Cognitive Neuroscience Research Program

Establishing a cross-disciplinary Cognitive Science Research Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Cognitive Neuroscience Research ProgramPrincipal Investigator:Jeffrey Binder, MD, NeurologyCo-Investigator:Manoj Raghavan, MD, PhD, NeurologyAward Amount:$2,000,000
Award Date
February2018
Project Duration:72 months

Project Description Narrative:


Cognitive neuroscience is the branch of neuroscience focused on understanding human brain systems' underlying higher cognitive processes such as language, reasoning, decision-making, social behavior, and memory. Breakdown of these functions is a central feature of normal aging and of many common neurological conditions that affect Wisconsin residents, including stroke, Alzheimer?s disease, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and Parkinson?s disease.

Cognitive neuroscience attempts to understand these processes, how they break down in pathological states, and how they can be restored using pharmacological, behavioral, and physiological methods.

This project aims to improve the health of Wisconsin citizens by enhancing research on the diagnosis and treatment of cognitive disorders. The proposed program will bring together researchers and clinical providers at the Medical College of Wisconsin who are working on diagnosis and treatment of these conditions, providing powerful state-of-the-art tools and infrastructure support for enabling coordinated research projects.

Project Updates:


  • Exceeded original performance expectations in developing new, robust, and cutting-edge neuroscience research with junior faculty advancing their scientific endeavors and moving towards securing federal funding
  • Launched Intensive Program for Aphasia Therapy with 12 patients so far and initial results indicate success based on communication confidence and high levels of patient and caregiver satisfaction
  • Recruited faculty to develop the Cognition and Brain Stimulation Lab, enhancing MCW's cognitive neuroscience research capabilities
  • Established software infrastructure for the Magnetoencephalography Lab that led to two publications and laid the scientific framework for clinical scientists to use multimodal neuroimaging data to accurately map important brain regions involved in cognitive activities in patients with epilepsy
  • Developed three clinical research databases focused on epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders, and aphasia clinical databanks, positioning the CNRP to be the go-to center for future neuroscience clinical studies at MCW

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