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Institute for Neurological Discoveries

IND > Cognitive & Behavioral Health Division

Cognitive & Behavioral Health Division


Cognitive and behavioral health is important in understanding how the brain works. The Division of Cognitive and Behavioral Health studies how the normal brain processes information, and how diseases such as Alzheimer's impact brain processing.

Abnormal processing may lead to inappropriate behaviors such as addictions, impulsive behaviors such as aggression, gambling, or overeating.

Disorders and behavior: A wide range of genetic and brain disorders can lead to marked changes in cognition and behavior.

  • This is especially true in children, where the numbers of patients with autism or attention deficit disorder are rapidly increasing.
  • Numerous other developmental disabilities exist that lead to life-long impairment. Traumatic brain injury and stroke can both severely affect cognition and behavior.
  • Patients with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mania and depression, by definition suffer from behavioral disorders.
  • Degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease also contribute to cognitive and behavioral disorders.
  • Abnormal pain

Research: The field of cognitive and behavioral health has advanced very rapidly, largely as a result of new technologies and approaches. Several lines of research have contributed to these advances, including human functional neuroimaging, genetics, animal studies, and pharmacologic investigations. KUMC is truly fortunate in having these state of the art technologies available in one of the most advanced imaging centers in the Midwest, the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center.

In the realm of functional neuroimaging, a great deal has been learned from "cognitive activation" paradigms, in which people are scanned while they engage in mental or behavioral tasks. Specific brain regions become more active in response to the deands of the task and these changes in brain activity can be quantified using neuroimaging technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG).

Cognitive and Behavioral Health Division Investigators

Christie Befort, PhD, Preventive Medicine
William Brooks, PhD, Hoglund Brain Imaging Center
Jeff Burns, MD, MS, Alzheimer's Disease Center
Merlin Butler, MD, PhD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Sharon Cain, MD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Susan Carlson, PhD, Dietetics and Nutrition
Ann Davis, PhD, MPH, ABPP, Pediatrics
Kathryn Ellerbeck, MD, MPH, FAAP, Center for Child Health & Development
Sam Enna, PhD, Molecular Integrative Physiology
Marc Fey, PhD, Hearing and Speech Ed.
William Gabrielli, MD, PhD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Kathleen Gustafson, PhD, Hoglund Brain Imaging Center
Randal Halfman, PhD, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Eric Ecklund-Johnson, PhD, Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
Robb Krumlauf, PhD, Stowers Institute for Medial Research
Monica Kurylo, PhD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Beth Levant, PhD, Pharmacology
Ann Manzardo, PhD, MSCR, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Eli Michaelis, MD, PhD, Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics - KU
Mary Lou Michaelis, PhD, Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics - KU
Jill Morris, PhD, KU Alzheimer's Disease Center
Eve-Lynn Nelson, PhD, Telemedicine
Adam Parks, PhD, Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
Caleb Pearson, PsyD, Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
Elizabeth Penick, PhD, ABPP, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Albert (Buddy) Poje, PhD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Michael Rapoff, PhD, ABPP, Pediatrics
Kausik Si, PhD, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Carrie Spresser, PhD, Neuropsychology
Russ Swerdlow, MD, Alzheimer's Disease Center
Eric Vidoni, PT, PhD, Neurology
Michael Wolfe, PhD, KU School of Pharmacy, Medicinal Chemistry
Shirley ShiDu Yan, MD, Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics - KU
Ron Yu, PhD, Stowers Institute for Medical Research 

Last modified: Aug 27, 2018
Division directors

Division Director:
Jeff Burns, MD

Associate Director:

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