data analysis is on-going.  The purpose of this study was to better understand the progression of cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients and to utilize neuroimaging, clinical and neuropsychological data to develop a phenotype for cognitive dysfunction in this population.  Eight-two subjects (ages 60-94) participated in this study and underwent clinical assessment of both motor and cognitive function.  Neuroimaging included fMRI, high density EEG (256 sensors) and DTI.  Data analysis of both fMRI and EEG data is currently on-going in the NDL and will examine differences in brain connectivity, function and dynamics in healthy controls and PD patients.



REM Sleep Behavior disorder (RBD) is a sleep parasomnia prodromal for onset of Parkinson’s disease.  Dr. Yo-El Ju, MD (Assistant Professor, Neurology, Washington University) is a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist awarded this fellowship project grant during her residency training.  The project was designed to use neuroimaging (fMRI) to evaluate changes in functional brain connectivity in healthy adults with clinically defined RBD.  The study showed changes in visuospatial processing regions consistent with changes reported in Parkinson’s Disease and is currently being prepared for publication.


Human Connectome Project

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Van Essen, D.C., Ugurbil, K., Auerback, D., Barch, D., Behrens, T.E., Bucholz, R., Chang A., Chen, L., Corbetta, M., Curtiss SW, Della Penna S., Feingberg, D., Glasser, MF,  Harel N., Heath, A.C.,  Larson-Prior, L.J., Marcus, D., Michalareas, G., Moerller, S., Oostenveld R.,  Petersen, S.E., Prior, F., Schlaggar, B., Smith, S., Snyder, AZ, Xu, J.G., and Yacoub, E. for the WU-Minn HCP Consortium. (2012) The human connectome project: a data acquisition perspective. Neuroimage. 62:2222-2231 PMID 22366334

Larson-Prior, L.J., Oostenveld, R., Della Penna, S., Michalareas, G., Prior, F., Babajani-Feremi, A., Schofffelen, J.M., Marzetti, L., de Pasquale, F., Di Pompeo, F., Stout, J., Woolrich, M., Luo, Q., Bucholz, R., Fries, P., Pizzella, V., Romani, G.L., Corbetta, M., Snyder, A.Z. (2013) Adding dynamics to the Human Connectome Project with MEG. Neuroimage. 80:190-201. PMID 23702419

Hodge, M., Horton, W., Brown, T., Herrick, R., Olsen, T., Hileman, M.E., McKay, M., Archie, K.A., Cler, E., Harms, M.P., Burgess, G.C., Glasser, M.F., Elam, J.S, Curtiss, S.W., Barch, D.M., Oostenveld, R.,Larson-Prior, L.J., Ugerbil, K., Van Essen, D.E., Marcus, D.S. (2015)  ConnectomeDB – Sharing human brain connectivity data.  Neuroimage, 124(PtB):1102-1107.  PMID 25934470

Functional Imaging of Human Sleep

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Link to publications:

Larson-Prior, L.J., Zempel, J., Nolan, T.S., Prior, F.W., Snyder, A.Z. and Raichle, ME (2009) Cortical network functional connectivity is maintained in the descent to sleep. PNAS, 106:4489-4494. PMID: PMC2657465

Larson-Prior, L.J., Power, J.D., Vincent, J.L., Nolan, T.S., Coalson, R.S., Zempel, J., Snyder, A.Z., Schlaggar, B.L., Raichle, M.E., Petersen, S.E.  (2011) Modulation of the brain’s functional network architecture in the transition from wake to sleep. Prog Br Res, 193:277-294.  PMID 21854969.

Shannon, B., Dosenbach, R., Su, Y., Vlassenko, A., Larson-Prior, L.J., Nolan, T., Snyder, A., Raichle, M.E.  Morning-evening variation in human brain metabolism and memory circuits (2012). J. Neurophysiol., PMID 23197455

Zempel, J.M., Politte, D., Kelsey, M., Verner, R., Nolan, T.S., Babajani-Feremi, A., Prior, F. Larson-Prior, L.J .(2012)  Characterization of scale-free properties of human electrocorticography in awake and slow-wave sleep states.  Front Neurol, 3:76 PMID 22701446