Functional and Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory

Functional and Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab Members

Master
Terms

Sameer Anil Sheth, M.D., Ph.D.

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Director, Functional and Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab
Epilepsy Surgery, Movement Disorders, Psychiatric Neurosurgery

Joshua Adkinson

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Postdoctoral Associate

I have the great pleasure of working with a wonderful group of people here at BCM, along with excellent researchers from multiple universities across the country, all working together to better understand the impact of deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a treatment method for patients living with treatment resistant major depressive disorder.

I have a passion for problems in the biological sciences, particularly neuroscience, but I am first and foremost an applied mathematician, having degrees in Mathematics (M.S.) and Computational Analysis and Modeling (Ph.D.) from Louisiana Tech University. I’m currently interested in how electrophysiological data can be utilized in conjunction with structural imaging techniques such as DTI to better understand brain connectivity, and if these graphical models can help to better understand the effects of DBS.

Adrish Anand

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Medical Student

I am a second-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine, working with Dr. Sheth as part of the medical research pathway program. I am originally from Los Angeles, Calif., and studied neuroscience and chemistry at Rice University (Class of 2019). I am currently interested in studying the neural correlates of spatial memory encoding and its applications to broader cognitive functions. Additionally, I’m involved in various clinical projects in neurosurgery. Previously my research interests have focused on using transcranial magnetic stimulation to understand how visual attention modulates the motor cortex, and using fMRI to understand multi-sensory integration between touch and audition. In my free time, I enjoy watching and playing sports, cooking, and exploring the Houston food scene.

Habiba Azab

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Postdoctoral Associate

I am interested in the neural circuits implementing some of the very cognitive processes that make us human: abstract reasoning, flexible behavior, and complex decision-making. My work investigates how individual neurons represent information that facilitates these processes, and how these neurons combine into circuits implementing complex, dynamic, and flexible computations. This work began during my Ph.D. in the Hayden lab at the University of Minnesota, where my work was focused on the mechanisms underlying value-based decisions. With my background in computer science, I hope to expand my work to explore circuit models that would lend us further insight into the implementation of these processes.

Ron Gadot

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Medical Student

I'm a third-year medical student taking a research year in the Sheth lab. I studied neuroscience and biology as an undergraduate having been passionate about the brain from a young age. My research interests include understanding the neural underpinnings of mood and cognition and the effects of neuromodulation on psychiatric disorders. I am currently working on building and

implementing an algorithmic task to study cognitive control networks in the human brain. In my spare time, I enjoy watching and playing basketball, trying out new food spots, and running.

John Myers

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Postdoctoral Associate

We use high density electrocorticography (ECoG) to capture neural oscillations, and we use microelectrodes to measure action potentials while people play games designed to test certain mental skills. A key goal is to understand how our brain cells seem to almost effortlessly work together to rapidly convert abstract mental representations into actions. We combine conventional neuroscience techniques with machine learning to answer these questions. I am also working on a project involving deep brain stimulation (DBS) for treatment of major depression. We are seeking to learn more about the brain activity that underlies depression, while developing patient-specific stimulation protocols.

Victoria Gates Pirtle

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Research Coordinator III

I am Dr. Sheth's research coordinator for the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for treatment-resistant depression clinical trial. I graduated from the University of Houston in 2017 with my B.S. in Psychology and joined the lab in 2019. I have always been interested in mental illness research coupled with the administrative processes of research.

Raissa Mathura

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Research Coordinator I

My work involves creating visualizations of the intracranial electrodes that are implanted in our research patients as well as running research tasks at the EMU. I also help with establishing the outward facing presence of the lab, through PR and social media for Dr. Sheth. I graduated from Rice University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science. I am interested in learning more about the nature of complex human cognitive functions and the integration of different academic disciplines through research.

Ricardo Andres Najera

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Medical Student

I am a third-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine currently doing a research year in the Sheth lab. I was born in Dallas, Texas to Mexican and Argentinian parents and I stayed in the area to complete my B.S. in Biochemistry and B.A. in German at Southern Methodist University. I moved to Houston, Texas in 2018 after graduation to pursue a career in medicine. My ultimate goal is to become a pediatric neurosurgeon.

In the lab, my main interest is understanding pathologic positive/negative valence and reward learning brain networks implicated in treatment-resistant depression. I am involved in the analysis of data collected from EMU tasks geared towards engaging those networks of interest. I am also working on cost-effectiveness analyses of neurosurgical treatments for psychiatric conditions, such as treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Ben Shofty

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Fellow, Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery

I graduated from the Tel-Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, in parallel to completing a Ph.D. in systems neuroscience and neural engineering at the Israeli Institute of technology (Technion). Recently I have completed neurosurgical residency at the Tel-Aviv Medical Center, and I am a board certified (Israeli) neurosurgeon. I am now focused on combining novel mapping techniques with other types of invasive recordings, such as depth electrodes, in an attempt to better understand the brain and its functional architecture focusing on higher cognitive functions such as creativity and the default mode network, while caring for patients with neurological disorders as a clinical fellow in stereotactic and functional neurosurgery at Baylor.

Jiayang Xiao

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Ph.D. Student

I am currently a graduate student in the Neuroscience Ph.D. program at Baylor College of Medicine. I am interested in using human intracranial recordings to study depression.