VISN 6 > Research > Neurocognition
Neurocognition Research LabThe Neurocognition Lab examines the integrity of brain function in post-deployed Veterans using a 6-hour battery of paper-and-pencil and computerized tests of memory, attention, language, visual perception, motor speed and coordination, and other aspects of cognitive functioning. The Lab also examines measures of psychological distress and personality. The principal post-deployment concerns of Veterans studied include TBI, PTSD, major depression, and suicidal ideation. We are interested in how TBI due to blast exposure may differ from purely blunt-force injuries, how mild TBI differs from more severe forms, and how deployment TBI differs from non-deployment TBI. Questions of interest for PTSD include characteristic changes in cognition and personality detectable with our neuropsychological tests, measures that discriminate PTSD from TBI, and the unique effects of comorbidity (i.e., both conditions). We are examining how certain neurocognitive processes may influence the severity and course of suicidal ideation both with and without the presence of major depression. Additionally, the lab focuses on improving the use and understanding of existing cognitive and psychological tests, while also developing and validating new methods of neuropsychological assessment using telehealth and computer-assisted administration and analysis methods, particularly beneficial for rural Veterans. This work preceded the COVID-19 pandemic, but has acquired even greater importance in light of infection-control demands.
Robert D. Shura, Psy.D., ABPP-CN