Medical & Clinical Psychology

Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research

Welcome to the Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research. Our mission is to improve clinical care for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other neurocognitive conditions, and to enhance neurocognitive knowledge and expertise within the Department of Defense and the nation as a whole. Our approach is guided by scientific and clinical foundations within psychology and cognitive neuroscience, along with a desire to leverage technology to bolster progress in military medicine and public health. Recent areas of emphasis include: enhanced measurement of attention and executive functions using eye tracking; identification of reduced cognitive efficacy through integrating eye tracking, fMRI, and EEG; and remediation of deficits in cognition and driving after TBI using virtual reality simulation. Our team of students, staff, fellows, and volunteers embodies our commitment to excellence in pursuit of these goals.

Graduate Students

David Barry

David Barry

CPT David Barry, M.S., (U.S. Army) is a 5th Year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at USUHS, currently completing his clinical internship at Madigan Army Medical Center. David attended Vanderbilt University on a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarship, where he earned his bachelor's degree in Engineering Science in 2006. After college, he commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army's Corps of Engineers. From 2007-2010, David served as a combat engineer Platoon Leader, Battalion Engineer, and Battalion Logistics Officer (S4) for 1st Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. In addition to duty assignments at Fort Hood, TX and Fort Carson, CO, David served a 12-month combat tour in eastern Baghdad, Iraq from March 2008-March 2009. While deployed, David planned and conducted route clearance missions to clear roads of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and later led construction missions to reinforce key positions in his Battalion's Area of Operations. During his four years in the Ettenhofer Lab, David researched methods to assess neurocognitive performance using eye tracking systems. To do this, David used the Bethesda Eye & Attention Measure (BEAM), a computer-based, eye-tracking program that David and Dr. Ettenhofer co-designed, piloted, and patented. David's dissertation research focused on using eye movements to detect invalid responding in neurocognitive assessment. David can be contacted at david.m.barry.mil@mail.mil.


Lindsay Reinhardt

Lindsay Reinhardt

Lindsay Reinhardt (Civilian) is a 5th year graduate student working toward a Ph.D. in Medical and Clinical Psychology at USUHS. For her undergraduate studies, Lyn attended U.C. San Diego, where she earned her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in dance. After college, she spent time in various labs as a research assistant, most recently in the Stress and Neuroimaging Lab at the VA Hospital/UC San Diego studying Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Depression and PTSD in returning OEF/OIF veterans. She continues this research at USUHS through the investigation of TBI (and PTSD) in the Ettenhofer Neurocognitive Research Lab, with the goal of finding better diagnostic algorithms and optimally individualized treatments. For the past 4 years Lyn has also been training and assisting in neuroimaging analysis at NICoE (a center for active duty service members with TBI and deployment-related psychological health conditions), where she completed her Master's thesis work investigating neural activation patterns of various cognitive and emotional symptoms associated with TBI. She is continuing this important research through additional collaborative studies of TBI using neuroimaging for her dissertation, and she has been involved in collaborations with other labs including a study of eye-tracking and PTSD at the DC VAMC. Lyn completed a clinical externship at Johns Hopkins University SoM Outpatient Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation, as well as practicum placements at the Behavioral Health Clinic at Fort Meade and a civilian program for adults with severe mental illness. This year she is working at Fort Belvoir in Adult Behavioral Health as well as in the COOPH program at the Warrior Clinic. Lyn can be contacted at lindsay.reinhardt@usuhs.edu.


Katherine Lunsford

Katherine Lunsford

1LT Kate Lunsford, M.S., (U.S. Army) is a 3rd year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at USUHS. For her undergraduate studies, Kate attended Aurora University in Aurora, IL, where she played soccer for the Spartans and earned a B.A. in Psychology with minors in Chemistry and Physiology in 2010. During her summers in college, she worked as a research intern for Dr. Lee Shapiro's seizure lab at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, TX. After college, Kate attended Loyola University-Maryland in Baltimore, MD where she completed her M.S. degree in Clinical Psychology. During her graduate studies, Kate was a neuropsychology research extern, working under Dr. Chris Vaughn and Dr. Gerry Gioia, at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. She primarily worked on neuroimaging studies and gave ImPACT tests to student athletes in the Maryland-DC-Northern Virginia area at the Safe Concussion Outcome Recovery & Education (SCORE) Clinic. Kate was commissioned in June 2012 as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. She has presented posters for the American Psychological Association, Midwest Psychological Association, and Scott and White Memorial Hospital. Kate's dissertation research focuses on the implementation of the BEAM in acute concussion populations to track injury and recovery. Kate can be contacted at katherine.lunsford@usuhs.edu.


Brian Guise

Brian Guise

CPT Brian Guise, M.S., (U.S. Army) is a 2nd year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at USUHS. For his undergraduate studies, Brian attended Louisiana State University on a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarship, where he earned a B.S. in Psychology in 2005. After college, he commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Louisiana Army National Guard as a Military Intelligence (MI) Officer. From 2005-2013, Brian served as a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, MI Company Operations Officer, and Detachment Commander for the 415th MI Battalion. During this time, Brian also worked as a psychometrist in a private neuropsychology clinic, administering and scoring neuropsychological tests in primarily Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and chronic pain populations. Brian attended the University of New Orleans, where he earned his M.S. in Applied Biopsychology in 2010. His research focused on TBI, primarily factors related to persistent symptomatology in mild TBI. In the Ettenhofer Lab, Brian's research focuses on virtual reality (VR) driving simulation, with the ultimate goal of using virtual reality driving simulation as a cognitive rehabilitation tool to aid service member recovery. Brian can be contacted at brian.guise@usuhs.edu.


Jamie Hershaw

Jamie Hershaw

Jamie Hershaw, M.A., (Civilian) is a 2nd year graduate student in the Medical Psychology Ph.D. program at USUHS. As an undergraduate at the College of William and Mary ('11), Jamie studied psychology and conducted research using EEG/ERP technique to study timing deficits in schizotypy and cognitive control in aging. In 2013, she received an MA in Experimental Psychology from the College of William and Mary. Her research focused on using EEG/ERP and eye tracking methodologies to study executive function in normal aging and developing practical neurometrics to identify cognitive deficits in clinical settings. Jamie is currently working on a project designed to combine efficient, inexpensive, and practical methodologies (namely, EEG and eye-tracking) to detect mild traumatic brain injury in active duty service members and veterans with the ultimate goal of incorporating these methodologies into clinical and medical settings. Her research interests are in the application of clinically practical neuroscientific methodologies to the diagnosis and evaluation of various neuropsychological deficits. Jamie has presented posters at meetings of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Society for Psychophysiological Research, and the Association for Psychological Science. She can be reached at jamie.hershaw@usuhs.edu.


Post-doctoral Fellows

Ashley Safford

Ashley Safford, Ph.D.

Ashley Safford, Ph.D., (Civilian) is a postdoctoral fellow in the Ettenhofer Neurocognitive research lab at USUHS. She received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from George Mason University with a focus on cognitive neuroscience utilizing neuroimaging (fMRI, EEG, source localization) and psychophysiological methods to examine how brain regions involved in top-down control processes (such as attention) influence sensory regions, specifically for complex visual perception. As a postdoctoral researcher at the University at Buffalo, her work used Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and neuropsychological tools to investigate dopamine neurotransmission in several neuropsychiatric disorders including Tourette Syndrome, Addiction and PTSD. Her current research interests include employing neuroimaging technologies to better understand the neurophysiological basis of the various cognitive deficits observed in traumatic brain injury, ultimately leading to better methods of assessment and treatment. Ashley can be contacted at ashley.safford.ctr@usuhs.edu.


Shawn Nelson Schmitt

Shawn Nelson Schmitt

Shawn Nelson Schmitt, Ph.D., (Civilian) is a neuropsychology postdoctoral fellow in the Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research at USUHS. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Gallaudet University with a focus on neuropsychology. Shawn trained as an extern at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital and at the National Cancer Institute at NIH before completing his clinical internship in the Neuropsychology Track at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. At Brown, he completed rotations at the Providence VA Medical Center and Rhode Island Hospital, where he evaluated veterans and civilians for questions of dementia, psychiatric conditions, and chronic medical illnesses. Shawn's clinical interests involve cultural and linguistic factors in the selection, administration, and interpretation of neuropsychological tests with diverse and underserved populations. His current research interests include developing a practical and flexible approach to the rehabilitation of driving and other higher-level skills in people who have experienced traumatic brain injury. Shawn can be contacted at shawn.nelson-schmitt.ctr@usuhs.edu.


Staff

Jessica Kegel

Jessica Kegel

Jessica Kegel, M.A., (Civilian) is a Research Associate for Dr. Ettenhofer's laboratory. Following the completion of her B.A. in Psychology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2008, Jessica began working in psychopharmacological research. Jessica coordinated phase 3 clinical trials with participants suffering from various psychological disorders (primarily Schizophrenia and Major Depressive Disorder). After two years, Jessica transitioned into a position at the Veterans Affairs Maryland Exercise and Robotics Center of Excellence (MERCE) where she assisted with studies assessing the effect of exercise on cognition in stroke survivors. During this time, Jessica began working on an M.A. in Experimental Psychology at Towson University. She conducted her thesis research at the Baltimore VA Medical Health Center examining the relationship between executive function and coping in stroke survivors. After completing her graduate degree in 2013, Jessica moved to her current position at the Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research. Her primary responsibilities include coordinating current and upcoming research efforts and other administrative responsibilities within the laboratory. Jessica can be contacted at jessica.kegel.ctr@usuhs.edu.


Sreenivasan R. Nadar

Sreenivasan R. Nadar

Sreenivasan R. Nadar, Ph.D., (Civilian) is a Staff Scientist at the Ettenhofer Neurocognitive research lab at USUHS. He has a Ph.D. in Modeling & Simulation from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has extensive experience in the application of nonlinear dynamics and theory of complex systems to variety of problems including physiological time series, functional neuroimaging, cognitive and computational neuroscience. He has served in a number of institutions with various capacities within the US and abroad, including National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences, Bangalore, India; University of Cape Town, South Africa; Center for Complex Systems & Brain Sciences, Florida Atlantic University; National Institutes of Health; Johns Hopkins University; Children's National Medical Center and George Washington University. He was credited with the distinction of setting up a world class dense-array EEG laboratory at the University of Cape Town. He was also a recipient of the Regular Associate fellow of the United Nations' International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste. His broad areas of research interests include causal oscillatory network dynamics of human brain from EEG, MEG and fMRI signals, multimodal neuroimaging, bio-signal processing, scientific computing and modeling neuronal processes. His current projects involve (i) measuring eye-tracking with EEG to study saccadic potential and causal oscillatory brain networks during cognitive tasks; and (ii) quantifying the effects of TBI on brain networks using task based and resting or 'task free' states from fMRI and MEG data. He can be reached at sreenivasan.rajamoni-nadar.ctr@usuhs.edu.


Will Hawkes

Will Hawkes

Will Hawkes, B.A., (Civilian), is a Research Assistant in Dr. Ettenhofer's laboratory. As an undergraduate, Will attended the University of Virginia, where he double majored in Cognitive Science, (neuroscience concentration) and Psychology. While at UVA, Will worked at the UVA Center for Addiction Research and Education in a neuropsychopharmacology lab and completed a Distinguished Majors Project on pharmacotherapies for the treatment of alcoholism, graduating with High Distinction in 2010. After college, Will worked as a research assistant at Stanford University in Dr. Edith Sullivan's neuroimaging and neuropsychology lab, studying the neurocognitive effects of alcoholism, HIV infection, and normal aging. He gained experience running MRI and fMRI protocols, administering neuropsychological tests, and coordinating research studies. Will next spent time in the community mental health sector at the Region Ten CSB Dual Recovery Center in Charlottesville, VA, becoming a Qualified Mental Health Provider and providing counseling, case management, and psychosocial rehabilitation services to clients with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders. At USUHS, his primary responsibilities include protocol development and assisting with various research efforts within the laboratory. Will can be contacted at william.hawkes.ctr@usuhs.edu.


Doug Girard

Doug Girard

Doug Girard, Psy.D., (Civilian) works in the Ettenhofer laboratory as a software developer. He received a B.S.E. in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2004, and subsequently worked as a Program Manager at Microsoft Corporation on the company's distributed composite applications platform. He later worked at the University of Washington and at New York University, studying the neural bases of ADHD, interpersonal and emotional deficits in autism, and punishment learning. Doug has worked with the Ettenhofer lab since 2010, helping to develop computer-based performance tasks for assessment of traumatic brain injury and cognitive effort, as well as custom data analysis software. Doug received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Loyola University Maryland in 2014 and now splits his time between ongoing software development work for the Ettenhofer lab and private practice work as a psychotherapist.


Volunteers

Kathy A. Williams

Kathy A. Williams

Kathy A. Williams, M.A., (Civilian) is a Volunteer Research Assistant for Dr. Ettenhofer's laboratory. For her undergraduate studies, Kathy attended Baylor University, where she earned her B.S. in Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry and Religion. After college, she continued working at the Mind Body Medicine Research Laboratory which focused on utilizing clinical hypnosis as an alternative treatment in reducing menopausal symptoms, chemotherapy side-effects, and addiction to nicotine. While earning her M.A. in Psychology, Kathy attended Stephen F. Austin State University where, at the Applied Biopsychology Laboratory, she led a team that focused on empirically studying the efficacy of EEG-biofeedback and its effects on attention and pain. She currently continues to collaborate with this laboratory. Kathy's interests are to ultimately improve the assessments of mTBI and create and improve non-invasive treatments for this condition. Kathy can be contacted at kathy.amador@usuhs.edu


Amanda Devane

Amanda Devane

Amanda Devane, M.A., (Civilian) is a volunteer for Dr. Ettenhofer's laboratory. She graduated magna cum laude with honors with a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010. While there she worked as psychological services intern at a private adult psychiatric rehabilitation facility. In 2012, Amanda graduated from Boston University with a M.A. in psychology. While attending BU she was awarded a full teaching fellowship and interned in Dr. David Barlow's Unified Protocol for the Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders Lab. Amanda currently works as a research assistant in the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. She works with Dr. Carol Fullerton and Dr. Quinn Biggs on the Daily Diary Assessment of Post Traumatic Stress study, which utilizes an iPad app to track participant assessments. Amanda's research interests include the effect of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on combat related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), preventative care for TBI and PTSD, and the use of technology to provide better treatment. Amanda is a member of the Psi Chi National Honors Society, the Golden Key International Honors Society, and Phi Beta Kappa. She can be reached at amanda.devane.ctr@usuhs.edu.


Active Research Support

Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) / TATRC
Fusion: Integrated Eye Tracking and Neural Monitoring for Enhanced Assessment of TBI
Ettenhofer (PI)
Award #W81XWH-13-1-0095
Duration: 3/11/2013 - 2/10/2017
Value: $3,311,602
This study involves development and validation of an integrated eye tracking and neural monitoring system for the assessment of mental workload and cognitive efficacy after traumatic brain injury. Primary research modalities include gaze analysis, EEG, fMRI and DTI.

Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM) - CNS Repair and Recovery
NeuroDRIVE: Assessment and Rehabilitation of TBI with Virtual Reality Driving Simulation
Ettenhofer (PI)
Award #306136-8.01-60855
Duration: 07/01/2013 - 06/30/2015
Value: $606,687
This study is a randomized controlled trial evaluating a novel virtual reality (VR) approach for assessment and rehabilitation of cognition and driving skills after traumatic brain injury. Primary research modalities include VR, cognitive testing, eye tracking, fMRI, and DTI.

2013 Student Research Grant, APA Division 19 (Military Psychology)
Eye-Tracking Assessment of Acute Concussion using the Bethesda Eye & Attention Measure (BEAM): A Pilot Study.
Value: $1,500
Recipient: Katherine Lunsford, M.S.

2013 Dissertation Research Award, American Psychological Association
Evaluating a Novel Eye Tracking Tool to Detect Invalid Responding in Neurocognitive Assessment
Value: $1000
Recipient: David Barry, M.S.

Selected Lab Publications

Ettenhofer, M. L., Reinhardt, L. E., & Barry, D. M. (2013). Predictors of Neurobehavioral Symptoms in a University Population: A Multivariate Approach Using a Postconcussive Symptom Questionnaire. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 19, 1-9.

Foley, J., Gooding, A. L., Thames, A.D., Ettenhofer, M. L., Kim, M. S., Castellon, S. A., Marcotte, T.D., Sadek, J.R., Heaton, R. K., van Gorp, W.G., & Hinkin, C.H. (2013). Visuospatial and attentional abilities predict driving simulator performance among older HIV-infected adults. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias.

Ettenhofer, M. L., Melrose, R. J., Delawalla, Z., Castellon, S. A., & Okonek, A. (2012). Correlates of Functional Status among OEF/OIF Veterans with a History of Traumatic Brain Injury. Military Medicine, 177(11), 1272-1278.

Ettenhofer, M. L. & Barry, D. M. (2012). A Comparison of Long-Term Postconcussive Symptoms between University Students with and without a History of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury or Orthopedic Injury. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 18(3), 451-460.

Matthews, S.C., Strigo, I.A., Simmons, A.N., O'Connell, R.M., Reinhardt, L.E., & Moseley, S.A. (2011). A Multimodal imaging study in U.S. veterans of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom with and without major depression after blast-related concussion. Neuroimage, 54(S1), S69-75.

Selected Lab Presentations

Hershaw, J.N., Guise, B.J., Barry, D., Safford, A., & Ettenhofer, M.L. (2014, August). Cognitive control of proactive interference and its correlates with working memory and inhibition. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.

Williams, K. Guise, B.J., & Ettenhofer, M.L. (2014, June). NeuroDRIVE: A Novel Approach to Cognitive Rehabilitation for TBI in a Virtual Environment. Poster presented at the 19th annual meeting of the International Association of CyberPsychology, Therapy & Rehabilitation (iACToR), Washington, D.C.

Ettenhofer, M.L., Barry, D.M., Reinhardt, L.E., Lunsford, K.E., & Devane, A. (2014, April). Neurocognitive Eye Tracking Outperforms Conventional Measures for Mild TBI Assessment. Poster presented at the 4th Annual Traumatic Brain Injury Conference, Washington, D.C.

Barry, D.M., Anagnostopoulos, V., Williams, K., Littmann, M., Lunsford, K.E., Kegel, J., Devane, A., Hershaw, J.N., & Ettenhofer, M.L. (2014, April). Evaluating a novel eye tracking tool to detect invalid responding in neurocognitive assessment. Poster presented at the 4th Annual Traumatic Brain Injury Conference, Washington, D.C.

Williams, K., Barry, D., Guise, B.J., Littmann, M., & Ettenhofer, M.L. (2014, March). Anxiety Predicts Self-Reported Postconcussive Symptom Levels in Remote TBI. Poster presented at the National Capital Area TBI Research Symposium, Bethesda, MD.

Ettenhofer, M. L., & Barry, D.M. (2013, May). Applications of Eye Tracking in Neurocognitive Assessment. In M. L. Ettenhofer (Chair), Eye Tracking Assessment of Neurocognitive Functions. Symposium conducted at the 25th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C.

Barry, D. M., Lunsford, K. E., & Ettenhofer, M. L. (2013, May). The Bethesda Eye & Attention Measure: A Novel Eye Tracking Task. In M. L. Ettenhofer (Chair), Eye Tracking Assessment of Neurocognitive Functions. Symposium conducted at the 25th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C.

Lunsford, K. E., Barry, D. M., Parker, J. R., Durham, T. L., Reinhardt, L. & Ettenhofer, M. L. (2013, May). The Bethesda Eye & Attention Measure: Construct Validity and Future Directions. In M. L. Ettenhofer (Chair), Eye Tracking Assessment of Neurocognitive Functions. Symposium conducted at the 25th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C.

Barry, D., Zeckler, G., Brewer, S., Girard, D., Mirochnitchenko, Reinhardt, L., & Ettenhofer, M. (2012, August). Correlates of a novel eye-tracking assessment: Cognition, depression, traumatic stress, combat exposure, and fatigue. Poster session presented at the 2012 Military Health System Research Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Ettenhofer, M. L., Cox, D., Palmer, C., Mirochnitchenko, D., Brewer, S., & Landenburger, A. (2012, May). Assessment and Rehabilitation of Driving Abilities after Traumatic Brain Injury using Virtual Reality. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, Bethesda, MD.

Barry, D., Girard, D., Mirochnitchenko, D., Zeckler, G., Reinhardt, L., Brewer, S., Landenburger, A., & Ettenhofer, M. (2012, May). Development of the Bethesda Eye & Attention Measure (BEAM) to evaluate neurocognitive function. Paper presented at the Uniformed Services University Graduate Programs Research Colloquium, Bethesda, MD.

Reinhardt, L.E. & Ettenhofer, M.L. (2012, May). Role of TBI Group Characteristics in Postconcussive Symptoms. Poster presented at Uniformed Services University Research Days, Bethesda, MD.

Barry, D., Girard, D., Mirochnitchenko, D., Zeckler, G., Reinhardt, R., & Ettenhofer, M. L. (2011, December). Eye Tracking Assessment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Pilot Study of the Bethesda Eye and Attention Measure (BEAM). Poster presented at the 4th Annual Trauma Spectrum Conference, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.

Reinhardt, L.E., & Ettenhofer, M.L. (2011, June). Relationship between severity of most recent traumatic brain injury and postconcussive symptoms moderated by number of previous brain injuries. Poster presented at the 164th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Barry, D. M., Mirochnitchenko, D. O., Reinhardt, L. E., Breckenridge, I. A., & Ettenhofer, M. L. (2011, May). Factor structure of long-term postconcussive symptoms in a university population. Poster session presented at Uniformed Services University Research Week, Bethesda, MD.

Barry, D. M., Girard, D. M., Mirochnitchenko, D. O., & Ettenhofer, M. L. (2011, May). The RETiNA project: Eye tracking assessment of neurocognitive status after mild traumatic brain injury. Poster presented at Uniformed Services University Research Week, Bethesda, MD.