Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory

Team

Itzhak Fried, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Fried is Professor of Neurosurgery and Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA.  He is Director of the Adult Epilepsy Surgery Program there, and is also Co-Director of the Seizure Disorder Center.  Concurrently, he is a Professor of Neurosurgery at Tel-Aviv University in Israel.  After obtaining a degree in physics at Tel-Aviv University, Dr. Fried completed his Ph.D. at UCLA, and went on to a medical degree at Stanford and neurosurgery training, specializing in epilepsy surgery, at Yale University.  He heads the Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory, which is centered on the opportunities to study the human brain afforded by the epilepsy surgery program at UCLA.  A small number of these patients have depth electrodes inserted in order to evaluate their seizures for subsequent surgery.  It is this opportunity that is used

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Emily Mankin, Ph.D

Emily Mankin, PhD, is a project scientist whose interests lie in understanding the neural mechanisms of memory formation and consolidation, as well as developing methods for enhancing these processes. Specifically, she uses both non-invasive (auditory cues) and invasive (deep brain stimulation) methods to encourage encoding, consolidation, and retrieval during memory tasks and sleep. She is interested in both the basic science implications of these manipulations (what do they tell us about how the brain “does” memory?) and their potential for therapeutic use for the growing number of people who are impacted by memory disorders. Before joining the Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab as a postdoc, she worked as a teacher and a mathematician, and completed her PhD in Computational Neuroscience at UCSD under the mentorship of Drs. Stefan and Jill Leutgeb. Her

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John Sakon, Ph.D

John Sakon is a project scientist that oversees lab recruitment, research projects, and contributes to scientific goals. He has a BS in physics from William & Mary, a PhD in physics from NC State, and did postdoctoral training with Wendy Suzuki and Roozbeh Kiani at NYU and Michael Kahana at UPenn. John’s research interests include understanding the neurophysiological basis of memory and translating these findings to ameliorate memory dysfunction in humans. When not studying memory he plays ultimate and drinks fancy tea. He does one of those while studying memory too. To learn more about John’s research click below to visit his personal UCLA site.

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Soraya Dunn, Ph.D

Soraya Dunn, PhD. is a Postdoctoral Scholar who is interested in the neural mechanisms of memory, particularly memory consolidation during sleep. She completed her graduate training at University College London co-supervised by Prof. Jenny Bizley (UCL Ear Institute) & Prof. Daniel Bendor (UCL Institute Behavioural Neuroscience) where she investigated the hippocampus – a region critical for memory- through novel cross-species comparisons. Her current projects include decoding brain-wide activity patterns during sleep to develop a deep brain stimulation paradigm for the enhancement of specific memories. Outside of the lab she likes to go hiking, but really slowly so she can look at all the birds and mushrooms and trees, and anything else that catches her eye.

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Andreina Hampton

Andreina is a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator at CNL. She has a background in cognitive neuroscience and research administration. Andreina is primarily involved in lab administration, including grant and IRB management. She is also experienced in performing electrophysiological recordings and neurostimulation. Andreina’s research interests include the neural correlates of self and neuronal mechanisms underlying the self-reference effect. She aims to further advance her career in research administration. Her hobbies include spending quality time with her cats, modifying cars, exploring the LA food scene with her partner, and personal finance.  

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Anthony Rangel, M.S

As a Staff Research Associate II and Lab Manager, Anthony blends his expertise in neuroimaging and human data acquisition with a solid foundation in Neuroscience (BS) and Neuroimaging and Informatics (MS). Passionate about neurosurgery, neuromodulation, and the mysteries of memory and sleep, he is pursuing a path to becoming a physician-scientist neurosurgeon. Outside the lab, Anthony is a 3D-printing enthusiast, aviation aficionado, and a keen follower of leading-edge tech. Balancing the cerebral and the creative, he’s excited to contribute to our lab’s pioneering work.

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Chris Dao, BS

Chris is a Laboratory Assistant for Dr. Fried’s team. He analyzes data from memory experiments to investigate the electrophysiological effects of stimulation. Chris graduated from UCLA and holds a B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and a minor in Bioinformatics. He is interested in pursuing a medical career and specialize in Neurology. Outside of his studies, he enjoys fantasy football, reading, chess, and hiking.

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Chris Chan

Chris is a Clinical Specialist in Dr. Fried’s group. He facilitates functional neurosurgical cases at Ronald Reagan Medical Center and fabricates research microelectrodes. Chris holds a triple major in neuroscience & cognitive science, biochemistry, and molecular & cellular biology from the University of Arizona. His senior thesis on transcranial ultrasound and its effect on Alzheimer’s is what drew him to the field of brain stimulation and memory. Chris previously researched the cardiac autonomic system in the porcine model at the David Geffen School of Medicine, where he has also collaborated with Amgen in a pharmacological study for anti-arrhythmia drugs. He hopes to create a lasting impact in electrode design in Dr. Fried’s group. In his free time, he cooks and plays MMOs.

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Aditya Datta

Adi is a Staff Research Associate II/Lab Manager in Dr. Fried’s team. He is responsible for conducting patient testing alongside the other Lab Managers, and handles day to day administrative tasks for the team. Adi recently graduated from UC San Diego and holds a B.S in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience and a minor in General Biology. He is very interested in connecting functional and structural aspects of the brain to higher order cognitive processes. Adi aims to pursue a PhD in either Psychology or Neuroscience, and apply it to research and development. Outside of his studies, he enjoys gaming, baking, reading, and watching hockey.

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James Bruska

James Bruska is a Lead Software Engineer contracting with the Fried Lab through his company Bruska Technologies LLC (bruska.tech). After having worked in computer security and chemical technologies, he fell in love with psychology/neuroscience (especially positive psychology and memory). He first worked in Dr. Michael J Kahana’s lab for two years and then branched out on his own by starting his own company. Now he provides support for multiple psychology labs, chief among them being Dr. Itzhak Fried’s lab. He currently is focused on developing the closed-loop stimulation system for the Fried lab. However, he also leads or helps with developing 2D and 3D experiment code, implementing lab infrastructure, optimizing analysis code, training other lab members to write efficient/readable code, and even helps with hiring new programmers for the lab.

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Brandon Katerman

Brandon is a cognitive neuroscience PhD student in the psychology department. His research interests lie in the impact of emotion and goal-states on memory formation and retrieval in naturalistic settings. He aims to explore how diverse internal states influence human perception and segmentation of continuous experiences. Brandon is currently exploring how emotion can create contextual boundaries during passive movie watching using intracranial EEG and behavioral methods. Outside of the lab, he enjoys the great outdoors, painting, and hanging with his cats.

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Aatmi Mehta

Aatmi is an Undergraduate second year Public Health B.S. major. At UCLA, She is involved in public health clubs and a dance team on campus and enjoys hammocking in the sun on Janss steps! She works in the CNL lab to annotate the visual stimulus, annotate audio recordings of free recall, helps train other new undergraduates, and assists with other data annotation.

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Arya Bhalla

Arya is a third year undergraduate from Orange County studying Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. In the CNL Lab, he is currently translating and annotating free recall data from epileptic patients and designing a memory recall task as part of the project to predict episodic memory. Outside of the lab, Arya enjoys building cool tech projects for nonprofits with his friends, studying Indic philosophy and history, and watching basketball.

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