Welcome to the Comparative Cognition Lab
The lab is focused on developing new animal models of cognition. One benefit of studying cognition in animals is that it may provide insight into impairments in cognition observed in people. Cognitive impairments in people are debilitating, and developing insight into the origins of such impairments offers a tool to improve the effectiveness of treatments. Significant obstacles nonetheless impede the development of animal models of disordered cognition with both construct and predictive validity. Although there is a long history of studying learning and memory in animals, these types of cognitive processes may not match those observed clinically (e.g., Alzheimer's disease features severe impairments in episodic memory). Thus, it is possible that drug-development programs may identify agents effective at the pre-clinical level that subsequently fail when translated to a clinical trial in people. Ultimately, the expansion of the suite of cognitive processes that may be modeled in animals may translate to improved therapies for debilitating memory impairments observed in humans. The long-range goal is to understand how animals process and remember events in time and provide a neuroanatomically guided theoretical framework for understanding memory disorders.