Adam J. Woods, PhD
My primary program of research focuses on understanding the arousal systems of the brain. The brain is capable of regulating its concurrent state of arousal to facilitate behavior. Profound behavioral deficits can occur when this ability is compromised (e.g., coma, visual neglect following stroke). However, my work demonstrates that treatment of underlying arousal deficits through sensory or pharmacological stimulation can alleviate arousal-related symptoms, suggesting a strong relationship between arousal and symptoms in disorders commonly accompanied by underlying arousal deficits. My research uses converging methods from functional neuroimaging, non-invasive brain stimulation, cognitive psychology, and neuropsychology to advance our understanding of brain arousal systems and arousal regulation systems. My research aims to apply these techniques and our evolving understanding of brain arousal networks to the investigation and treatment of arousal-related deficits in stroke, dementia, post-surgical delirium, and other disorders.
My second line of research focuses on understanding the role of time and space in event representation. The ability to segment the stream of consciousness into events serves as a foundation for human cognition. Space and time serve as basic elements that facilitate this ability. My recent and ongoing research suggest that the contributions of space and time to event representation are fundamentally different, instantiated in distinct regions of the brain, and differentially susceptible to non-invasive brain stimulation. Preliminary data from one of my ongoing studies also suggests that patients with schizophrenia have particular difficulty integrating temporal information into event representations. This line of my research hypothesizes that understanding the role of space and time in event representation and the factors influencing these roles will provide important insight into personality and psychiatric disorders that demonstrate difficulty comprehending events (e.g., schizophrenia, OCD, etc.).
Research Topics: (click
below for detailed information)
Space, Time, and Event Representation
Spatial Neglect, Stroke, and Arousal
Arousal, Visual Perception, and
Spatial Cognition and Perception
Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation
A complete list of publications is available here.