Sleep and memory:
Part of the lab is focused on the benefit of sleep on learning. Performance on many tasks is benefitted by a night's sleep or a hearty nap. Our recent research provides evidence that this benefit of sleep declines with age. In addition to investigating this age-related decline, we are also investigating the extent to which sleep is beneficial on other forms of cognition and the neural underpinnings of the sleep benefit.
Cognition and action in the cerebellum (and other traditionally motor structures):
Broadly stated, we are also interested in defining the function of the cerebellum. Much of this work has focused on the role of the cerebellum in movement and perceptual timing. More recent research is focused on the role of the cerebellum in motor sequence learning. We are focused on the function of the cerebellum but also the structure-function relationship that may be revealed with fMRI
How do we coordinate our two hands for parallel actions (clapping) and also opposing actions (slicing bread)? How is coordination controled in the brain? Is sychronous performance of the limbs a motor or cognitive constraint? These are questions we are exploring.