Spatiotemporal dynamics of context processing in health, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder

We are examining the neural basis of executive functions in a series of studies employing saccadic paradigms. Using complementary neuroimaging techniques -- fMRI, MEG, EEG, and DTI -- we can determine the location and timing of brain activity during intact and deficient components of inhibition, task-switching, and response monitoring. These studies will illuminate the neural basis of cognitive abnormalities that contribute to key features of schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, such as perseveration, restricted and repetitive behaviors, and compulsions.

Sleep and memory: What is the basis of deficient sleep-dependent procedural learning in schizophrenia?

Individuals with schizophrenia have difficulty automating performance across a range of cognitive tasks. This leads to more variable and less efficient performance. Is sleep the culprit? And if so, can this difficulty be ameliorated? We are investigating the role of sleep in new learning in schizophrenia with a simple motor task and polysomnographic recordings of sleep during overnight stays in the MGH GCRC. We will characterize sleep, identify electrophysiologic correlates of overnight improvement of motor performance, and determine whether sleep and memory consolidation in schizophrenia are improved by eszopiclone.