Associate Professor (Neurology)
Interval Timing. The main thrust of my research
concerns the temporally organization of behavior over the course of
several seconds, and the physiological substrates of that organization.
An important part of this research is development of new tasks,
paradigms, and analyses, and basic research on temporal psychophysics
and the interaction of attention and timing. Recently I have run a fMRI
study of timing, demonstrating both shared and different networks
operating across tasks and target intervals. I am also actively
pursuing the way that timing changes in aging and with sleep
Memory in Aging. Normal aging
leads to a decline in memory function, even in the absence of
neurodegenerative diseases. While this topic is well studied using both
behavioral and neuroimaging methods, I have undertaken an efMRI study
of short-term memory in aging in order to take advantage of the
advanced analyses pioneered by division members Eric Zarahn and Chris
Habeck. A major result of this research is the finding that insula
cortex activation predicts both within and between age group
differences in memory scanning speed.
Cognitive Mechanisms of Sleep Deprivation.
I have had the opportunity to conduct two large-scale studies of the
effects of sleep deprivation on cognition. One experiment used
event-related function magnetic resonance imaging (efMRI) to examine
the changes to the brain that explain the effects of sleep deprivation
on short-term memory. This study employed advanced analyses developed
by division members Eric Zarahn and Christian Habeck. Another
experiment collected simple visual reaction time data every six hours.
This study resulted in a reevaluation of the basic theory of cognitive
changes in sleep deprivation. These studies were conducted in
collaboration with Yaakov Stern, Truman Brown, and Robert Basner.
Rakitin, B. C. (in press). Effects of spatial
stimulus-response compatibility on choice time production accuracy and
variability. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and
Rakitin, B. C., Scarmeas, N., Li, T., Malapani, C., &
Stern, Y. (in press). Single-dose levodopa administration and aging
independently disrupt time production. Journal of Cognitive
Rakitin, B. C., Stern, Y., & Malapani, C. (2005). The
effects of aging on time production in delayed free-recall. Brain &
Cognition, 58, 17-34.
Rakitin, B.C., Hinton, S.C., Penney, T.B., Malapani, C.,
Gibbon, J., & Meck, W.H. (1998). Scalar expectancy theory and
peak-interval timing in humans. Journal of Experimental Psychology:
Animal Behavior Processes, 24, 1-19.
Neurology- Cognitive Neuroscience Division, Taub Institute
630 W138th St, Box 16
New York, NY 10032