In the summer of 2011, Professor Ed Roth convened weekly meetings with a group of colleagues to explore the feasibility of founding an interdisciplinary team of researchers. Their primary research interests revolved around the neuroscientific underpinnings of various neurologic disorders and the pursuance of research that would translate basic science into clinical outcomes research. The aspiration was to unite a group of scholars on the campus of WMU whose individual backgrounds would complement each other in a way that would create a team and lineage of inquiry that was unique to this university, and contribute to a level of scholarship that would exceed the work of any of its individuals. The lab is located in WMU's College of Health and Human Services building.
BRAIN was founded to ask the following questions: How are sensory stimuli processed via the structure and function of the central nervous system? How does the perception and production of auditory stimuli, including music, influence human functioning such as arousal, attention, memory, mood state, and movement?
Broadly stated, the primary mission of the BRAIN lab is to explore and translate the neural mechanisms underlying human functioning in cognition, emotion, and motor behavior as they relate to clinical populations. Understanding how the human brain generates our abilities to think, speak, feel, and move and how these functions are modified by the perception and production of auditory stimuli comprises the main focus of our work. Our ultimate objective is to utilize that knowledge to create more effective clinical strategies for people diagnosed with various neurological disorders. We employ psychophysiological, neuro-imaging (fMRI), and behavioral research methodologies. Outcomes research will be relevant to therapists across multiple disciplines as well as to educators, parents, patients and patient advocates.