Developing Closed Loops to Enhance Attention


3/25/2014, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.




Chelsea Myers - Contact Information


Name: Jyoti Mishra, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor

Institution: Dept. of Neurology, UCSF

Presentation: Developing Closed Loops to Enhance Attention

Dr. Mishra obtained a PhD in Computational Neurobiology from UC San Diego and then completed postdoctoral training in Cognitive Neurosciences at UCSD, UCSF and the Brain Plasticity Institute at PositScience. She is currently an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Dept. of Neurology as part of Dr. Adam Gazzaley's team at UCSF. Her basic research interests focus on understanding attentional control in the human brain. She then applies this understanding towards development of novel neurotherapeutic technologies that enhance attention and related cognitive control abilities in diverse populations including healthy youth and older adults, adolescents and youth with ADHD, and adolescents with a past history of stress and abuse. In addition, developing mobile technology versions of efficacious neurotherapeutics in the service of global mental health is a major research interest. More info here:

When attentional control is optimal, neural processing of stimuli relevant to our task goals is enhanced and processing of goal-irrelevant distractions is suppressed. Recent neuroscientific research has shown that enhancement and suppression have distinct neural mechanisms, and therefore need distinct strategies to address deficits in either process. Especially, the ability to suppress distractions has not been addressed by any neurotherapeutic approach to-date. I shall present a new closed loop training approach evaluated in parallel auditory experiments in older rats and humans that can improve resolution of goal-relevant targets amidst distractions. Sensory and prefrontal neuroplasticity underlying the training as well as transfer of training to other aspects of cognition will be discussed. Based on the results of this first evaluation, a larger training program was developed to fine-tune enhancement and suppression mechanisms in adolescents with ADHD. I will show interim results from this ongoing trial and also where new development is headed.


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