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Chandan Vaidya, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

B.A. -- Bombay University, 1984, Psychology
M.S. -- Syracuse University, 1989, Developmental Psychology
Ph.D -- Syracuse University, 1992, Developmental Psychology

Dr. Vaidya received her post-doctoral training in Cognitive Neuroscience from Stanford University. She is currently the director of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Georgetown. Her research aims at characterizing the neurobiological basis of cognitive control. She links behavior to brain by using paradigms from experimental psychology to isolate cognitive processes in healthy individuals. She then applies these paradigms to patients with disorders of cognitive processes due to lesions, degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, or developmental disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is then used to image these cognitive processes in the brain. These sources of evidence constrain each other in important ways and offer a convergent view of the neurobiological basis of cognition that is informative not only to the basic cognitive scientist but also to the clinical practitioner, whether it be for diagnosis or intervention. For instance, using pharmacological fMRI, she found that improvements in attention and methylphenidate were related to distinct brain responses in children diagnosed with ADHD relative to healthy children. These findings suggest dopaminergic dysfunction in ADHD, and may be useful in the development of biologically valid diagnostic criteria for that disorder.

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