Travis Research Institute

Warren Brown with Students
Warren Brown with Students

Human Brain & Cognition Lab

Warren Brown, Ph.D

Office

Psychology Building 325
Fuller Theological Seminary
180 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101-1714

Email

wsbrown@fuller.edu

Phone

626.584.5525

 

External Collaborative Organizations

California Institute of Technology
International Research Consortium on the Corpus Callosum and Cerebral Connectivity (IRC5)
The Brain Recovery Project

Mission

The Human Brain and Cognition Laboratory (HBCL) studies the cognitive and psychosocial impact of congenital and acquired disruption of connectivity and cerebral interactivity in disorders such as agenesis of the corpus callosum and hemispherectomy. The cognitive and social abilities that are studied in persons with these disorders include: general intelligence, basic academic skill, memory, language, executive functioning, visual-spatial processing, problem-solving, mental processing speed, personality, emotion, social inference, social problem-solving, creativity, and adaptive skills.  Through comprehensive assessment of mental and social skills, our research is providing patients, families, and physicians with critical information about the consequences of hemispheric disconnection and hemispherectomy, which can inform efforts toward remediation and intervention.

PROJECT

COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOSOCIAL DEFICITS IN AGENESIS OF THE CORPUS CALLOSUM 

Agenesis of the corpus callosum (AgCC) involves congenital absence of all or part of the corpus callosum – the large connective pathway between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Because the disorder can only be firmly diagnosed by neuroimaging, it has a short research history. Over the past 20+ years the members of Dr. Brown’s lab have played a major role in understanding the consequences of this disorder for cognitive and social functioning.

As a result of this large ongoing research project it has been found that the basic syndrome involves (1) Reduced interhemispheric transfer of sensory-motor information; (2) Reduced cognitive processing speed; and (3) Deficits in complex reasoning and novel problem-solving. These core deficits are expressed as mild to moderate deficiencies across many domains of cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning.

brain scans

Recent Publications

Young C. M., Folsom, R. C., Paul, L.K., Su, Judy, Mangum, R. and Brown, W.S. (in press) “Social Cognition in Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum: Computational Linguistic Analysis of the Awareness of Consequences Scale”, Neuropsychology.

Brown, W.S. and Paul, L.K. (in press) “The Neuropsychological Syndrome of Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum” Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Anderson, L.B., Paul, L.K., and Brown, W.B. (2017) “Emotional Intelligence in Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum” Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acx001

Paul, L. K., Erikson, R., Hartman, J., and Brown, Warren S. (2016) “Memory functioning in individuals with agenesis of the corpus callosum” Neuropsychologia. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.04.013

Rehmel, J.L., Brown, W.S. and Paul, L.K. (2016) “Proverb Comprehension in Individuals with Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum” Brain and Language. 160, 21-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2016.07.001

PROJECT

ADULT COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOSOCIAL outcomes FROM CHILDHOOD HEMISPHERECTOMY

Hemispherectomy involves surgical removal of an entire cerebral hemisphere. This procedure is typically done in children as a last-resort treatment for intractable seizures. Despite the fact that this surgical procedure has been used as a treatment for epilepsy in children since the 1980s, there is very little published research on the long-term impact of this treatment on the neuropsychological functioning of these children when they reach adulthood.

Since 2015 the HBCL has been studying neuropsychological and psychosocial functioning in adults who had childhood hemispherectomy. While these studies are still underway, it is clear that what is being discovered will help inform patients, families, and physicians about the outcome of the treatment. There are also important general scientific questions about brain function and intelligence to be investigated by comparing the outcomes of AgCC and hemispherectomy.

brain scan

Recent Presentations

Cory Harrison, Paul Figueroa, Amanda Panos, Lynn K. Paul, & Warren S. Brown, “Adult Behavior and Executive Functioning Following Childhood Hemispherectomy: Self- Report.” Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Washington D.C., Feb. 2018.

Amanda Panos, Paul Figueroa, Justin Miller, Lynn K. Paul, & Warren S. Brown, “Adult Adaptive Functioning Following Childhood Hemispherectomy.” Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Washington D.C., Feb. 2018.

Paul A. Figueroa, Amanda Panos, Karissa A. Burnett, Lynn K. Paul, & Warren S. Brown, “Self-Perception of Social Norms and Empathy in Adults After Childhood Right Hemispherectomy.” Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Washington D.C., Feb. 2018.

Kristina M. Moncrieffe, Lynn K. Paul & Warren S. Brown, “Verbal and Performance IQ in Left and Right Hemispherectomy Patients.” Meeting of the American Psychological Society, San Francisco, June 2018.

Krista J. Cowan, Cory E. Kowalski, Kristina Moncrieffe, Amanda Panos, Lynn Paul, & Warren S. Brown, “Emotional Functioning Following Childhood Hemispherectomy.” Meeting of the American Psychological Society, Washington D.C., May 2019.

Mitchell Spezzaferri, Cory E. Kowalski, Kristina Moncrieffe, Amanda Panos, Lynn Paul, & Warren S. Brown, “Social Cognition in Individuals with Hemispherectomy.” Meeting of the American Psychological Society, Washington D.C., May 2019.

People

Warren Brown's Lab

Faculty and Principal investigator

Warren Brown

Warren S. Brown

Professor of Psychology and Director of Travis Research Institute

BA, POINT LOMA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY
MA, PHD, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
POSTDOCTORAL SCHOLAR, UCLA BRAIN RESEARCH INSTITUTE

EXTERNAL COLLABORATOR

Lynn Paul

Lynn K. Paul, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist and Director, Caltech Psychological Assessment for Research Lab

Students

Cory

Cory Kowalski, M.A.  Cory is pursuing the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She is involved in research aimed at better understanding executive functioning deficits following childhood hemispherectomy

katie

Katie Mukai. Katie is pursuing the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, in the Neuropsychology track. Her current research is focused on exploring executive function outcomes in adults who have undergone childhood hemispherectomy to treat intractable seizures.

krista Cowan

Krista Cowan, M.A.  Kristina is pursuing the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, in the Neuropsychology track.  Her current research focuses on Emotional Intelligence in adults who underwent hemispherectomy surgery to remove the right or left brain hemisphere as a result of intractable seizures.

Kristina Moncrief

Kristina Moncrieffe, M.A.  Kristina is pursuing the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology.  Her current research interests involve analyzing patterns of intellectual and academic deficits and strengths in adult individuals with hemispherectomies.

Ashley

Ashley Vaillancourt, M.A.  Ashley is a Ph.D. Candidate in Clinical Psychology.  Ashley has been actively researching the psychosocial outcomes of agenesis of the corpus callosum and utilizes these findings as a moderator at the biennial National Organization of Disorders of the Corpus Callosum conference.

Doori

Doori Jeong, M.A.  Doori is a Ph.D. Candidate in Clinical Psychology.  

Mitchell

Mitchell Spezzaferri, M.A.  Mitchell is pursuing the PhD in Clinical Psychology in the Neuropsychology track. He is interested in research involving the social-cognitive/emotional functioning of individuals who underwent hemispherectomy. He's also investigating the neurobiology of how we make moral decisions.

Judy Su

Judy Su, M.A.  

Paul Figuroa

Paul Figueroa, M.A.

Travis Research Institute logo
Contact Us
Staff

Jim Cummings, MDiv, MA
Research Administrator
jamescummings2@fuller.edu

Office Hours

Monday–Friday
8 am–5 pm

Address

Room 326
180 N. Oakland Ave

Pasadena, CA 91182