The Neuropsychological Lab is the cognitive branch of our lab for behavioral, functional, cognitive, and perceptual testing, which is a core component of our research and included in all of our studies.
In addition, we employ several cognitive training paradigms in our research that allows us to tailor to older adults with a variety of cognitive and functional abilities. These paradigms are typically administered on a computer or tablet, or during an MRI scan to assess changes in brain activity simutaneously.
Click here to view an interview with PI Dr. Lin, where she discusses the use of one of the training paradigms.
The Cardio Lab is the exercise branch of our lab where we conduct cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) to measure cardiopulmonary function and aerobic capacity. Our exercise equipment includes a Precore RBK 835 recumbent cycle ergometer (i.e. inclined bike) and a Parvo Medics TrueOne 2400 metabolic cart. We also collect electrocardiography (ECG) data during CPET for cardiac electrophysiological analysis and to monitor participant safety.
Currently, we use the Cardio Lab to research the effects of aerobic exercise on cognitive function. We conduct graded exercise tests to develop individualized exercise schedules for participants enrolled in our aerobic-cognitive intervention study to see whether a combined intervention provides a synergistic effect on cognitive function.
Recumbent cycle ergometer (inclined bike)
Parvo Medics TrueOne 2400 metabolic cart
ECG (or EKG) is the process of recording the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time using electrodes placed on body. Although ECG is typically used in to examine cardiac function, recent studies have reported that specific components of ECG are closely related to central nervous system function (e.g. Thayer et al., 2009).
We combine ECG with brain imaging techniques to investigate whether this combined methodology can serve as an avenue to better understand brain function and neurodegenerative processes.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
Functional MRI is used widely in research to investigate different brain functions at rest or in response to different tasks. Our fMRI research is conducted at UR Center for Brain Advanced Imaging and Neurophysiology (CABIN), which features a state-of-the-art Siemens MRI 3T MAGNETOM PrismaFit whole-body scanner. The PrismaFit scanner supports functional MRI (EPI-BOLD), structural MRI (T1- and T2- weighted imaging), diffusion-weighted scans including diffusion tensor imaging, among others. We also employ fast imaging techniques such as simultaneous multislice.
We use advanced imaging sequences to assess changes in structural and functional brain characteristics of typical aging and neurodegenerative disease, in addition to intervention-related neuroplasticity.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
The Golisano Children’s Hospital at URMC operates a unified 3T Siemens Biograph MR PET scanner. We utilize this scanner to assess indices of brain pathophysiology (e.g., glucose hypometabolism, amyloid and tau) associated with aging or Alzheimer's disease.
COVID Procedures: We follow all NY state and University of Rochester Medical Center guidelines to ensure your and our staff's safety. A mask is required at all times when inside our facilities. We will conduct screening questionnaires and perform temperature checks upon your arrival and escort to our lab. All staff are screened daily and wear personal protective equipment (i.e., gloves, mask, face shield) during study visits. The number of staff and visitors to our lab is limited to those essential for in-person activities, and all interview rooms and equipment are disinfected regularly, as well as before and after each participant's appointment.