Feinstein Institute awarded over $1 million from the National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN initiative

Ashesh Mehta, MD, PhD, will lead the Feinstein Institute's NIH-funded research projects.

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research announced today it has been awarded more than $1 million from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, whose mission is to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain.

The NIH BRAIN initiative aims to develop and apply cutting-edge technologies to create a dynamic picture of the brain in action, providing the critical knowledge base for researchers seeking new ways to treat, cure and even prevent brain disorders.

The Feinstein Institute will allot NIH funds to support three research projects: a three-year, $650,000 grant will be used towards a study entitled, “Dynamic Neural Mechanisms of Audiovisual Speech Perception” and a five-year, $250,000 grant will endow a study called, “Revising the Application of Transcranial Electric Stimulation to Optimize Spatial Focality Dosing and Cell Circuit Targeting.”

The Institute was also awarded $250,000 by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and named as the primary site for a research study entitled, “Neurophysiology of Auditory Emotion Recognition in the Human Brain.”

Ashesh Mehta, MD, PhD, Feinstein Institute associate professor, director of the Laboratory of Human Brain Mapping and Northwell Health’s director of epilepsy surgery, will lead the research projects at two locations – the Feinstein Institute and at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Northwell Health’s Neuroscience Institute.

In the research study,“Dynamic Neural Mechanisms of Audiovisual Speech Perception,” Dr. Mehta and his team will investigate how fluctuations in brain activity called oscillations play a key role in processing speech information. Dr. Mehta added: “We theorize that these oscillations allow brain areas to communicate with one another, fill in missing information and result in understanding spoken words. Understanding how this process occurs will directly improve our ability to understand and treat diverse neurological disorders of speech and language processing, such as deafness, learning disability, dyslexia, stroke, autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia and others.”

In the NIMH research study,“Neurophysiology of Auditory Emotion Recognition in the Human Brain,” Dr. Mehta and his team will analyze how the brain codes the emotional content of speech and how stimulating specific brain areas can potentially improve mood.

The study,“Revising the Application of Transcranial Electric Stimulation to Optimize Spatial Focality Dosing and Cell Circuit Targeting,” will aim to define the neural mechanisms of intrinsic resting functional magnetic resonance imaging signals. “These signals reliably map brain architecture in both healthy and pathological conditions in high detail,” said Dr. Mehta. “Our findings will have widespread implications for neurological and mental health, particularly in biomarker discovery and understanding how they are rooted in brain connections.”

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About the Feinstein Institute

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York. Home to 50 research laboratories and to clinical research throughout dozens of hospitals and outpatient facilities, the Feinstein includes 4,000 researchers and staff who are making breakthroughs in molecular medicine, genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we empower imagination and pioneer discovery, visit FeinsteinInstitute.org

 

About Northwell Health’s Neuroscience Institute

Northwell Health’s Neuroscience Institute is a large and comprehensive team of professionals that provide neurosurgery and neurology services across the Greater New York region – from Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Suffolk County. Our physicians cover all subspecialties within the neurosciences, accept most insurance plans and pride themselves in providing excellent and ethical care. For more information, click here.