Principal Investigators //


Vince Clark, PhD

Professor of Translational Neuroscience

Vince Clark

Dr. Clark has worked with MRN as Director of Neuroscience, then as Scientific Director recruiting scientists and helping MRN to increase its grant portfolio by expanding into new areas of research such as addiction, accelerated learning, and multimodal imaging.  In association with the Department of Psychology at UNM (http://psych.unm.edu), where he is Founding Director of the new Clinical Neuroscience Center, he and his associates investigate the relationship between mind and brain. He employs structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), event-related potentials (ERPs) and methods of transcranial brain stimulation, including transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), as well as other methods to examine human brain structure and function. Using these tools, he is investigating the basic organizational principles of perception, learning, memory, attention and language in healthy individuals. He also uses these methods to examine the neural basis of psychiatric disorders such as drug and gambling addiction, psychopathy and schizophrenia.  He is developing new methods of data analysis for combining data from different imaging techniques to gain fundamentally new information on human brain structure and function, and is using this and other methods to expand the boundaries of brain imaging techniques. His recent area of research examines how tDCS can be used to increase learning and performance in healthy subjects, and the mechanisms by which tDCS produces changes in brain function and behavior. Brain stimulation may lead to a variety of innovations in classroom education and professional training, along with new treatments for psychiatric and neurological disorders.

For more information on Dr. Clark, please refer to his Curriculum Vitae.

Email Dr. Clark

COBRE

The current Phase III (P-III) COBRE project extends the Phase I and Phase II COBRE projects over the past 11 years. These successful projects have built up infrastructure and created a cutting edge brain imaging center. The Mind Research Network (MRN) houses an Elekta Neuromag 306-channel MEG System, a high density EEG lab, a 3T Siemens Trio MRI scanner, and two mobile 1.5T Siemens Avanto MRI scanners. Additional resources include a centralized neuroinformatics system, a strong IT management plan, and state-of-the-art image analysis expertise and tools. This Phase III COBRE continues this momentum and moves the technical cores we have developed into a position of long term sustainability. These include a multimodal data acquisition (MDA) core, algorithm and data analysis (ADA) core, and a biostatistics and neuro-informatics (BNI) core. These cores have begun to serve MRN and the greater community, as well as other institutions including extensive collaborations with IDeA funded projects in New Mexico and other states. The COBRE includes an extensive educational, mentoring, and faculty development program to carefully mentor and position faculty who use the cores to maximize their potential to successfully compete for external funding, thus fulfilling the ultimate goals of the COBRE program. This Phase III COBRE helps to sustain the Mind Research Network and New Mexico as one of the premier brain imaging sites.

Visit the COBRE site to learn more about project.


The Mind Research Network NIGMS funded Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE), is soliciting applications for pilot projects. 

Applicants are encouraged to develop multidisciplinary projects that fit within or expand upon the existing COBRE infrastructure and its theme of multimodal imaging of psychiatric and neurological illnesses. Projects that synergize across existing initiatives, and/or that incorporate neuromodulation, are especially encouraged. Please submit budgets up to a maximum of $25K in non-scan costs and up to $25K in scan costs. The pilot project program is designed to provide 1 year of support and training for investigators (individuals with a PhD and/or MD) who have an interesting idea that will lead to a future funded project.  The COBRE cores include 1) MDA: multimodal data acquisition (MRI/MEG), 2) ADA: algorithm and data analysis, 3) BNI: biostatistics and neuroinformatics. Applicants should identify a mentor or mentors from the existing COBRE senior faculty. The deadline for applications is Sept 15, 2019  

Request for pilot proposals

Effects of Brain Stimulation on Attention, Perception and Learning

We have recently found that tDCS increases performance and learning in a difficult visual learning task (Clark et al. 2012), and that this same tDCS protocol increases the combined concentration of glutamate and glutamine, as well as NAA (Clark et al. 2011), suggesting neurochemical mechanisms by which tDCS increases learning and performance.  Our current studies examine the cognitive effects of tDCS, specifically which components of cognition are altered by different tDCS protocols, which well help us to understand the cognitive mechanisms of tDCS enhancement, and may suggest other research and clinical applications of tDCS.  Future planned studies will examine the neurophysiological and neurochemical effects of tDCS using an MRI-compatible tDCS system, in collaboration with the newly formed Clinical Neuroscience Center in the Department of Psychology at UNM, where Dr. Clark is Director.  We are also collaborating with other groups around the country who have developed more effective mechanisms of targeting brain stimulation, including a new method for 3D targeting that may provide the ability to stimulate deep brain structures while leaving more superficial structures unaffected.