Research Detail

 

SEAN M. TOBYNE

Date of Information: 10/10

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2009 – Present            Graduate Research Assistant, Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory, Boston University, Boston, MA

·        Process and analyze fMRI data for research investigating brain activation and hippocampal-orbitofrontal-basal ganglia functional connectivity during disambiguation of well-learned spatial sequences

·        Activities include preprocessing, executing 1st level, 2nd level and beta-series correlation analyses, creating ROIs and regional masks, creating image contrasts and analyzing results, extracting beta and correlation values, identifying active brain regions and generating images for publication/presentation

·        Edit MATLAB scripts and models for use in functional connectivity analysis

·        Research currently accepted for poster presentation at Society for Neuroscience 40th Annual Meeting

·        Publication in preparation, estimated submission late Fall, 2010

·        Research activities now expanding into systems involved in learning of overlapping sequences versus disambiguation of well-learned sequences

2006 - Present             Project Manager/Research Associate I, II, III, Praxis, Inc., Waltham, MA

·        Responsible for ground up development of translational research project to investigate, design, develop and field test computerized neuropsychological testing battery of attention and memory for use with traditionally difficult to test populations e.g. non/preverbal children and demented adults

·        Collaborate with faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School – Shriver Center on instructional procedures and assessment design

·        Devise and implement research protocol for experimental sessions

·        Recruit participants with neurodevelopmental disorders, conduct experimental sessions and analyze data

·        Recruit appropriate participants

·        Develop all programming specifications, create program stimuli for use in-session, calibrate and maintain all experimental equipment

·        Research presented at 35th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis and 39th Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research & Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

2009 – 2010                Graduate Research Assistant, Vision and Cognition Laboratory, Boston University, Boston, MA

·        Administered custom battery of neuropsychological assessments to clinical and control subjects for research investigating visuospatial and cognitive functioning in Parkinson’s disease

·        Coded, scored and entered data into database

2006                Research Assistant – Psychological Sciences, UMass Medical School – Shriver Center, Waltham, MA

·        Provided research support for multiple projects investigating stimulus control, discrimination learning, attention and symbolic relations using eye tracking and computer-based instruction with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders

·        Conducted experimental sessions and coded, analyzed and archived data as required

·        Assisted with use of eye tracking hardware

2005                           Independent Research Project, Saint Michael’s College, Colchester, VT

·        Engaged in independent research of neural modeling of associative learning and retinal edge enhancement through inhibition under the guidance of Saint Michael’s College psychology faculty

·        Constructed models of associative learning using PASCAL software language

·        Studied theoretical and physiological basis for model and prepared report for faculty members

·        Research presented at Psychology Senior Symposium

2004                           Research Assistant, Saint Michael’s College, Colchester, VT

·        Coded and entered qualitative survey data for faculty research correlating personality factors and intellectual ability with positive relationships existing during early development

2003                           Independent Research Project, Saint Michael’s College, Colchester, VT

·        Developed and implemented undergraduate research project correlating type and frequency of drug usage at Saint Michael’s College with personality factors, intellectual ability and coping strategies

·        Designed research protocols and created survey materials under guidance of Research Methods professor

·        Coded, entered and analyzed data using SPSS

·        Findings informally presented to Research Methods class and member of Saint Michael’s College faculty

 

Publications and Presentations

Brown, T.I., Ross, R.S., Tobyne, S.M. and Stern, C.E. (2010, November). The functional connectivity of the hippocampus and caudate during successful disambiguation of well-learned spatial sequences. Society for Neuroscience 40th Annual Meeting (Poster Presentation)

 

Tobyne, S., Mahon, K.L., Warecki, E.A., Lockerbie, A.A., and Pasterchik, D.C. (2009, May).  Picture Reader: Using Video Modeling, Picture Cues, and Matrix Training for Novel Task Instruction.  35th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis, Phoenix, AZ. (Poster Presentation)

 

Tobyne, S.M., Mahon, K.L., Warecki, E.A., Lockerbie, A.A., Hurlbut, D., and Pasterchik, D.C. (2009, March).  Picture Reader: Combining video modeling and picture cues for novel task instruction [Abstract].  Proceedings of the 39th annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research & Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 87.

 

Tobyne, S.M., Mahon, K.L., Warecki, E.A., Lockerbie, A.A., Hurlbut, D., and Pasterchik, D.C. (2009, March).  Picture Reader: Combining video modeling and picture cues for novel task instruction.  39th Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research & Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, New Orleans, LA. (Poster Presentation)

 

Tobyne, S.M. and Boynton, D.M. (2005, April). Computer modeling of human neural activity:Associative learning processes and retinal inhibition during edge enhancement. Saint Michael’s College Psychology Senior Symposium, Colchester, VT. (Oral and Poster Presentation)

 

Research Interests

Prefrontal – hippocampal interactions during learning/memory function

Changes in functional and effective brain connectivity due to neurodevelomental disorder, neurodegenerative disease, or insult

Neuroimaging techniques for preclinical diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease; multi-voxel pattern analysis

Semantic memory and Alzheimer’s disease; translational and therapeutic research

Structural and functional differences in medial temporal lobe areas in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Multivariate statistical analysis in neuroimaging

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