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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.

meeting of researcherDivision Director:
Jeff Burns, MD

Associate Director:
Hannes Devos, PhD

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 Biomedical 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 demands 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).

Hoglund Biomedical Brain Imaging Center

Institute for Neurological Discoveries