The following research themes continue to be pursued in my lab and with various collaborators: the specification of frontal lobe brain-behaviour relations; the role of different frontal regions in neuroanatomical functional systems; and the rehabilitation of these functions.
The focus of this year's and future research plans can be divided into several categories. A.) We have completed the testing of the model of anterior attentional processes we proposed in our 1995 paper (Stuss, Shallice, Alexander, & Picton, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 769, 191-212). There has been a total of 9 papers published. We are now evaluating using fMRI the neural networks associated with these attentional functions (3 papers have been published, 1 paper is in press, and 1 abstract has been presented). B.) The approach we used with the frontal lobe patients is being extended to the study of individuals with focal cerebellar lesions, in an attempt to understand the potenital specificity of cerebellar functions, as well as to analyze the functional interconnectivity of these regions (3 papers have been published and 3 abstracts have been presented). We are also participating in a study investigating the effect of white matter damage (location and extent) on the anterior attentional functions. C.) Within the category of social cognition, we continue to study whether different frontal brain regions are related to control of emotion, and different aspects of theory of mind. D.) One major emphasis is on understanding the role of different frontal brain regions across different ages. This study forms the basis for later research on interventions. 180 participants ranging in age from 20 to 80 have been tested, and data are being analyzed. E.) A major focus is on the development of cognitive intervention techniques. We are studying different interventions in individuals with white matter vascular damage, and focal frontal strokes. This last research category demonstrates the approach of understanding brain function in detail, and applying this knowledge for successful interventions. Research has been funded by the CIHR, the McDonnell Foundation, the Centre for Stroke Recovery, and the Louis and Leah Posluns Centre for Stroke and Cognition at Baycrest.