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Cognitive and Transitional Brain Dynamics Laboratory

Schroeder Laboratory is a network with hubs at the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in NYC, and the Nathan Kline Institute (NKI) in nearby Orangeburg, NY, edged by the George Washington Bridge. We investigate the neuronal mechanisms of cognition and behavior. Specifically, our research program aims to define the neuronal circuits, cellular mechanisms and oscillatory dynamics of sensory processing, related cognitive processes such as attention, and motor influences on sensory processing and perception (“active sensing”). Our research paradigms range from simple sensory encoding and discrimination to perception of language and music. We pursue an active, direct integration of studies, made possible by recent advances in electrode, computing and brain imaging technologies, as well as in anatomical circuit and cell structure investigation techniques. There is constant exchange between empirical and computational modeling investigations. The results of the various studies are directly interrelated by using comparable neural measurements and focusing on homologous brain operations. Most of our current work in humans involves direct recordings using implanted subdural electrode arrays in surgical epilepsy patients. We also study using techniques that can directly and precisely define the neurophysiological and anatomical mechanisms underlying effects noted in humans. These techniques include single cell and cell ensemble electrophysiology, pharmacological manipulations, and anatomical tract tracing. Electrophysiological studies are conducted using both acutely and chronically positioned multielectrode arrays. Recent studies have also begun to investigate causality in brain circuits using both intracranial and transcranial electrical stimulation, DREADDs and optogenetics. We maintain active collaborations with a number of allied research groups that study language and music, computational neuroscience, and neuroanatomy.

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