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Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab

The NCNL at Stanford University is a clinical research group directed by Dr. Shelli Kesler. The NCNL mission focuses on the application of cognitive neuroscience to the study of clinical populations. We seek to identify the biological mechanisms underlying cognitive deficit, develop and implement novel behavioral interventions for cognitive dysfunction and improve cognitive neuroscience research methodology by introducing new tools for researchers.

We are particularly interested in the relevance of cognitive neuroscience to non-central nervous system (CNS) medical conditions. We believe that systemic diseases and/or their treatments can have unexpected but profound effects on brain structure and function. For example, individuals diagnosed with non-CNS cancers, such as breast cancer or leukemia, often experience significant cognitive decline. We strive to better understand the mechanisms underlying these cognitive effects including the interactions between development, aging, disease and neurobiology. Our group is unique in that our research involves both children and adults, focusing on important lifespan issues.

Our lab also conducts clinical trials involving novel behavioral intervention programs for improving cognitive function. Our Cognitive Enhancement Program (CEP) combines evidence-based elements in a practical, accessible self-management format. This intervention is highly relevant and applicable to a wide range of clinical conditions as well as to healthy individuals. We also employ innovative neurofeedback interventions using real-time functional neuroimaging technology.

We are dedicated to developing open source tools for neuroimaging analysis, cognitive assessment and cognitive training.