Rhodri Cusack

Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Health Dr. Rhodri Cusack


Scientist, Division of Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Health, Children's Health Research Institute
Principle Investigator, Brain and Mind Institute, Western University
Associate Professor, Departments of Psychology and Medical Biophysics, Western University
Member, Biomedical Imaging Research Centre
Co-Investigator, Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience, Cambridge, UK
Visiting Scientist, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK

How does my research help children?

There are a number of ways that an infant can sustain brain injury before, during or soon after birth.  This can have life-long consequences for the individual, their family, and society as a whole.  It is best if the effect of brain injury is detected early, so that appropriate care can be provided in the critical time period when it is most effective.  To improve early assessment, my laboratory is developing ways to use neuroimaging to evaluate brain function in newborns.  The aim is to reduce or eliminate the harmful effects of perinatal brain injury.


Research Focus

My laboratory measures the brain using neuroimaging, with the aim of understanding healthy and abnormal function.  A substantial focus is the assessment of the newborn brain function using the technologies of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Electroencephalography (EEG) and Ultrasound.  While there has been much research on the evaulation of the brain in adults using the tools of "cognitive neuroscience," these methods have not yet been adapted to provide valuable clinical tools to assess neonatal brain function.  There are two facets to our work: adapting neuroimaging methods to neonates and young infants; and developing targeted probes of critical brain functions that are effective at this age.

More information is available on www.cusacklab.org.  On twitter, you may follow Rhodri Cusack (@rhodricusack) or the laboratory (#cusacklab).

Awards & Grants


Funding in support of "Using neuroimaging to assess cognitive function after serious brain injury" - Awarded by Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)

Funding in support of "Real-time graph dynamics from fMRI, MEG and electrophysiological measurements" - Awarded by IBM/SOSCIP

Funding in support of "The Canadian-Kenyan Research Partnership to provide internationally affordable neuroimaging technology for neonatal assessment and data sharing" - Awarded by Western International Research Fund

Funding in support of "Assessing neonatal brain function with fMRI" - Awarded by NSERC/CIHR CHRP (with 9 co-investigators)

Funding in support of "New neuroimaging methods for the study of short-term memory" - Awarded by NSERC Discovery

Funding in support of "Representation of sounds in the brain during listening, memory & imagery" - Awarded by Ontario Ministry for Resaerch and Innovation (Annika Linke - supervisor Rhodri Cusack)

Funding in support of "Probing Visual Short-Term Memory respresentations" - Awarded by Wellcome Trust

Funding in support of "Systems Cognitive Neuroscience in Healthy Ageing: Population-representative studies of Functional Plasticity and Neural Change" - Awarded by BBSRC

Funding in support of "Multimodal imaging of parietal brain networks in adults and children with developmental dyscalculia" - Awarded by MRC (UK)

Funding in support of "Selective attention, short term memory and the parietal lobe" - Awarded by MRC (intramural funding)

Funding in support of "Automatic Analysis for Neuroimaging" - Awarded by MRC Technology

Recent Publications


The brain's silent messenger - using selective attention to decode human thought for brain-based communication
Naci L, Cusack R, Jia V, Owen AM
Journal of Neuroscience. 2013; 33:9385-9393

Assessing residual reasoning ability in overtly non-communicative patients using fMRI
Hampshire A, Parkin B, Cusack R, Espejo DF, Allanson J, Kamau E, Pickard JD, Owen AM
NeuroImage: Clinical. 2013; 2:174-183

Multi-voxel Patterns Reveal Functionally Differentiated Networks Underlying Auditory Feedback Control of Speech
Zheng Z, Grabovetsky AV, MacDonald E, Munall K, Cusack R, Johnsrude IS
Journal of Neuroscience. 2013; 33:4339-4348

Are the senses enough for sense? Early high-level feedback shapes our comprehension of multisensory objects
Naci L, Taylor KL, Cusack R, Tyler LK
Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 6. 2012

Adjusting for global effects in voxel-based morphometry: Gray matter decline in normal aging
Peelle JE, Cusack R, Henson RNA
Neuroimage. 2012; 60:1503-16

Seeing different objects in different ways: Measuring ventral visual tuning to sensory and semantic features with dynamically adaptive imaging
Cusack R, Veldsman R, Naci L, Mitchell DJ, Linke A
Human Brain Mapping. 2012; 33:387-97

Points in mental space: an interdisciplinary study of imagery and tasks in movement innovation
May J, Calvo-Merino B, Delahunta S, McGregor W, Cusack R, Owen AM, Veldsman M, Ramponi C, Barnard P
Dance Research Electronic. 2011; 29:404-32

Stimulus-specific suppression preserves information in auditory short-term memory
Linke AC, Vicente-Grabovetsky A, Cusack R
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sicences. 2011; 108(31)

Vascular contributions to multivariate pattern analysis at 3T
Thompson R, Correia MD, Cusack R
Neuroimage. 2011; 56:643-50

An objective measurement of the build-up of auditory streaming and of its modulation by attention
Thompson SK, Carlyon RP, Cusack R
J Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 2011; 37:1253-62

Encoding strategy accounts for individual differences in change detection measures of VSTM
Linke AC, Vicente-Grabovetsky A, Mitchell DJ, Cusack R
Neuropsychologia (invited special issue on VSTM & attention). 2011; 49:1476-86

Bilateral and contralateral electromagnetic markers sensitive to the capacity limits of visual short-term memory
Mitchell DJ, Cusack R
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 2011

Fluid intelligence loss linked to restricted regions of brain damage
Woolgar A, Parr A, Cusack R, Thompson R, Nimmo-Smith I, Torralva T, Roca M, Antoun N, Manes F, Duncan J
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2010; 107:14899-14902

Following your heart: How interoception shapes emotion experience and intuition
Dunn BD, Galton HC, Morgan R, Evans D, Oliver C, Meyer M, Cusack R, Lawrence AD, Dalgleish T
Psychological Science. 2010; 21:1835-1844

Discrete Object Representation, Attention Switching, and Task Difficulty in the Parietal Lobe
Cusack R, Mitchell DJ, Duncan J
J Cognitive Neuroscience. 2010; 22:32-47. doi: 10.1162/jocn.2009.21194

How does an fMRI voxel sample the neuronal activity pattern: Compact-kernel or complex spatiotemporal filter?
Kriegeskorte N, Cusack R, Bandettini P
NeuroImage. 2010; 49(3):1965-76. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.09.059

Cortical mechanisms for the segregation and representation of acoustic textures
Overath T, Kumar S, Stewart L, vonKriegstein K, Cusack R, Rees A, Griffiths TD
The J Neuroscience. 2010; 30(6):2070-6

Encoding strategy and not visual working memory capacity correlates with intelligence
Cusack R, Lehmann M, Veldsman M, Mitchell DJ
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 2009; 16(4):641-647. doi: 10.3758/PBR.16.4.641

Top-down activation of shape-specific population codes in visual cortex during mental imagery
Stokes M, Thompson R, Cusack R, Duncan J
The J Neuroscience. 2009; 29(5):1565-1572. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4657-08.2009

Additional publications 



Phone: (519) 661-2111, x86381
Email: rhodri [at] cusacklab [dot] org
Website: http://www.cusacklab.org/

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