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Overall Goals

The overall goal of the lab is to uncover the neural circuity engaged during threat processing and the role of interoceptive feedback in modulating this circuity.

We are also interested in how anxiety brain circuits are disrupted during threat processing and whether modulation by direct electrical brain stimulation (DES) may be used for circuit-based therapeutics.


We utilize psychophysics combined with single neuron recordings, EKG, head mounted pupillometry, field potential, combined with MRI, direct electrical stimulation, and real-time signal processing. These methods allow us to examine single neuron behavior and network dynamics spanning multiple cortical and sub-cortical regions with precise spatial and temporal resolutions.

Discoveries from our mechanistic studies motivate the translational arm of the lab focused at circuit therapeutics.

Research Areas

Primary Epilepsy

The success of epilepsy surgery depends on precise localization of seizure onset and treatment paradigms personalized to each patient. We use noninvasive and sometimes invasive diagnostic procedures such as implanted subdural grid electrodes and minimally invasive stereoencephalography (sEEG) to precisely locate the seizure onset zone. We have expertise in open surgeries, minimally invasive laser thermocoagulation therapy (LITT), Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and closed loop Responsive Neurostimulation (RNS). Most surgeries are guided by brain mapping to identify and protect critical brain regions.


Over 50% of patients with epilepsy have memory loss leading to poor quality of life including loss of independence. The overarching goal of our research is to identify neuroanatomical substrates of cognition that can be modulated with deep brain stimulation (DBS) to improve memory. We utilize novel behavioral testing, brain imaging, and targeted direct electrical brain stimulation (DES) methodologies to uncover the assortment of memory deficits in epilepsy patients and the patients with Dementias.

Threat Processing

We are interested in understanding interactions between interoceptive feedback, the insula – cingulate network and other limbic neural circuits during various cognitive tasks including threat processing. We utilize a variety of methodologies including single unit recordings in humans, intracranial EEG, VR, pupillometry, measures of interoception and computational modeling.