Description of Research Expertise:
Neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, spatial neglect, aphasia, attention, language
The cognitive neuroscience of spatial attention and representation, the neural basis of language, and the relationship of space and language, neuro-ethics, neuro-aesthetics
Cognitive experimental paradigms in normal subjects and patients with focal brain lesions, functional magnetic resonance imaging.
How are we aware of and maneuver through space in our environment? How are we aware of the space occupied by our bodies? Research in my laboratory is directed at understanding the neural bases of spatial attention and representation. Patients with focal brain damage usually to their right hemispheres can have dramatic disturbances of the awareness of contralesional space. They may even be unaware of the left side of their own bodies despite being alert and conversant! How is such a phenomenon possible? We investigate such patients to understand how different sensory modalities contribute to spatial representations, how attention influences perception, how intention to act affects spatial cognition, and how focal brain damage can produce dramatic and bizarre disturbances of awareness.
Another focus of inquiry in my laboratory is the neural bases for language and how language relates to other cognitive systems. Language is generally considered a propositional or algebraic system, in which arbitrary symbols are used as referents for objects and events in the world. Yet our sensory and motor systems are organized in an analogue or geometric fashion. If one believes that much of our knowledge of the world derives from our sensory and motor systems and we use language to encode that knowledge, then how are these two different kinds of representational formats related? We are pursuing the idea that certain concepts can be coded pre-linguistically and these are organized spatially.
We believe that data from converging methods greatly help constrain cognitive theory. We use behavioral studies and functional neuroimaging in normal subjects to test ideas developed from the lesion studies.
Cosmetic neurology and cosmetic surgery: parallels, predictions and challenges. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 16 : 129-137,2007.
Kranjec Alexander, Cardillo Eileen R, Schmidt Gwenda L: Prescribed spatial prepositions influence how we think about time. Cognition 114 (1): 111-6,2010.
Amorapanth PX, Widick P: The neural basis for spatial relations Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 22 (8): 1739-53,2010.
Straube B: Space and time in perceptual causality Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 4 (28): 2010.
Watson C: The Functional Neuroanatomy of Actions Neurology 76 : 1428-34,2010.
Chatterjee: Disembodying Cognition Language and Cognition 2 (1): 79-116,2010.
Wencil EB, Coslett HB, Aguirre GK: Carving the clock at its component joints: Neural bases for interval timing Journal of Neurophysiology 104 (1): 160-8,2010.
Neuroaesthetics: a coming of age story Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 23 : 53-62,2011.
Chatterjee: Deconstructing events: the neural basis for space, time, and causality Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 24 : 1-16,2012.
Cardillo ER, Watsion CE, Schmidt GL, Kranjec A: From novel to familiar: Tuning the brain for metaphors Neuroimage 59 : 3212-3221,2012.
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