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Neuropsychology Faculty Research

Our research primarily uses neuropsychological and/or neuroimaging approaches. This includes studies using clinical and experimental neuropsychological measures, fMRI studies (cognition, reward, pain, and motor skills), pharmacologic fMRI (e.g., medications, cannabis), and morphological studies (volume, shape and thickness).  An interest in genetic contributions to variability in cognitive and other outcomes in select patient populations is also present among faculty.  In addition, we are developing research using EEG, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in collaboration with Dartmouth faculty in psychiatry, neurology and engineering. Neuropsychology program faculty, with others at Dartmouth, form the Brain Research Network, which is designed to facilitate and support collaborative research.

Current active funded projects include studies of co-occurring schizophrenia and cannabis use, treatment-resistant depression, multiple sclerosis, sport-related concussion, and Parkinson’s disease.  Faculty also have a variety of research interests such as multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, pediatric cancers, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, schizophrenia, adult ADHD, addictions, trauma, autism spectrum disorders, as well as executive functions and motivation. Neuroimaging research is conducted through the Brain Imaging Laboratory (BIL), directed by a member of the neuropsychology faculty, and the Advanced Imaging Center at DHMC, which houses a research-dedicated MRI system.

Neuropsychology Fellow Involvement in Research

Our program emphasizes the scientist-practitioner model, thus fellows are expected to engage in both clinical activity and research. The extent of involvement in research is tailored to each fellow’s interests and career goals, though within the two-year fellowship all fellows are expected at minimum to be involved in the development and preparation of at least one report suitable for publication based on their involvement in a research project under the guidance of one of the faculty. This could take the form of a published abstract and corresponding poster presentation, or the co-authoring of a manuscript or book chapter.

Fellow involvement in research may take several forms, depending on the interests of the fellow and faculty, available projects and data sets, as well as projects in development. Some examples of projects in which current and past fellows have been involved and that reflect the diversity of opportunities include:

  • Participating in neuroimaging studies: Fellows become closely involved with an ongoing project including assisting with scanning, and learning about data processing and analysis. In collaboration with faculty, fellows define a hypothesis that can be addressed by the fellow using existing data.  For example, fellows have examined thalamic volume in relationship to pain in MS, frontal lobe volume and executive functions in schizophrenia, and fMRI of working memory in mild TBI.
  • Using archival data sets to examine variables of interest:  Some examples include studies examining the profile of executive functions in adults with TBI or ADHD, exploring embedded test validity indicators in clinical patient samples; and evaluating the relationship between pain and cognitive in patients with multiple sclerosis.
  • Writing a review paper or book chapter on topics such as the role of the cerebellum in executive functions, neuropsychological assessment basics for neuropsychiatrists, and ADHD in emerging adults.
  • Taking advantage of faculty mentorship and available resources to develop a novel neuropsychological measure (e.g., a former postdoc developed a novel measure of spatial location memory).
  • On occasion, fellows with very strong research interests that are in line with those of the neuropsychology faculty have submitted grant proposals to support new pilot projects (with Dartmouth faculty mentoring and consent).  For example, a former fellow received a local pilot grant to examine the effects of exertion on outcomes in young adults following concussionsion.

Selected Neuropsychology Faculty Publications

You can view Dartmouth-Hitchcock Neuropsychology faculty publications on