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Emily Mason

Graduate Student, Neuroscience

Dr. Brandon Ally (Thesis)
Dr. Howard Kirshner (Clinical)

I am currently a second year student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program working with Dr. Brandon Ally. Our lab studies cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias using a variety of techniques. Specifically, my project involves the development of both EEG and MRI methods to recognize individuals at-risk for Alzheimer’s disease before cognitive symptoms arise. These methods include the quantification of activations during a memory task, resting state physiology, cerebrovascular measurements such as blood flow and baseline oxygen metabolism, and spectroscopic measurement of metabolite concentrations like GABA and glutamate. Because EEG and MRI data acquisition are based on unique neurophysiological principles and differ in spatial and temporal resolution, I am also very interested in understanding how EEG and MRI methods can be used in tandem, and how the information from one can be used to enhance data interpretation in the other.

My clinical mentor is Dr. Howard Kirshner. Dr. Kirshner is a stroke specialist and also has a cognitive disorders clinic. By working with Dr. Kirshner I have been able to observe the many different consequences of stroke, which has enhanced my appreciation of blood flow in the brain. In the future, I hope to attend more patient interactions both in stroke and cognitive disorders. I also hope to be present for radiological scans performed in both patient populations.