CNUP Training Faculty

Timothy Verstynen, Ph.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Psychology

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (2006)

Office: 340U Baker Hall

Neural basis of action planning, decision-making and skill learning.

Research Summary:

Broadly, my research program examines how the connective architecture of sensorimotor circuits (e.g., how neural circuits are wired together and the integrity of these connections) constrains cognitive function. As such I set out to capture general principles that explain: 1) how the configuration of corticostriatal circuits provide clues as to their functional dynamics and behavioral decisions; 2) how differences in the organization of sensorimotor pathways predict differences in decision-making and learning; and 3) how context (e.g., physical health, environmental factors and individual experiences) impact the physical architecture of corticostriatal circuits and how this, in turn, impacts cognition.

Selected Publications:

Verstynen, T.D. The organization and dynamics of corticostriatal pathways link the medial orbitofrontal cortex to future behavioral responses. J Neurophysiology 112 (10): 2457-2469, 2014.

Verstynen, T., Phillips, J., Braun, E., Workman, B., Schunn, C., Schneider, W. Dynamic sensorimotor planning during long-term sequence learning: the role of variability, response chunking and planning errors. PLoS One 7(10):e47336, 2012.

Jarbo, K., and Verstynen, T. Converging structural and functional connectivity of orbitofrontal, dorsolateral prefrontal, and posterior parietal cortex in the human striatum. J. Neuroscience. 35(9):3865-78, 2015.

Verstynen, T., Badre, D., Jarbo, K., and Schneider, W. Microstructural organizational patterns in the human corticostriatal system. J Neurophys. 107(11):2984-95, 2012.

Gianaros, P., Marsland, A., Sheu, L., Erickson, K., Verstynen, T. Inflammatory pathways link socioeconomic inequalities to white matter architecture. Cerebral Cortex 23(9):2058-71, 2013.