People

Meet the Team

Principal Investigator

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

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.

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

Name: Malte Güth, M.Sc.
Email: malte.r.gueth@rutgers.edu
Affiliation:
Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University
Room: 206
Tel.: 973-353-3509



Research interests:
The goal of his research is to understand mechanisms involved in executive functions, cognitive control, and their alteration in addiction. To that end, he utilizes a range of psychophysiological measures such as EEG, fMRI, ECG, TMS and fNIRS. His main focus is on multimodal data fusion approaches for simultaneous EEG-fMRI data using Python and R (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:

____________________________________________________________________________

Research Assistants

Name: Neeta Bauer
Affiliation: Post Bacc Research Assistant
Research Interest: Learning about neuroimaging and neuromodulation techniques, and clinical applications.

 

 

Name: Juan Cadavid
Affiliation: Rutgers Alumni, Research Assistant 
Research Interest: Learning about neuroimaging and its clinical applications, more specifically to study the effects of chronic alcohol consumption on adolescent brains. 

 

Name: Pavlina Coleska
Affiliation:
Rutgers University undergraduate, Research Assistant 
Research Interest: Learning how to apply and interpret neuroimaging studies to help understand the neural and neurochemical basis of behaviors. 

 

 

Name: Gray Garrard
Affiliation: New York University, research intern
Research Interest: Understanding the theta rhythms underlying spatial navigation and applying Hasselmo’s model for persistent spiking.






Name: Peter Shafeek
Affiliation: Rutgers University, Research Assistant
Research Interest: Learning about the experimental application and analysis of EEG and fMRI to study the brain mechanisms that underly complex behaviors found in healthy and clinical populations. 

 

 

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

Name: Carrisa Cocuzza
Affiliation: Graduate student in the Cole Neurocognition Lab,  Centre for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University.
Research interests: Learning, cognitive control, computational models, and clinical application.
Background: B.A. from Pace University in Biological/Psychology, and a M.A. from New York University in Psychology.

Selected Publications:  Cocuzza, C., Cavanagh, J., Cole, M., Baker, T. (2018). Identifying inter-relations between genetic polymorphisms and reinforcement learning: multivariate insights from behavior and computational modeling. Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Poster presentation.

Name: Shira Lupkin
Affiliation: Graduate student in the McGinty Lab for Systems Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics (https://www.mcgintylab.org/), Centre for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University.
Research interests: Value-based decision making, systems neuroscience, computational modeling, translational research, clinical applications.
Background: B.A. in Psychology from Barnard College, Columbia University


______________________________________________________________________________

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 http://parelab.rutgers.edu/personnel.

Omer Liran, MD

 

Visiting Scholars

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

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

______________________________________________________________________________

Previous Students

Name: Martin Hochheimer B.Sc.
Affiliation (Sept 2017): visiting student from the University of Würzburg, Germany. Martin will go on to pursue a Master’s degree in Translational Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology.




Name: Fernanda Juarez, BA. (research assistant 2017-2018)
Affiliation:  Now a research assistant at the National Institute of Health.





Name: Seema Parikh 
Affiliation: second-year Biology major at NJIT, part of the 7-year Accelerated BA/MD program with New Jersey Medical School.

Selected Publication: Parikh, S., Baker, TE. (2018) Altering reward-specific electrophysiological signals in humans using robot-assisted theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation. Society for Psychophysiological Research.

 

______________________________________________________________________________

Team Meetings


December 2018 (Prudential Center, ice hockey arena). Before everyone leaves for Christmas, the lab watches the Toronto Maple Leafs destroy the New Jersey Devils.


October 2018. Celebrating a great talk from visiting collaborator, José Alanis (right).