People

Meet the Team

Principal Investigator

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Travis E. Baker, PhD

Assistant Professor
Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience
Rutgers University
Email: travis.e.baker@rutgers.edu
Room: 307D
Tel: 973-353-35485

Research Interests: The overarching goal of Dr. Baker’s research program is to understand the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie cognitive control and memory, how to empirically identify and characterize these functions in the brain, and how these functions are disrupted in clinical populations (e.g. addictions, ADHD, affective disorders, neurodegenerative disorders). He has adopted a variety of empirical approaches to investigate these functions, including genetics, electroencephalography, event-related brain potentials, functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Ultimately, Dr. Baker hopes that his research will converge to help improve psychiatric care.

Background: Born in Canada, Travis Baker earned his PhD in 2012 from the University of Victoria in the Brain and Cognitive Science program under the supervision of Dr. Clay Holroyd. He also holds a Masters of Science degree in Experimental Neuropsychology (University of Victoria) and received a B.A. (with distinction: Psychology) from Vancouver Island University. Prior to joining Rutgers University faculty, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery under the supervision of Dr. Alain Dagher, and at CHE Sainte-Justine Children’s Hospital Research Center under the supervision of Dr. Patricia Conrod.

Postdocs

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Name: Kathryn Biernacki, PhD
Email: kathryn.biernacki@rutgers.edu
Affiliation: Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University
Room: 206
Tel.: 973-353-3509

Research interests: My research interests include cognition and emotional processing in substance users, with a particular focus on opiate use and decision-making. My aim is to understand the mechanisms for impaired decision-making, using a range of behavioral, psychophysiological and computational techniques, to better characterize the impairment, which may ultimately lead to improved treatment outcomes for addiction.

Selected Publications:
Biernacki, K., McLennan, S. N., Terrett, G., Labuschagne, I., & Rendell, P. G. (2016). Decision-making ability in current and past users of opiates: A meta-analysis. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 71, 342-351.
Biernacki, K., Terrett, G., McLennan, S. N., Labuschagne, I., Morton, P., & Rendell, P. G. (2018). Decision-making, somatic markers and emotion processing  in opiate users. Psychopharmacology, 235(1), 223-232.

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Name: Mei-heng Lin, PhD
Email: meiheng.lin@rutgers.edu
Affiliation:
Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University
Room: 206
Tel.: 973-353-3509

Research interests:  My research interest focuses on understanding the neural processes underlying cognitive functions (e.g. response monitoring, attention, and executive control) and how they influence goal-directed behaviors in neurotypical individuals and individuals with neurological disorders. I received my bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy in Taiwan, and joined the event-related potentials (ERPs) lab for my master’s degree. I completed my doctoral degree in the Occupation and Rehabilitation Science program working with Dr. Patricia Davies and Dr. Bill Gavin in the Brainwaves Research Lab at Colorado State University.

Selected Publications:
Gavin, W. J., Lin, M., Davies, P. L. (2019). Developmental trends of performance monitoring measures in 7‐ to 25‐year‐olds: Unraveling the complex nature of brain measures. Psychophysiology, 2019;e13365. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13365
Lin, M., Gavin, W. J., & Davies, P. L. (2015). Developmental trend of error-related negativity (ERN) in 7-to 25-year-olds after adjusting for trial-to-trial variability. Psychophysiology, 52, S86.

PhD students

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Name: Malte Güth, M.Sc.
Email: malte.r.gueth@rutgers.edu
Affiliation:
Behavioral and Neural Sciences Program, Rutgers University
Room: 206
Tel.: 973-353-3509

Research interests: In my PhD I'm aiming to (1) map the neural circuitry and oscillatory signatures of spatial navigation using simultaneous EEG-fMRI, DWI, and multimodal data fusion. (2) Next, I'm combining robot-assisted, MRI-informed TMS with real-time closed loop EEG phase-locked stimulation to target these correlates for potential use in treating drug addiction (click here for latest project repo).

Background:

Selected Publications:
Garcia Alanis, J. A., Gueth, M. R., & Peper, M. (in prep). Fronto-parietal oscillations reflect distinct proactive and reactive cognitive control mechanisms in the human brain
Gueth, M. R., Garcia Alanis, J. A., & Peper, M. (in prep). Keep calm and carry on – attenuated electrocortical correlates of cognitive control during emotion regulation in subjects with psychopathic traits.

Code, open lab notebooks, jupyter notebooks

Popular science books:

Spatial Navigation in Virtual and Augmented Reality

Name: Galit Karpov, B.Sc.
Email: galit.karpov@rutgers.edu
Affiliation:
Behavioral and Neural Sciences Program, Rutgers University
Room: 206
Tel.: 973-353-3509

Research Interests: To use an RDoC approach to better understand cross-diagnostic symptoms of mental illness through their neural signatures and mechanisms. Currently developing an approach-avoidance task in virtual reality to see if individual differences in behaviors can be characterized using EEG.



Research Assistants

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Name: Sally Cole, M.A.
Affiliation:
Rutgers University  Research Assistant
Research Interest: I'm interested in understanding neural processes underlying reward sensitivity and cognitive control. I am particularly interested in studying these processes as they relate to depression and anxiety risk and symptom severity, with the ultimate goal of improving treatment outcomes.

Cognitive control functioning in opioid use disorder

Name: Mr. Roboto
Affiliation: research assistant in Dr. Baker's lab.
Research Interests: Holding things precisely. I like to use MRI images to set brain stimulation targets, and then continuously track and adapt to the movements of the cranium in real-time. My goal is to guarantee a precise mm coil to target position for Dr. Baker's experiments. This is far better than my last job in the culinary world. click here



Rotating PhD students

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Name: Jaleesa Stringfellow-James, B.A.
Email: jss388@newark.rutgers.edu
Affiliation: Behavioral and Neural Science Program, Rutgers University.
Research Interest: Exploration of Affective and Value-based decision making, Reward processing and memory in substance use and addictive behaviors, computational modeling, translational research, clinical applications.
Background: B.A. in Psychology & English, Summa Cum Laude, from Rutgers University, Newark, NJ. (click here for personal website)



Collaborators

Andrew Reid, PhD http://andrew.modelgui.org/

Vince McGinty, PhD https://www.mcgintylab.org/

Mike Cole, PhD http://www.colelab.org/

Drew Headley, PhD https://sites.rutgers.edu/pare-lab/people/

Omer Liran, MD

Visiting Scholars

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Name: José C. G. Alanis from Philipps Universität Marburg, Germany

Andrew

Name: Andrew Reid, Phd from University of Nottingham, UK. 



Previous Rotating PhD students

Carrisa Cocuzza: Cole Neurocognition Lab

Shira Lupkin: McGinty Lab for Systems Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics

Previous Research Assistants and Interns

Martin Hochheimer, B.Sc.

Fernanda Juarez, B.A. 

Seema Parikh, B.A.

Neeta Bauer

Juan Cadavid

Peter Shafeek

Pavlina Coleska

Gray Garrard

Daniel Rynerson, M.A.



Team Meetings & Lab Life