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.

We are trying to understand how this processing may lead to inappropriate behaviors such as addictions, impulsive behaviors such as aggression, gambling, or overeating and how it is altered at different stages of life from infancy to old age.

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.

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).

Goals: We propose to strengthen ongoing research by adding two basic cognitive or behavioral scientists and two clinical scientists. These recruitments will strengthen our ability to conduct cognitive and behavioral health studies using neuroimaging, genetics, or pharmacologic interventions. We also plan to develop a neuropsychiatry fellowship which will include clinical blocks in specialty psychiatry and neurology clinics and research blocks for genetics, fMRI, and PET imaging.

Cognitive and Behavioral Health Division Investigators

Christie Befort, PhD, Preventive Medicine
William Brooks, PhD, Hoglund Brain Imaging Center
Merlin Butler, MD, PhD, Psychiatry & Behavior Science
Sharon Cain, MD, Psychiatry & Behavior Science
Susan Carlson, PhD, All Hth Dietetics & 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, All Hth Hearing & Speech Ed
William Gabrielli, MD, PhD, Psychiatry & Behavior Science
Kathleen Gustafson, PhD, Hoglund Brain Imaging Center
Monica Kurylo, PhD, Psychiatry & Behavior Science
Beth Levant, PhD, Pharmacology
Ann Manzardo, PhD, MSCR, Psychiatry & Behavior Science
Eve-Lynn Nelson, PhD, Telemedicine
Elizabeth Penick, PhD, ABPP, Psychiatry & Behavior Science
Albert (Buddy) Poje, PhD, Psychiatry & Behavior Science
Michael Rapoff, PhD, ABPP, Pediatrics
Robb Krumlauf, PhD, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Kausik Si, PhD, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Ron Yu, PhD, Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Last modified: Aug 22, 2017
More Information


If you would like to make an appointment with a doctor, call 913-588-6820.