Cognitive Network Neuroscience

The Neuroplasticity Lab, in collaboration with Michael Deem‘s group from Rice Bioengineering, has recently published two papers linking individual differences brain network organization to cognitive abilities.

The first, Brain Modularity Mediates the Relation between Task Complexity and Performance, published in the September issue of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience with Qiuhai Yue as the first author, demonstrates that individuals with highly modular brains perform better a single cognitive tasks, like attentional cueing, while individuals with less modular brains perform better on complex cognitive tasks, like complex working memory spans.

The second, Static and Dynamic Measures of Human Brain Connectivity Predict Complementary Aspects of Human Cognitive Performance, just published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience with Aurora Ramos Nuñez as the first author, demonstrates a strong relationship between two measures of individual brain networks (flexibility and modularity), while furthermore that each measures makes a unique contributions to explaining task performance.

Trainee news

First, we are enormously excited for research scientist Aurora Ramos Nunez, who has moved on to her first faculty position at the College of Coastal Georgia. We will miss her enormously.

Congratulations to Hao Yan (a graduate student in Randi Martin’s Lab) for successfully defending his dissertation “Sentence processing in aphasic speakers with short-term memory deficits:Interactions between structural and lexical processing” – he will start a job at Facebook in September!

Congrats also go out to Qiuhai Yue (Martin Lab) for receiving a Dingwall Dissertation Fellowship in the Cognitive, Clinical, and Neural Foundations of Language.

Finally, congrats to Colin Noe (Fischer-Baum Lab) for being admitted to the Rice Neuroengineering IGERT program.


Levels of representation in reading!

New paper from Fischer-Baum Lab available online at Cortex. Using representational similarity analysis, we mapped the transformation between different levels of representation during the course of single word reading. Thanks and congrats to the many undergraduate students who were involved in this project and have since graduated or left the lab (Emilio Tamez, Dorrie Bruggemann, Donald SP Li & Ivan Gallego)!

New paper in Frontiers in Psychology!

Yingying Tan (former Graduate Student, now a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics) and Randi Martin (along with Julie Van Dyke from Haskins Laboratory) have a new paper in Frontiers in Psychology (Semantic and Syntactic Interference in Sentence Comprehension: A Comparison of Working Memory Models). In this paper, they take an individual difference approach to testing competing theories for the role of working memory in sentence comprehension.

New paper in Neural Plasticity!

The Fischer-Baum Lab just published a paper in a special issue of the journal Neural Plasticity on the Neuroplasticity of the Language Network. In the paper, “The Cognitive Neuroplasticity of Reading Recovery following Chronic Stroke: A Representational Similarity Analysis Approach,” we developed a new method for mapping cognitive functions in the damaged brain following stroke and applied this novel method to a single case study of an individual with an acquired reading disorder. The results provide clear evidence for functional takeover – that is that certain brain regions have reorganized and changed their associated function following stroke.

It was written by Simon, along with former lab manager, current UMass Graduate Student David Kajander and former undergraduate RA Ava Jang.


Neuroplasticity Lab at Psychonomics


Members of the Neuroplasticity Lab will be presenting at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society in Boston, MA

  • Talks:
    • “Orthographic Units in the Absence of Visual Processing: Evidence From Sublexical Structure in Braille” Simon Fischer-Baum and Robert Englebretson

  • Posters
    • “Evaluating the Relationship Between Sublexical and Lexical Processing: Evidence From the Visual World Paradigm” Heather Dial, Bob McMurray & Randi Martin
    • “Separating Stimulus and Task Effects Influencing Encoding Success, a Subsequent Memory ERP Study.” Colin Noe and Simon Fischer-Baum

Award winning students

  1. Qiuhai Yue, a graduate student working with Randi Martin, was awarded the September 2016 Cognitive Neuropsychology Student Travel Prize.  This is an international competition with typically only 3 winners.  Qiuhai’s application “was selected on the basis of its scientific merit and for the contribution to your research to the field of Cognitive Neuropsychology.”  Qiuhai will present his research at the upcoming 54th Annual Academy of Aphasia Meeting next week in Wales, UK.
  1. Heather Dial, a recent graduate working with Randi Martin, was selected as a winner of the Women in Cognitive Science Travel and Networking Award for Junior Scientists.  Her award will be presented at the Psychonomics Opening Session in November in Boston.

Neuroplasticity Lab @ Academy of Aphasia 2016


Members of the Neuroplasticity Lab will be presenting at the 54th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Aphasia in Llandudno, Wales Oct 16-18. Good luck all!

  • Talks:
    • “The cognitive neuroplasticity of reading recovery in chronic aphasia: A representational similarity approach” – Simon Fischer-Baum and Ava Jang
    • “Semantic but not Phonological Short-Term Memory Supports Sentence Elaboration in Narrative Production: Evidence from Left Hemisphere Acute Stroke” – Randi C. Martin, Tatiana Schnur and Jolie Anderson
  • Posters
    • “Do Executive Deficits Underlie Semantic Deficits in Aphasia?” – Curtiss Chapman and Randi Martin
    • “Lexical processing depends on sublexical processing: Evidence from the visual world paradigm with aphasia” – Heather R. Dial, Bob McMurray and Randi Martin
    • “Domain specificity in orthographic long-term and working memory” – Brenda Rapp, Jennifer Shea, Rachel Mis and Randi Martin
    • “Non-perceptual regions in the left supramarginal gyrus support phonological short-term memory: evidence from lesion-symptom mapping and fMRI studies” – Qiuhai Yue, Heather Dial and Randi Martin
    • “Word deafness with preserved number word comprehension” – Rachel Mis and Simon Fischer-Baum