About the Lab
The Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology Laboratory is a wonderful lab. Below are the aims of the lab and also a short description about what we do here in the lab. We also have a facebook page with different links and pictures from the lab. Click here to see our facebook page.
Aims of the Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology Laboratory
The aims of the Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology laboratory, in collaboration with other researchers both within and outside of BYU, are four-fold.
First, we (myself, students, and collaborators) test hypotheses about behavioral (e.g., response times, error rates) and neural (primarily event-related potential [ERP] and functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI]) reflections of cognitive control to determine how the brain exerts control of behavior, adjusts in the presence of conflict and errors, and under what conditions cognitive control is enhanced or compromised.
Second, we aim to understand the lifespan developmental course and subsequent deterioration of cognitive control component processes associated with neurologic insult or psychopathology, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), autism, depression, or anxiety. Understanding these neural processes can assist our understanding of cognitive rehabilitation, psychotherapy, or pharmacological treatment.
Third, we aim to identify the role of cognitive control component processes in exercise and food-related behaviors, including food-related response inhibition and the role of cognitive control in food intake, exercise, and obesity.
Fourth, we aim to determine the psychometric properties of biological measures, such as ERPs, to both improve current research and allow for future clinical application. Attention to psychometrics demonstrates our lab’s dedication to rigorous research and strong methodology.
As a secondary clinical and research line of inquiry, we are interested in the assessment and treatment of individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Specifically, in collaboration with colleagues at BYU, the University of South Florida, and Baylor College of Medicine, we are testing the specific factors that are associated with treatment success and accurate diagnosis of youth and adults with OCD, along neuropsychological and cognitive control functions in individuals with OCD.
What we do
A large part of our research philosophy is that of learning and teaching. A consistent pattern in the Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology laboratory is that of teaching graduate students skills and techniques which they in turn teach to undergraduates. The lab environment is one of continual building and improvement as each person works toward greater expertise and understanding of various principles and skill sets. Notably, in the lab there is not a hierarchy where undergraduates are allocated menial tasks and rarely get exposure to more advanced learning. While there is tiered mentoring, there is much of unilateral mentoring as well. Graduate and undergraduate students alike all teach each other and work together to accomplish goals.
Furthermore, each undergraduate (and graduate) who expresses an interest in and a capacity for further learning is allowed to take on a leadership role with a research project. Several undergraduates have been coauthors on published manuscripts in peer reviewed journals and/or presented posters at international research conferences. This level of achievement is something that will greatly facilitate their entry into, as well as success in, graduate training programs; thus allowing them to be better prepared to perpetuate the mentoring process.
The Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology laboratory has an established history of working not only with faculty members from various departments and universities, but with graduate and undergraduate students; publishing articles in respected peer-reviewed journals and presenting research at renowned conferences.
At the Annual Mary Lou Fulton Mentored Learning Conference in 2010, CCNN lab submitted seven posters, one of which won 2nd place at the undergraduate level, and another poster (which included both graduate and undergraduate authors) won 1st place at the graduate level. In 2011, we submitted nine posters to the Mary Lou Fulton Conference and continue our tradition of sharing the results of mentored learning not only with BYU, but at respected conferences and in esteemed journals reaching across the world.
For those who want to learn more
For those who want to learn more about the brain and/or the lab here a link to a website called Neuroscience for Kids, a educational website suited for all those looking for a basic understanding of the brain.