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Brian Rakitin
Associate Professor (Neurology)

Current Research

  • 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 deprivation.

  • 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.

Relevant Publications

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 Performance.

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 Neuroscience.

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.

Columbia University
Neurology- Cognitive Neuroscience Division, Taub Institute
630 W138th St, Box 16
New York, NY 10032

Phone: 212-305-7476
Fax: 212-342-1838

Last modified: Jan 25, 2012 4:40:25 PM EST