About the Epilepsy, Cognition and Development Group

Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological condition in children. In addition to the seizures, many children with epilepsy have problems with cognition and behavior and these have a major impact on quality of life. The overarching aim of the Epilepsy, Cognition and Development (ECD) Group is to understand the causes of these difficulties and to develop new treatment strategies that minimize them, thereby improving quality of life.

The ECD group is founded on the principle that a strong understanding of the neural bases of cognition in both developing and adult brains is critical for improving the cognitive outcome of affected patients. To achieve this goal, the ECD group fosters interactions between teams of diverse backgrounds, with research projects led by Gregory L. Holmes MD, Jeremy Barry, PhD, Matt Mahoney, PhD, Matt Weston, PhD and Amanda Hernan, PhD.

The tools we use combine electrophysiology (both in-vitro and in-vivo), neuroimaging, calcium imaging, molecular biology and behavior in animal models and in humans. In the last 12 months we have shown that (i) etiology is a major predictor of cognitive impairments and that early life seizures have little additional impact in rats, (ii) in normally developing rats early life seizures alter the structure and function of the prefrontal cortex, (iii) children with Dravet Syndrome (a disorder caused by mutations in a sodium channel gene) have changes in EEG oscillatory activity that correlates with cognitive outcome and (iv) single inter-ictal epileptic activity during the retrieval phase of a memory task impair behavior during that task.

Our lab and office spaces are located in Stafford Hall. Our group meetings are at 9:30am on Fridays.

We are actively recruiting graduate students, feel free to contact us for more information.