Rosalyn Moran, PhD
Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Assistant Professor, Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, Virginia Tech
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Research Program Summary
The research in our laboratory focuses on parallel aims in neuroscience: to develop new neuroimaging methodologies and to investigate the neurobiology of aging.
Within the context of dynamic causal modeling—a statistical inference framework for interrogating non-invasive (functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, and magnetoencephalography) and invasive (local field potential) neuroimages—we are developing a mathematical microscope to probe fine-grained synaptic physiological details from these macroscopic recording modalities. In the development of this technology, we rely on pharmacological, in silico, and small-animal validations and have successful initial results in humans. The approach holds promise for better understanding the active neurochemistry of brain networks that support cognition and behavior in both healthy and pathological conditions.
We are applying these techniques in combination with theoretical neurobiological constructs to investigate connectivity and synaptic physiological phenotypes of age. Specifically we are investigating whether cortical networks accrue properties such as redundancy, hyperactivation, or hypoactivation over the adult lifespan and whether particular neurotransmitters underpin such systematic changes. By investigating the neural activity supporting memory, executive function, and sensory-motor learning, we are targeting our investigations to circuits that develop pathological attributes in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Our research goals are to identify potential fault lines in individual brains that may engender susceptibility to neurodegenerative disease and to produce translational imaging-based methodologies for better therapeutic interventions.
Education and Training
- University College Dublin: BS, Elecronic Engineering
- University College Dublin: PhD, Electronic Engineering
- University College London: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Neuroimaging
- Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, United Kingdom
Senior Research Associate
Awards and Honors
- Honorary Fellow, Translational Neuromodelling Unit, Zurich University and Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland
- Patent Holder, Automated Voice Analysis System for Pathology Detection, US Patent Office
- Campus Company Development Award, Program Winner, NOVA Technology Transfer Centre, University College Dublin
- GIlbert J, Symmonds M, Hanna MG, Dolan RJ, Friston KJ, Moran RJ. (2015). Profiling neuronal ion channelopathies with non-invasive brain imaging and dynamic causal models: Case studies of single gene mutations. Neuroimage 124, 43-53.
- Legon W, Punzell S, Dowlatti E, Adams S, Stiles A, Moran RJ. (2015). Altered prefrontal excitation/inhibition balance and prefrontal output: markers of aging in human memory networks. Cerebral Cortex.
- Bastos A, Litvak V, Moran R, Bosman C, Fries P, Friston KJ. (2015). A DCM study of spectral asymmetries in feedforward and feedback connections between visual areas V1 and V4 in the monkey. NeuroImage, 460-475.
- Fitzgerald T, Moran R, Friston K, Dolan R. (2015). Precision and neuronal dynamics in the human posterior parietal cortex during evidence accumulation. Neuroimage 107, 219-228.
- Moran RJ, Symmonds M, Dolan RJ, Friston KJ. (2014). The brain ages optimally to model its environment: evidence from sensory learning over the adult lifespan. PLoS Computational Biology 10(1), e1003422.
- Kahan J, Urner M, Moran R, Fladin G, Marrieros, Laura Mancini, Mark White, John Thornton, Tarek Yousry, Ludvic Zrinzo, Marwan Hariz, Patricia Limousin, Karl Fiston, Tom Foltynie. (2014). Resting state fMRI in Parkinson's disease: impact of deep brain stimulation on effective connectivity. Brain, doi: 10.1093/brain/awu027.
- Friston K, Moran R, Seth AK. (2013). Analyzing connectivity with Granger causality and dynamic causal modelling. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 23, 1-7.
- Marreiros AC, Cagnan H, Moran RJ, Friston KJ, Brown P. (2013). Basal ganglia-cortical interactions in Parkinsonian patients. Neuroimage 66, 301-10.
- Symmonds M, Moran RJ, Wright, ND, Bossaerts P, Barnes G, Dolan RJ. (2013). The chronometry of risk processing in the human cortex. Frontiers in Neuroscience 7, 146.
- Moran RJ, Campo P, Symmonds M, Stephan KE, Dolan RJ, Friston K. (2013). Free energy, precision and learning: The role of cholinergic neuromodulation. Journal of Neuroscience 33(19), 8227-8236.