EEG-Based Assessment and Treatment in Adult Brain Injury
One of the primary aims of the lab over the last several years has been understanding and developing ways in which EEG can be used to assess and treat brain (and particularly language) dysfunction following an acquired brain injury, such as a stroke, tumor or a traumatic blow to the head. For assessment, we have focused on resting-state quantitative (qEEG), with event-related potential paradigms currently under development. For treatment, we have focused on EEG neurofeedback, as a way to modulate brain networks in real-time, and have applied this in combination with speech therapy. This work has been supported by internal grants at Baylor, with funding proposals for the National Institutes of Health underway.
Integrating Equine-Based Movement with Speech Therapy
This has been a collaborative focus with multiple faculty members across the Baylor campus, in which we are studying the ways in which the movement imparted by riding a horse can yield therapeutic benefits. While therapeutic horse riding methods have a long history of use, and can sometimes yield dramatic increases in function, relatively little is known about exactly why and how it works. We have employed the use of a mechanical horse which simulates real riding, to allow us to study this in a controlled laboratory environment, and to identify the physiological changes which may occur during and after riding. We have applied this method in combination with speech therapy in adults with brain injury, and are currently working on applications for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This work is currently funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Relating EEG Patterns in Sleep to Cognitive Function
This work is being done in collaboration with Michael Scullin in Baylor’s Psychology and Neuroscience department and Steve Nelson, Neuroimaging Core Leader at the Waco VA. We have investigated several aspects of cognition (e.g. prospective and episodic memory), as well as ways to use music to affect both sleep and cognition. Currently, we are focused on the ways in which sleep quantity and quality affect college students’ ability to think flexibly and creatively, and how this intersects with their long-term academic success. This work is currently funded by the National Science Foundation.