Christopher Benjamin, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology; Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery; Assistant Professor of Psychology

Research Departments & Organizations

Neurology: Clinical Neurosciences Imaging Center (CNIC)

Center for Neuroepidemiology and Clinical Neurological Research

Research Interests

Epilepsy; Language; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Memory; Neurology; Neurosurgery; Vision, Ocular

Research Summary

If treatment with medication is not successful, neurosurgery is potentially curative for patients with epilepsy. The ability of patients to proceed to surgery rests on the patient and the surgical team being able to accurately evaluate the likely benefits and risks of surgery, however. A critical component of this evaluation is determining whether surgery could pose any risk to language or memory. While we can identify which half of the brain is critical to language using fMRI (or Wada testing), we do not yet have simple methods for mapping the specific brain areas important for language within a given hemisphere. 

My work is focused on determining how we can best use fMRI to lateralize and localize language presurgically. There are numerous published methods; we recently published an alternative focused on language localization and are working to compare the validity of this and other approaches. 

We hope this work will lead to identifying the best methods to give our patients, neurologists and neurosurgeons simple, accurate predictions of what a patient's life will look like in the future if they do or do not proceed to neurosurgery. 

Specialized Terms: Epilepsy, MRI, fMRI, DWI, Language, Memory, Vision

Extensive Research Description

There are currently options for junior researchers to work on the below and related projects.

• Validity of a novel method of presurgical language localization. In a related study we are examining the validity of this method by comparing language maps generated by clinicians with separate measures of patients' language function.

• Validity of fMRI methods and cognitive assessment for predicting language change after surgery.

Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

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Contact Info

Christopher Benjamin, PhD
Lab Location
Clinical Neurosciences Imaging CenterClinic Building
789 Howard Avenue, Fl 6th Floor Ste CB643

New Haven, CT 06519

Benjamin Lab